*photo by Darrow Montgomery.
Yes, I do miss Tony Williams...
Yes and no! Its just too bad the voters were seduced into making such a bad choice as to his successor. Linda Cropp would have been a much better choice. The tragedy is that she was so ill served by the worst run campaign in the history of DC.
And Vince Gray a Council Chair is an even more complete disaster then Fenty. So sad the city is marching backwards.
Yes. His (political) style, or lack there of, could not be characterized as mean-spirited. Other adjectives yes, but one always seemed to sense he believed he was doing his job for the people of Washington, DC. You may have disagreed with how he did it, who received the benefits first, lack of "political" skill, etc. (the bureaucracy wasn't perfect though better than in the past) but in the end he seemed to be trying his best for the city.
see also, a somewhat similar scandal
Yes, at least he was competent and managed to work with the Council on important issues. Also, he held citizen summits yearly to allow input from the taxpayers on issues vital to the running of the city government. If schools had been put under him, we would not be in the mess with Ms Rhee and maser fenty today.
Of course we do. Look at all of the Fenty accomplishments that are Anthony Williams accomplishments. That would be ALL OF THEM.
NO! I don't miss him in the least. Not to say Fenty has been much good either. DC has never had a good mayor in my living memory (going back to the early Barry years). Fenty has been disappointing, but I suspect that Williams's achievements were mostly a product of lucky timing with the real estate boom. Oh, and thanks, Tony, for leaving us with the Nationals and their stadium as your enduring legacy.
Yes yes yes! Miss him so much.
He was the right mayor for the time, but I feel he ignored the neighborhoods at the expense of big-picture fiscal health. I couldn't get past that.
BTW- for you Williams historical revisionists out there, the scandals back then were both larger and more numerous.
No, all things considered I'm very much liking where we are now.
This is a great idea for an LL column - was D.C. better off four years ago than it is now? It would really help to be able to understand the historical context off all these Fenty scandals, especially for the legions of transplants who read the CP.
Is it that the population shifts so much that no one living here now was here to see the Williams administration... or do we all just have short memories?
I'll admit it: I wasn't living here during the Williams admin. I moved here a few months before Fenty took office. Can anyone throw me a bone and remind me what it was like back then? (Anyone who's not insane and/or has an axe to grind.)
Williams specialized in hosting forums, bow-ties, being slightly eccentric, having his mom sing, baseball, and redeveloping downtown.
His approach was a lot kinder in retrospect to Fenty, Nickles and Co.'s attitude.
Did he do enough for affordable housing? No. Was he too defensive of Chief Ramsey? Yes.
Why did he step down? What was his undoing?
He didn't step down. He just chose not to run again. At that point, there was serious Williams fatigue. The buzz from my boss is that Williams didn't like the job.
Williams helped the city gain a lot of "respectability" at a time when Congress was breathing down the neck of home rule and the District was emerging from a congressionally-imposed financial control board. As others say, he seemed like a nice guy, too. Nerdy.
On the other hand I feel like he rolled over to corporate powers that were reshaping the physical city during a time when he could have gotten a lot more concessions to help the community, long-term. Exemplified by bending over backwards and promising the moon to MLB to bring the Expos to town. It all seemed very, "what is good for business is what is good for DC." Some of that came from the Council, too. But there was a backlash against it that led to Fenty.
Anyway those were just my moderately-informed impressions at the time.
Anthony Williams was sometimes aloof, but he like clockwork gave his weekly press conferences. You knew exactly what was going on in town, or there was at least a platform where those questions could be asked. He did not disregard tough questions from the media, and, most importantly, he let his agency heads do their job without much interference from his office. Of course, when they screwed up, he forced THEM to face the music and clean up the mess, occasionally resulting in a dismissal.
One of his smartest moves was hiring Robert Bobb, the hard charging no-nonsense city administrator that forced city employees to do their job. Unlike the Fenty Administration, under Bobb, accountability started at the top. I recall him going into the Department of Health and firing everyone in the Director's suite following the water lead fiasco. And before the Fenty fans start slamming Mr. Bobb, recall that Fenty, while campaigning, said that he wanted Bobb to stay on as City Administrator. Bobb declined.
Anthony Williams did not enjoy the full-term honeymoon that the Washington Post has given Fenty. He had to take his lumps, as most grown ups have to which made for a better run city.
