City Desk

Fenty: No Comment on Council Budget Moves

LL and ace photographer Darrow Montgomery trekked this afternoon to one of the most isolated spots in the District of Columbia to see if Mayor Adrian M. Fenty would have any comment on the budget passed today by the D.C. Council.

Fenty, after all, had maintained in previous questioning on budgetary matters that he would let the council process run its course before addressing the various swipes legislators have taken at his spending plan.

So now? "I'm going to take a look at it," he told LL at a press conference in Kenilworth Park along the banks of the Anacostia.

Entertaining a veto? "Again, let me just take a look..."

Reaction to having Victor Reinoso's budget cut? $20 million cut from summer jobs? "Again, I haven't looked at the specifics."

Setting aside the fact that local reporters have spent weeks reporting on these "specifics" and that the mayor employs a staff to keep him apprised of said "specifics," LL then asked the mayor how many days he needed to review the "specifics" before LL asked him again. One day? Two? More? "We'll look at it as soon as humanly possible," before suggesting LL get in touch with mayoral spokesperson Mafara Hobson.

In his vain search for substantive answers, LL pressed Hizzoner on the prospect of the council refusing to grant extra money to the summer jobs program ("I think everyone supports a full summer jobs program") and the firing of longtime mayoral photographer Lateef Mangum ("Can't comment on personnel matters...It's best just to avoid it").

But, hey, here's some news:

LL was treated to the unveiling of the Bandalong Litter Trap, a $55,000 contraption (pictured) that is now floating on Watts Branch catching all sorts of litter. Five days worth of trash had collected this afternoon and was being hauled out by members of the Earth Conservation Corps. The detritus included bottles, bags, and a basketball.

The device, sold by Atlanta's Stormwater Systems, was installed as part of a two-year pilot program to reduce trash in the Anacostia. In addition to the Bandalong, the city's testing screens on storm drains and catchbasins to see what's most effective at keeping trash out of the river.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • KCinDC

    And Bandalong already has photos up on its website. But doesn't $55,000 seem a little pricy for some pipes, plastic, and chains?

  • Mike DeBonis

    Actually thought it seemed rather cheap...

  • KCinDC

    I guess it seems more impressive in person.

  • Fred

    Finally some good environmental news! As for the price, I wonder if it is piloted somehow? Or does it float? If it is moved around, then I guess the money might go to fund that technology. Or the money might go to pay someone to empty it. (But then what happens to THAT trash?)

  • Wrack

    "I think everyone supports a full summer jobs program." Wow. Actually, no, Mr. Mayor, that thought doesn't comport with reality. Apparently there are at least 13 people who don't support your "full summer jobs program," if "full" means giving a job to anyone who wants one.

    You know, it's strange... The Mayor wants to stop paying a variety of people who actually do real work for him (and who do things like ask questions or, say, do a great job of running DPR), but at the same time, he wants to pay thousands of kids for god-knows-what, no matter whether they have any skills/talents/real interest in working, many of whom will sit around doing squat all summer to haul in a paycheck.

    Our Mayor is all politics, all the time. He's not trying to accomplish anything specific; he doesn't make decisions (that's all Nickles, Albert, and Tangherlini); he doesn't even seem to be informed about anything. And he isn't interested in *anything* except as it affects his image. Yikes. He's like Queen Elizabeth: all show, all media, all token; no substance, no hard work, no managerial duties.

  • Mike DeBonis

    The Bandalong floats; it isn't piloted, and the $55K does not include the expense of emptying it (though that is currently being done by ECC volunteers). The trash is weighed (in order to see if this catches more trash as opposed to other methods), recyclables are recycled, the rest is sent to landfill.

    As far as the price, the pic doesn't show the booms which go all the way to the banks. Also, that price includes installation, including a pair of metal bars secured in the concrete abutments of a bridge there, which the booms are attached to and float up and down on as the stream level changes. Anyway, all things considered, I thought it was cheap.

  • mel

    Lets see Unemployment is at a 75 year high. Violent crimes committed by youths are a major problem. School is out all summer. Parents are working their regular jobs.

    You can complain all you want about giving kids jobs, but dont complain if you cut the program and the kids find more creative ways to make money or involve themselves in more entrepreneurial activities. Selling water bottles on NY Ave or washing windshields might be some of the more benign choices.

    Every major city has a summer jobs program run by the Govt. NY, Philly, Baltimore. Get over it. It buys votes and it keeps kids out of trouble, pay them or pay the social costs of youth offenders.

  • Tom

    So Mel are you saying that a majority of DC's kids are criminals in waiting??? Because that's all I get from your rant. Giving every kid in DC a job is absurd, as you stated "Unemployment at a 75 year High", then we should use the some of the summer job funds for actual job training for Adults. How about we work on Summer educational/ extracurriculars and or recreation programs for the youth of the city?

  • Q

    The Bandalong is good, but I don't like what the DC.GOV is a little misleading.

    The statement "Fenty Unveils First in Western Hemisphere Trash Removal System for Anacostia River" is a LIE. If the device is made in Georgia, and has been used at least since 2007, that kinda doesn't make DC the FIRST! For all the effort, I hope it is successful, but the PR spin is embarrasing.

    So are we "piloting it", "renting it", or did we buy it? I have not seen any conclusive evidence of either.

    As for DC Summer Jobs, as I said in another post, just put a funding inititive on the 2009 Tax Form and allow people to donate to it and be DONE with it. Every year we hear the same thing. I firmly believe that the citizens would contribute to give youth a job and learn professional skills.

  • Q

    Should've said, What DC.GOV wrote was misleading.

  • OPY Whistleblower

    How much $$$ did it cost to move Summer Jobs staff to a building that isn't accessible to the youth of the city? Not a smart move. Youth in lines outside of 625 H St is one thing. Youth outside of 64 New York Ave blocking traffic and causing trouble at the McDonald's and Wendy's is another story entirely. Who makes these decisions? I mean really? Who?

    People freak out when they seen the kids on TV last year down at the building. Most of the kids were there standing in line with their friends--"Im here with her" and they just decided to hang out because the mayor provided soda, water, and plenty of eye candy. Wasn't the big out of control event that they made it out to be. Kids came down to get paid because their friend got paid for not working, why cant I? That kind of a thing. If everybody was on the same page and people werent playing crabs in a bucket things would have been much better. Public relations anyone??

  • OPY Whistleblower

    I am happy that Jerrianne Anthony and John Turner finally took down the inappropriate FACEBOOK pages with pictures of them fraternizing with Out of School participants, other lude acts, and drinking on DC govt time.

    I guess someone is teaching them how to be professionals.