Off to A Fine Start
Council's growing pains, political posturing and the tale of two Navigators.
Kudos to Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells for seizing an opportunity and producing a report on the mishandling of city-owned vehicles by the Department of Public Works. While newly crowned Council Chair Kwame Brown still gets the credit for SUV-Gate, the report’s revelations indicate that Brown isn’t the only one to blame.
Of course, he’s not the only elected official to take advantage of perks, even if they’re the kind of perks you’re not supposed to take advantage of. At a get-together with friends the other night, the most recent scandal, if you could call it one, came up in conversation. "It's the D.C. government. What do you expect?"
But let's not be too hasty. This is still a new Council. It's not new in membership per se, but it is still new in leadership.
It's been interesting to watch these first couple of months as the city's finest jockey for power, form alliances, and maybe more importantly, decide who to get rid of (Sulaimon Brown). Don't be surprised if other heads soon roll at District agencies; it's a way for Council members to put their stamp on things.
Lesson learned for Kwame Brown perhaps? He'll take this latest incident as growing pains and has already vowed to gain back the respect of his constituents. Let's also score one for Tommy Wells. Accountability should be the name of the game.
We all want an efficient government, don’t we? It's not like Council members don't have a full plate, too. What about that massive budget shortfall and possible spending cuts to DC Public Schools?
And what about our new mayor allegedly paying his top officials too much money? Aren't you supposed to hook your friends up after winning an election? In case you haven’t heard, there’s a position that just opened up in the Department of Health Care Finance — if you’re willing to take a measly $110,000 a year salary.
So far, it's been a pretty good show by this new Council and new administration. More fireworks will surely come, though it would be refreshing, for once, to keep the fireworks at a minimum. Keep showing us who you are. We'll continue to keep tabs as you adjust. Just be sure to get some work done while you're at it.