Well, I've just misspent another afternoon of my life watching the City Council hearing
on Valerie Holt's nomination to be the new Chief Financial Officer. The Council, by the
way, was also wasting its time, since it does not have confirmation power for the CFO's
office, and its vote will not have any legal effect. To dissipate my spite for this wasted
time that I'll never get back, I'll unfairly summarize Ms. Holt's excuse for the
misinformation and disinformation she gave the Council when she worked in the Barry and
Kelly administrations: The real numbers and the facts were buried somewhere in the
reports, and it's your own fault if you believed the testimony we gave, and didn't uncover
the truth. Jim Graham asked what was perhaps the most important question to Ms.
Holt, and I'll also unfairly summarize both it and her answer. Question: If you're
the CFO, you'll have to work with the Council, and we have to be able to trust the
information you give us. Do you respect the Council's position and authority enough to
withdraw your nomination if we vote against you? Answer: Are you out of your
mind? Well, those weren't the words, but that was the sentiment.
This does not bode well for getting accurate information out of the CFO's office in the
future. The major accomplishment of Tony Williams as the Chief Financial Officer was that
for the first time in years the numbers in the DC budget had some relationship to the real
world, that they weren't just exercises in diversion and misdirection. Wouldn't you think
he would want to establish a tradition of trustworthy DC budgets? And why doesn't he? By
the way, since several contributors have sent themail compliments about the speed with
which they had received DC tax check refunds, you should know that Ms. Holt's one
recommendation for saving money in the OCF's financial cluster was to send out the tax
refunds later, in order to stretch out the time demands on the staff.
Somebody please help me, and help all of us send in something amusing on a
completely different tact to get us off on another topic, to distract us and to get our
minds off of this. Heard any good DC jokes lately?
Whats a Poor Candidate to Do?
Nick Keenan, Shaw, email@example.com
The revelations about Mayor Williams' consulting give off a wretched
stench. I'm sure it's possible that NationsBank and Arthur Andersen don't feel that they
did him a favor, and I'm sure it's possible that he doesn't feel that he owes them a
favor, but it strains credibility to believe so. And let us not forget that the reason we
elected Williams is that we were tired of 20 years of mayors whose policies were directed
more by those whom they owed favors to than by concern for the City.
That said, how do we expect candidates to support themselves? Like most people,
Williams had a job that would not allow him to draw a paycheck while he was a full-time
candidate, so he had to leave that job in order to run. Would we accept it if campaign
money was used to pay a salary for the candidate? Or would it smack of
favor-itism if contributions went directly into the pocket of the candidate?
That leaves two categories of people who can afford to run for elected office those
who can support themselves independently, and those with employers indulgent enough to
keep them on the payroll. I'll dismiss the first category with a single word: Gildenhorn.
In the second category, we must rule out anyone who has a private sector job again,
it's just too cozy. That leaves people with public sector jobs, and the Hatch Act
restricts us to those who hold elected office. Is it any surprise we ended up with four
incumbent councilmembers in the last election? Is it just a coincidence that $40,000 is
about six months salary for a councilmember?
But the Williams deal still stinks.
In response to Mr. Donohue's letter on the problems at DCPS, I would like to point out
that DCPS's problems are not unfxablei but stem from serious long-term neglect. DCPS has
been plagued by years of superintendents ranging from incompetent to mediocre, Ms.
Ackerman being only the most recent example. Aggressive Chicago style takeovers, now so
popular, often produce mixed results. DCPS needs an excellent superintendent (NOT Ms.
Ackerman) capable of both rooting out the deeply embedded bureaucratic culture of
incompetence and making a genuine response to the needs and concerns of the local
communities of students, parents and educators that make up the public school system. A
new superintendent needs oversight from a vigorous board of education, ready and willing
to set policy and demand that policy be implemented by the superintendent. The non-elected
and timid Board of Trustees merely rubber-stamps Ackerman's actions and the distant and
un-involved Control Board refuses to acknowledge that their Chicago-style takeover has so
far been a failure. Entrusting the school system to our new, and as yet untried, mayor
will not produce the kind of solutions DCPS so desperately needs. Give us a new, excellent
superintendent and a board who will make that person do their job.
Medicaid Math for Dummies
JePhunneh Lawrence, Ward 8 resident, firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 5, 1996, Ward 8 residents went to the polls and elected an uneducated High
School drop-out to the City Council. Now the entire City will have to pay the price for
Sandy Allens DUMB DECISION. Sandy Allen, this is basic Medicaid math: $30 (D.C.
money) take away $70 (Federal money) = a loss of about $22.2 million in federal matching
funds. Sandy, Medicaid funds are not all District funds: the $9.5 million you cut from
District Medicaid spending resulted in a loss to the District of at least $22.2 million in
federal matching funds. Sandy Allen you clearly do not understand why you can't play fast
and loose with Federal Government matching funds.
Sandy Allen, this note is occasioned by your lame attempt, at the Ward 8 Dems meeting
of Saturday May 15, to rationalize your misguided decision to strip District Medicaid of
nearly $22.2 million. Sandy Allen, although you gave your little talk and then ran away
without answering any questions, you need to understand that Ward 8 SIMPLY DIDN'T BUY IT.
