Former Senior Official to Mayor Urges ANC Candidate to Drop Out of Race
This 2016 election season rhetoric has heated up to a level of discomfort for many. It seems everyone is becoming very sensitive about slights and offensive language, real and perceived. Especially when they are in writing. Most Georgetowners probably like to think their community ANC election politics is above all that. But a recent email from campaign treasurer for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels, Francisco Fimbres, to Starrels’s opponent Lisa Palmer caused some concern. He urges her to reconsider her candidacy. The Georgetowner reached out to the parties involved. With the goal of transparency, we publish below the Sept. 15th email in question and responses to it. Let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. The following email was sent by Fimbres to Evans and Palmer.
Subject: Residency Determination Dear Lisa,
Thanks in advance for your attention and kind understanding.
I have heard that you are a nice lady and excellent - dedicated professional. My reason for trying to gather facts is because ANC2E05 has been well served and represented by ANC Commissioner William “Bill” Starrels for more than a decade. His passion for public service is inspiring, his commitment for improving the quality of life of his constituents admirable. I know him well as a person and public servant; he is impressive. And also a very nice man. We worked hard together along with Mayor Fenty and CM Evans to remove snow during Snowmageedon! And on many other consequential projects.
I have visited your website and read your reasons for running. I do not question your motives and consider them to be honorable. Simply put there are other ways to serve and win for your community. Especially when you have such a great representative already. Bill is effective and accomplished. Work with Bill, not against him. Get to know him as I once did.
I know that there may be special interests in Georgetown with dishonorable motives for trying to see Commissioner William “Bill” Starrels unseated. Please don’t fall for their selfish and self serving motives. Don’t allow them to use your candidacy as their pawn to hurt an entire community and honorable man.
Your motives for running may be pure, but theirs are not. Serve in other ways. Work with Bill and CM Jack not against them. Even if you were to win, you will lose. I know this city well having served it for more than 6 years on a 24/7 basis.
You are from a proud and accomplished family in Baltimore. Your granddad was a great man. Establish yourself here in DC first by working with those who have done so much already. Instead of using your considerable resources to try causing division in a very united community.
Finally, you may have a right to run, but it may not be the right thing to do. Regardless the entire community and ANC will work hard to ensure this beloved and respected, but most important accomplished unpaid elected official Bill Starrels is reelected. Be a friend to Georgetown.
Francisco Fimbres defends his email:
Bill Starrels is a role model for other aspiring and already elected public officials. Especially unpaid ones. When I heard that someone was running against him, I said: WHY! Bill has served for more than a decade with honor, efficiency and results.
Then I find out that his opponent, who I hear is a nice lady and solid professional, was encouraged to run by people and special interests in the Georgetown Community, essentially using her candidacy to get back at Commissioner Starrels, I was more than disappointed. My Email to Ms. Palmer was to encourage her to consider working with Bill and Jack Evans, learn from them and then run for something, if she desires.
I stand by what I said, if she happens to win, and I don’t believe she will, Ms. Palmer will lose. Because Bill is beloved or respected by those he has served and our government agencies. I assume Ms. Palmer will be seen as somebody trying to divide an already united community.
But that is why we have elections, and Bill needs to campaign as hard as he serves to ensure triumph. Ms. Palmer should learn from the work of others, and know as she does that there are other ways to serve than just by becoming an elected official.
Response from Lisa Palmer: The very essence of the ANC is to bring government closer to the people, and to bring the people closer to government. My reason for running for ANC is to unify my community, not divide it, so we can get results on longstanding quality of life issues like safety, traffic congestion, trash pickup and noise, all of which have plagued my Single Member District for years. I am laser focused on how I can best advocate for and help my neighbors.
Response from Bill Starrels: Francisco is a passionate supporter and obviously thinks highly of me. I have nothing to add about the email or Francisco’s having sent it.
Response from Jack Evans: No response at press time.