Janet Yellen happens to be the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. That means, as a high-ranking government official, she gets a ride to work and a fair amount of security around her Georgetown home. But her neighbors aren’t happy about the entourage or their comings and goings from their exclusive gated community of Hillandale. The Federal Reserve security detail has even rented a townhouse near Yellen’s home, a fact that hasn’t prompted neighbors send any Welcome Wagon gifts . . .
As wsj.com details, some Hillandale residents object to the display of force.
As neighbors tell it, earlier this year, the security detail protecting new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen barreled through the cul-de-sac where she lives in oversize vans loaded with guns, cameras and takeout pizza. It established an “armed camp” next door to Ms. Forman’s townhome, according to a written bill of grievances presented by concerned neighbors deeming the uniformed police presence “uncomfortable for residents of various religious persuasions,” such as Quakers.
But the affronts to local sensibilities don’t end there. Yellen’s neighbors, many of whom, it seems safe to assume, have their maws as firmly affixed to the public teat as a litter of newborn puppies, have developed a new-found deep concern for the taxpayer dollar — at least when they happen to be inconvenienced.
“The government is paying $5,000 or $6,000 a month or more to rent a whole townhouse in Georgetown to put cops in,” says international attorney William Shawn, who lives down the street from the newcomers. Is this really necessary, he wonders, to protect an unarmed economist from Brooklyn?
And it’s not just the expense of it all that irks Hillandalians. It may shock you to learn that all the feds aren’t exactly ripped like Dom Raso.
Neighbors seem especially put off by the aesthetics of the security detail, in particular their blue uniforms and—in the words of one resident—”doughnut bellies.”
Tragically, the experience has left a permanent mark on their tony community, too.
Security trucks, (a bill of grievances) continued, “weighing approximately 7,000 pounds each” sit idling on the street for “approximately 22 minutes daily” at each Yellen morning pickup. When Ms. Yellen leaves her home, a second truck then “speedily pulls out of the security driveway…all the while spilling fluid onto the street, which has now left a permanent stain.” Hillandale bylaws expressly prohibit car fluid spills in the common areas.
One resident tried to justify his neighbors’ discomfort at all the hubbub and chalks it all up to their high strung personalities.
George Hill also lives nearby, and doesn’t mind the officers. “Very intelligent and articulate and expressive people live in neighborhoods like ours, and I think sometimes they over-articulate and over-express,” he says.
But at least someone who lives in Hillandale has enough self-awareness to be embarrassed about the tizzy residents have thrown over Ms. Yellen’s comings and goings.
“There are a number of people who are upset about it and an equal number who are not,” said (board President Cynthia) Howar. “It’s not fair to the neighborhood to have this aired about publicly…I’m kind of embarrassed for the neighborhood, quite frankly.”