Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adrian Fenty Refuses to Meet with Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height!?

Mayor Adrian Fenty made Loose Lips Quotes of 2009 for his illegal eviction of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. He wasn't recognized for the infamous letter kicking Cora Masters Barry and her colleagues out of the building, but rather for his subsequent refusal to discuss the matter with Maya Angelou and Dorothy Height.

On September 3rd Fenty stated: "I don’t know the details of any scheduling."

Loose Lips writes:

"the signature misstep of Fenty's came when he refused to meet with a pair of high-profile Barry allies—poet Maya Angelou and civil-rights icon Dorothy Height—and then provided the above explanation to WJLA-TV. It was a massive diss that has resounded through black Washington, and one Fenty will hear plenty about on the campaign trail in 2010."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mendelson Blames Crime Lab Delays on Fenty Dithering

The Fenty administrationclaims that the forensics lab is its "top public safety priority," so why is it taking the city so long to create a functioning crime lab?

City Council Member Phil Mendelson say the delay is a result of Fenty administration dithering, according to this story in the Washington Examiner:

"They're compromising public safety," police union Chairman Kris Baumann said, calling the delays "baffling."

Councilman Phil Mendelson, D-at large, a longtime advocate for a modern crime lab, says the Fenty administration is dithering. Fenty's predecessor, Anthony Williams, had promised to have a crime lab up and running by now, Mendelson said.

"That's not my opinion," he said. "The timelines don't lie."

Efforts to reach Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson were unsuccessful.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nickles Offers an Apology but Few Answers in Fenty Security Scandal

WTOP Radio reports that:

The Attorney General for D.C. has offered an apology for Mayor Adrian Fenty's use of police officers as a security detail during training exercises with his competitive cycling team.

In a letter to D.C. Councilmembers, Peter Nickles wrote the mayor expresses his sincere regret for any traffic laws he and his detail may have violated.

While it is nice to see Mayor Fenty apologize for violating DC law, an apology is not an alternative to providing actual answers to the questions the DC City Council and DC taxpayers have. Fenty and his crew were caught running red lights and riding on roads where bikes are not permitted while being followed by a Metropolitan Police motorcycle escort. Fenty and his crew are accused of using police cars to transport his bikes both in DC and on out-of-state trips.

What laws were violated? What was the cost of these police cars to DC taxpayers? Why won't Fenty reimburse the DC government for frivilous and unnecessary use of police vehicles?

We deserve answers to these questions. These are the questions city council member Phil Mendelson has asked Fenty, and while Mendelson has backed off his probe for the time being, we can expect a city council hearing, and subpoenas if necessary, if answers are not forthcoming.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don Peebles to Run for Mayor if Vincent Gray Doesn't Decide to Run in 2009

Loose Lips has the latest. Don Peebles says he will run for mayor if council chair Vincent Gray doesn't declare his intentions to run by the end of the year.

It's all on Vince now: R. Donahue Peebles gave an interview to WUSA-TV's Bruce Johnson yesterday, in which he announced his intention to run for mayor, so long as D.C. Council chairman Vincent C. Gray doesn't announce himself before year's end. (Perhaps that's what their breakfast rendezvous was about.) More than that, Peebles wasn't shy about needling his potential opponent: 'Adrian Fenty has never been a success at anything he's done,' Peebles says on camera. 'He has been an average to below-average city councilmember...and he's been a poor mayor.' The megadeveloper went on to call Fenty 'very petty' and 'not mature' before reiterating his pledge to spend as much as $5 million of his own money on a campaign. 'I don't need anyone to finance my campaign for me,' he tells Johnson. 'I'm gonna eliminate this environment of pay to play'---for everyone but him, anyway

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fenty Bonuses Handed Out After Council Banned Them.

The DC City Council voted, in light of budget cuts and challenging economic times, to ban bonuses to city employees. District employees have received 15 million in bonuses since Fenty took office.

But when the city council outlawed bonuses effective with the new budget starting October 1st, apparently Fenty didn't think the law applied to him.

Washington Post reports that even after they were outlawed, Fenty continued to hand out the big cash to the tune of more than $500,000:

...Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and the Environment that oversees matters pertaining to city employees, said she is sending a letter to the administration and expects a detailed response.

"We voted, beginning Oct. 1, not to give bonuses. I want them to explain," she said. "I want an explanation. It flies in the face of what we voted on."

The law came after the council members' self-imposed ban this year on bonuses to their staffs when the city was struggling to fill a $666 million budget gap that stretched over three years.

"Given the fiscal climate, people losing their jobs, it just wasn't prudent," said Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D). "The larger aspect of this is, we're asking people to bite the bullet. How does it make people feel when they've lost their jobs and their colleagues are getting bonuses?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

DC Hands Out Millions in Bonuses, Even After Budget Crisis Forces Cuts to Key Social Services

When Mayor Adrian Fenty responded to the budget crisis by cutting funding for services to victims of domestic violence, the homelesss, and others in crucial need, we were lead to believe that everyone in the city was sharing the burden of the budget crisis evenly.

New documents revealing $15 million in bonuses to DC government employees prooves that some of us are bearing the brunt of these hard financial times more than others. Specificlly, those victims of domestic violence get fewer services, while DC Government Employees get fat bonus checks:

Among the big winners were Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who was handed $41,250 in August 2007 after barely two months on the job; Department of Health Director Pierre Vigilance, who was given $15,000 in 2008; and city property manager Robin-Eve Jasper, handed $18,000 over two years.

The bonuses were ladled out even as the city was facing nine-figure budget shortfalls and officials -- including Rhee -- were firing employees by the busload, claiming they could no longer afford them.

It paid to be on Rhee's good side. School employees, including Rhee's top staff, accounted for nearly half of the Fenty-era bonuses, records show. Then-special education "czar" Phyllis Harris was paid $17,000 in 2008; special-ed bureaucrat Karen Griffin was given $25,000 the same year; and Rhee's chief of staff, Lisa Ruda, was given $17,000 in 2008, records show.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There's just one way to hold Fenty accountable

Washington Post Metro Columnist knows that there is just one way to hold Adrian Fenty accountable:

Here's my holiday wish: I'd like one strong candidate -- but only one -- to please run against Adrian M. Fenty for mayor next year.

The District and the rest of the region would benefit if a robust challenger would press Fenty (D) to defend a mixed record that has disappointed many of the hopes that accompanied his 2006 election.

In particular, we need him to feel some heat over apparent cronyism in city contracts, needless bickering with the D.C. Council, the city's East-West economic divide and, of course, the future of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's school reforms.

It's hard to tell if I'm going to get my wish, because the main prospects are engaged in a nerve-racking dance over who's going to enter the race first. I just hope that nobody goes second, because that would divide the opposition and make it easy for Fenty to win reelection without having to seriously address his administration's shortcomings.

Read the whole article here.