Week In Review

2014-11-10

Dear Neighbor,

With the election behind us I feel like I’ve regained control of my television, telephone and mailbox!

First off, thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve our neighborhoods and the entire community. When you have a question, comment or need, please do not hesitate to contact the 5th District Office or me directly.

Briefly, Kroger is coming together quickly now and the local public art with it as well. This e-newsletter includes a “Gem” from many issues past, which ties in with the Kroger mural selection information you’ll find on page 2. I think everyone will be pleased with the artists who have been chosen.

Speaking of public art, much discussion took place over the mural now installed on Manchester Street. Thank you to each per- son who shared opinions both with this office and through social and local media. Conversation about such things is vitally important and leads to better communication for all involved.

The opinion provided by LFUCG’s Department of Law is as follows: “As a general rule, the government—federal, state, or local—has no authority to prohibit particular pieces of art displayed by private parties on private property. As the U.S. Su- preme Court has observed, ‘the public ex- pression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.’ In rare circumstances, certain types of speech by private parties on private property may be prohibited. For example, speech may be restricted where it is obscene, fraudulent, or intended and likely to incite imminent lawless action. Outside of those rare exceptions, however, the government may not prohibit private artistic expression.

Although the government may not generally prohibit artistic expression on private property, it may regulate the time, place, and manner of that expression in some circumstances. Such restrictions (commonly called ‘Time, Place, and Man- ner Restrictions’) are constitutionally permissible so long as they (1) are not based on the content or subject matter of the speech, (2) serve a significant government interest, and (3) leave open ample alterna- tive channels for communication of the information. In order to satisfy the first requirement of content neutrality, the restrictions must be written, and justified, without reference to the content of the speech being regulated. Perhaps more importantly, the regulations must not be a veiled attempt to regulate a particular message. Evidence of a subjective intent to prevent a certain message from being ex- pressed will render an otherwise valid Time, Place, and Manner Restriction un- constitutional.”

There you have it from this side! A good discussion all around.

The Chevy Chase pedestrian project is nearing completion and has gone smoothly to date. While not all aspects of the changes involved please everyone, it is a notable change for the area and will enhance the pedestrian nature to be sure.

Our paving list has appeared here more than once. Now the asphalt is appearing on those streets. I hope all enjoy a smoother ride and know that your input is important in getting the worst streets done first!

I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Mayor Gray and soon the new Council. It’s a good size pledge class with added diversity. We’ll try to highlight new members here so you can get to know them, too. Enjoy your weekend.

My best,

Bill







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