City Desk

Dan Tan: Tough Meeting, Then Tuna Casserole

More on the budget discussions of City Administrator Dan Tangherlini. After discussing money and baselines with city contracting managers, Dan Tan got into it with Stephanie Scott, who runs the all-important D.C. Office of the Secretary. Now, that title may suggest that this is some puffy, ceremonial office.

Suggestion incorrect: The Office of the Secretary is a revenue-producing appendage of the D.C. government. It pulls in cash from notary public registrations as well as from screening paperwork for foreign adoptions, among other functions.

All of which brings up Dan Tan's central query to Scott regarding the impact of the bad economic times on the office's intake. Specifically, the administrator wanted to know how its revenues were faring in the current fiscal year, which started on Oct. 1. Scott said she wasn't quite sure, didn't have those numbers.

The uncertainty prompted this quote—worthy of space on any manager's wall—from Dan Tan: "Optimism without data is really just an emotion."

After the meeting, Dan Tan went back to the mayoral bullpen for leftover tuna casserole, which he devoured while looking over documents for an upcoming hearing on the capital budget.

–By Mike DeBonis

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