Frankly most Ward 8 residents have prayed that your four year term would pass quickly
and uneventfully; however, it appears that Ward 8 residents can not escape the
consequences of their failure to vote or cast an informed vote on election day Nov. 5,
1996. Sandy, Ward 8 residents are the most public benefits dependent population in the
District. You didn't prove anything to District Medicaid officials, you hurt Ward 8
residents big time. The only positive side of this fiasco is that you clearly showed
thousands of District young people why education is so very important. Sandy, you
destroyed the health care system for many Ward 8 residents and every other District
resident who is eligible for or needs entitlement benefits. Unfortunately it is too late
to recall you and we don't have the power to impeach you so you should do the right thing:
SANDY ALLEN, YOU OUGHT TO RESIGN NOW AND SAVE WARD 8 AND THIS CITY FROM FURTHER DISASTER
As several contributors have pointed out, NARPAC *does* make a valuable contribution to
the continuing debate over DC's future. I was merely trying to question why an
organization with such laudable goals sits outside of the District I suppose it's a
knee-jerk reaction, given the number of critics who live or work in the suburbs. In no way
do I question its purpose or legitimacy; instead, I'm only trying to emphasize that the
best critics are those who come from within rather than without. I'm glad that Ms Drissel
and Mr. Sullivan have clarified what was to me a rather murky entity. It stands to reason,
however, that any DC resident would be suspicious of outside groups that purport to have
DC's best interests at heart, given what's happened in the past. Of course, however, I'm
behind any group actively working FOR this city, and from what I've read here, NARPAC is
doing so. Best of luck, then, to all.
Don't know much about cashing tax checks, but I do have to applaud because my tax
return was process and mailed within three weeks. My Federal return still hasn't arrived!
Swimming Lessons Wanted
Sarah Eilers, email@example.com
I'm interested in arranging swim lessons for my four year old son. Private or very
small group, outdoor pool, in NW DC or close-in Maryland. If anyone has recommendations,
please e-mail me at the address above. Thanks.
One World Media Center Open House
Phil Shapiro, Chevy Chase, DC, firstname.lastname@example.org
One World Media Center, a new nonprofit video and multimedia training center in Adams
Morgan, will be having an open house on Saturday/Sunday, May 22/23, from 9 am to 9 pm on
both days. Come tour the facilities, meet the award winning video producers who use the
center, and see the many technology tools that One World makes available to the community.
One World is located at 2390 Champlain St. NW, Washington DC 20009. Part of the Washington
City Paper building, but separate street level entrance. Fully wheelchair accessible. A
map showing One World's street location can be found on the front section of the One World
web site at http://www.owmc.org , Contact: Phil Shapiro,
email@example.com (202) 686-5465.
Persons with cable modems, DSL, or T1 Internet access can view full motion RealVideo G2
clips digitized at One World at http://stories.simplenet.com
, including a tour of the facilities given by Discovery Channel video producer Theo Smith,
co-founder of One World. For folks with modems, a Quicktime slideshow of this
same tour can be more easily downloaded and viewed.
CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE
For Sale, 1997 VW GTI VR6 lo mi., leather, mnrf, cd, cass, all pwr, all
maintenance records, bumper to bumper factory warranty to 100k miles. We love this car,
only selling because we are having a baby and need a passat wagon instead. 16k obo.
Apartment for Rent
Bruce Snyder, Adams Morgan, firstname.lastname@example.org
For rent: one bedroom apartment, 614 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 860 sq. ft. ww,
dw, walk-in closet, 12 ft. of closet in BR, 6 ft. linen closet, wooden shutters. Available
June 30. $750.00 including utilities. Call (202)234-1250.
Beautiful 1-bedroom condo for sale by owner $114,900 Kalorama: Schuyler
Arms, 1954 Columbia Road, NW, Upper floor, Fantastic 1BR/1BA in a superb location, near
Red Line Metro. Re-sanded, re-polished hardwood floors, high ceilings, newer kitchen, new
outlets and fixtures, well laid out, separate entry foyer, A/C, quiet side of a quiet
building, front garden, front desk, inviting lobby, roof deck, elevator, bedroom
(10'6" x 16'5"), living room (9'8" x 16'5"), dining alcove (6'9"
x 7'3''). For more information, please call (202) 986-9431. Agents welcome.
A very sweet and pleasant young lady is seeking a roommate to share a comfy
two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in a secure building on Wisconsin Avenue across from
the National Cathedral in NW Washington, D.C. It is on a major bus route, a short ride to
the Tenleytown Metro stop, and in a very nice neighborhood within walking distance of
grocery stores, restaurants, and Georgetown. Female preferred, non-smoker only. It is
available starting June 1, or earlier if needed. If you know anyone who may be interested
please respond to email@example.com or call (202) 537-7188 and leave a message for
CLASSIFIEDS CITY PAPER PREVIEW
Dave Nuttycombe, firstname.lastname@example.org
From washingtoncitypaper.com's LOOSE LIPS column, appearing this Friday:
SWEEPS WEEK: Shortly after taking office in January 1991, Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon
promised frightened District residents a new style of policing, one in which cops would
walk a beat, communicate with neighbors, and stop crime before it happened.
You know the rest of the story.
By the time Mayor-for-Life Marion S. Barry Jr. began his fourth term in 1995, the law
enforcement methods promised by his predecessor had acquired a national coinage
community policing and an eager follower in Hizzoner's police chief, Larry Soulsby.
Of course, Soulsby had no experience in community policing, he had little experience in
management. As his 1997 downfall showed, he was rather more keen on covering up his
Chief Charles Ramsey, installed last year by a high-powered selection panel, was to have
written a new final chapter in the city's community policing saga. When they get me,
they get community policing, Ramsey told the Washington Post before taking
his job. That goes without question.
Perhaps the chief hadn't consulted other control board designated saviors: No reform
program ever just sails through the District government.
Read the entire Loose Lips column this Friday at: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/lips/lips.html
From washingtoncitypaper.com's CITY LIGHTS page, here are a few early warnings for
Friday-Sunday, May 21-23: Antique Toy Road Show, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 21, to
Sunday, May 23, at the Holiday Inn, 8777 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Free.
Sunday, May 23: Tango Festival '99, 4 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW.
More details and more critics' picks are available online at http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/pix/pix.html
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