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“Very Careful Not to Let the Citizens Know”
Mayor’s mansion E-mails among Casey Mansion Foundation, Office of Planning, National Park Service, and National Capital Planning Commission, and Corporation Counsel
April 18, 2003 and May 7, 2003




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These E-mails are regarding the Casey Mansion Foundation’s proposal for a mayoral mansion and its attempt to annex national park land to the mansion’s site. They reveal federal and local officials conspiring with the Casey Mansion Foundation to hide their negotiations from the public. They also show that the “independent” opinion of the Office of Transportation supporting the annexation of the park land was drafted by the Office of Planning at the request of the Casey Mansion Foundation, with the full knowledge of the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Parks Service.
Dick Carr, Casey Mansion Foundation, May 7, 2003 Ellen McCarthy, Office of Planning, May 7, 2003
Dick Carr, Casey Mansion Foundation, May 7, 2003 Charles Barbera, Office of the Corporation Counsel, April 18, 2003

"Dick Carr" 
05/07/03 01:23 PM AST

To: "McCarthy, Ellen (OP)" <Ellen.McCarthy@dc.gov>, "Green, Stephen (EOM)" <Stephen.Green@dc.gov>, <John Parsons@nps.gov>, <ash.jain@ncpc.gov>, <eugene.koller@ncpc.gov

cc: "price, Eric (EOM)" < Eric.Price@dc.gov

Subject: RE: Changes to the Plan

To the Group - hopefully my e-mail skills reach everyone. Mrs Casey took ill suddenly today and we have had to postpone our site visit again. I have, therefore, sent her information on the estimated site size, the new exchange property, the cost of the new property and the estimated cost of the FONSI and survey work that we will have to pay for as well as my opinion and enough information so she can look at the site without me. I will do what I can to got the final decision quickly. Can we write the letter for the security people too? It is pretty clear that having only one means of exit on a road that usually gets backed up east bound during rush hour and has problems with the Schools now that the Field School is open is not the best plan. I will have no problem not discussing this. 

Dick Carr

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Original Message
From: McCarthy, Ellen (OP) [mailto:Ellen.McCarthy@dc.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 12:33 PM
To: Green, Stephen (EOM); Dick Carr; 'John_Parsons@nps.gov'; 'ash.jain@ncpc.gov'; 'eugene.keller@ncpc.gov'
Cc: Price, Eric (EOM)

Subject: FW: Changes to the Plan

Dear Group,

I have been very careful not to let the citizens know that there has been any change in our strategy of seeking a transfer of jurisdiction until Mrs. Casey had a chance to give the final go ahead. l am very frustrated that Alma Gates seems to know about the land swap (see copy of email she sent me below) and would like to request that we refrain from discussing this with the citizens until there is a real estate deal ready to go. My message to Pete Ross, with whom I spoke this weekend as he was convening a Foxhall Community Citizens Association board meeting was that we had met with the Park Service and NCPC, and were all on the same page about a process to be followed. I committed to let them know when we had a definite proposal for them to consider. (They are having a membership meeting on May 21, and would like to take a vote at that time. ) Can we please agree NOT to say anything to the press or citizens until this has jelled?

Re: Dick Carr's request for a letter from DDOT, I have drafted a proposed letter from Dan Tangherlini, and forwarded it to him on Monday evening. The Mayor's Security detail is not the letter-writing sort, but the letter from DDOT should suffice.


Ellen M. McCarthy
Deputy Director for Development Review and Historic Preservation 
D.C. Office of Planning 
phone 202-442-7600
fax 202-442-7638
801 N. Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Original Message
From: AHG71139@aol.com [mailto:AHG71139@aol.com
Sent, Monday, May 05, 2003 10:32 PM 
To: ellen.mccarthy@dc.gov
Subject: Changes to the Plan

Ellen, I understand that the approach you discussed with the committee on the 21st has changed and as a result the two-step process has also changed. I was hopeful we might hear from you on this as you did agree to let us know the outcome of your discussions with the Park Service and the foundation. Would you take a minute and let us know what is going to happen and when? It would be greatly appreciated and helpful to have everyone on the same page. Alma Gates
[McCarthy, Ellen (OP)]

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Original Message
From: Dick Carr [mailto:DCARR@OTCARR.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 8:52 AM
To: Eric.price@dc.gov
Cc: sgreen-eom@dcgov.org; ellen.mccarthy@dc.gov  

Eric, I will be meeting with Betty Casey today so we can determine if the land area that NPS has come up with in this last round of discussions responds to our concerns and will let your people know. Two things would be helpful. First, it would be good since there is still work to do to complete the EA process if our team has the opportunity to communicate plans when we are ready as opposed to having information go directly to Kent Slowinski and Pete Ross as soon as it appears. Second. as Sally Blumenthal requested recently and as I have been asking for a number of months, we need a letter from the department of transportation stating that the logical place to connect the second entrance on Foxhall Road is at the traffic light being installed this year and one from the security office stating that for a residence for such a high profile person a second means of egress is quite important. These statements are fundamentally sound and logical and I recently asked for the by today. I would be happy to review these letters if helpful. Thank you. Dick

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"Barbera, Charles 

04/18/03 12:13 PM AST 
Please respond to charles.barbera

To: " 'john_parsons@nps.gov"' <john_parsons@nps.gov>

Subject: FW: Mayor's Residence and Transfer of Jurisdiction


Original Message 

From:   Barbera, Charles (OCC)
Sent:   Friday, April 18, 2003 11:47 AM
To:   Green, Stephen (EOM); McCarthy, Ellen (OP)
Cc:   Price, Erie (EOM)
Subject:   Mayor's Residence and transfer of Jurisdiction

<<Mayor's Residence Council Resolution.doc>> <<Mayor's Residence Fiscal Impact Request.doc>> <<Mayor's Residence-Mayor's Clearance.doc>> > <<Mayor's Residence-Mayor's Letter.doc>> 

Joe Cook at NPS and my contacts at GSA appear to be on leave. Meanwhile, in order to be prepared for any eventuality, I have prepared and attached all of the documents necessary for a statutory transfer of jurisdiction of U.S. Reservation 357 on Foxhall Road. Also, I agree with Dick Car's comment that it would be a cumbersome situation for NPS to transfer only a portion of the four acre parcel comprising US Reservation 357. It would be best to transfer the entire parcel, with a restriction in the transfer that would allow the District to lease only the 1.8 acre parcel to the Casey Foundation, and with an agreement within the lease whereby the Foundation would assume the District's responsibility for maintaing [sic] the remaining portion of the grounds. The restrictions would have to be shown on the transfer plat, and the 1.8 acre parcel subject to lease would be identified, as is customay, [sic] with cross hatched lines. It is not clear to me from the string of e-mails that I have read, exactly what is the purpose of the proposed transfer, so I may not have stated the purpose correctly. With respect to the proposed lease from the District to the Foundation, that lease will undoubtedly be for more than twenty years, hence Council approval will be necessay. [sic] I do not doubt that Williams & Connolly will be able to draft a fine lease, but my past experince [sic] indicates that they will not have the necessary knowledge to draft one legally sufficient for the District, hence I suggest we draft one and submit it to the Foundation - that is easier and faster than trying to review and revise someone else's work.

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