When Anthony Williams attempted to take over DC Public Schools, stating that whether he was in control over them or not, he was being held accountable for their performance, one Adrien Fenty, Councilman from Ward 4, fought him feverishly.
Instead of setting up unconstitutional roadblocks in crime ridden neighborhoods, Williams administration identified "hot spots" in the city wherein they focused the entire resources of the city to reducing crime by improving lighting, increasing police patrol, increasing summer activities at rec-centers and engaging the neighborhoods groups.
You cannot deny that the city economically became a better place to live and do business in.
Though the Nationals are, today, pretty poor. We do have one of the finest stadiums in the nation. You can recruit a better team, but the stadium will be a legacy of Anthony Williams for years to come. Much like the Reeves Center is for Marian Barry and 441 4th Street NW is for Sharon Pratt Kelly.
Anthony Williams wasn't divisive. He fought with the council from time to time, but you knew, at the end of the day, he respected their role. Contrary to what Fenty says about "executives" not meeting with the legislative, Anthony Williams often met with the Council to get things done.
Anthony Williams was not a triathlete, but he had a mind for numbers and business acumen that the sitting executive can only dream of. A Harvard pedigree didn't hurt either.
proballdc thank you for this awesome comment. I forgot about Williams and his weekly press conferences. He wasn't afraid of questions. He let his people talk. Etc.
Thanks for this great discussion. I feel much more enlightened about the city's recent history.
But I still wonder why he really decided not to run again. "Didn't like the job" doesn't sound plausible to me. He must have made some powerful enemies who would have prevented him from winning another term had he chosen to run. When politicians make what appears to be an unforced exist, that is usually the real reason.
Who were Williams' enemies? Why did they hate him?
As a disclaimer I worked for Mayor Williams in his private office. He was the right mayor for the time. He pulled DC out of receivership and was doing his best to turn around some of backward systems that not helping the District be the world class city. But he put a lot in place when he left...and lead the tracks for us to be a world class city.
He is a very capable man.
His downside were ---he was to concerned with the effieciency and sparkle of things--the human element was missing.
Here comes Fenty--who benefit by being MR. Response--although he did benefit by Merrit Drucker(Tony Williams employee)--answering the phone him and navigating him through the Williams Administration.
People don't realize this but calling an agency if you don't know what they do--doesn't get anything. Williams administration was responsive to Fenty so he can make things happen and look good. As you can see now a councilmember without the mayor cannot tell an agency to do anything.
Mayor Williams gives you competence but not the humanism of the job. We need Mayor Williams' brain and Mother Theresa's heart, JKF charm, RFK's courage and MLK power of oration and that would be a person I would donate the next 365 days getting elected.
P.S. That is not Kwame Brown..
Second-term fatigue is a pretty common phenomenon for big-city mayors, even Michael Bloomberg has worn out much of his welcome in NYC, as has Villaraigosa in LA. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickles was just defeated for a third term in Seattle. I think good mayors come into office with big ideas and a big agenda, they get a lot done in the first couple of years and voters are inclined to grant another term to reward a job well-done. In the second term all that's left is the hard stuff, and the council members aren't as cooperative, the press is more skeptical, the staff gets tired and starts to turn over, so it's a difficult environment by years 7 and 8. I'm not that familiar with DC politics but it sounds like Williams could have experienced the same thing.
One more thing:
You knew CLEARLY who Anthony Williams' General Counsel (Lynn Becker) was and who the Attorney General (Robert J. Spagnoletti) was. Their roles were distinctly different and never conflicting.
Not so, today....
The term "miss" is a major understatement. Mayor Williams' administration had its share of bumps, carbuncles, and boils but it pales in comparison to the Fenty administration's pus-filled cankers and toxic, runny lesions. Williams was a breath of fresh air and Fenty is a foul odorous blast of disintegrated human waste that makes Blue Plains smell like a rose garden. Williams may have been aloof but his predecessor is a mentally challenged doofus goof who is said to beat his wife unmercifully. I strongly suggest Michelle invests in a Louisville slugger baseball bat, a cast-iron pan, a box of grits, and some lye mixed with honey. She could do us all a favor and beat his trifling behind into oblivion. Oh yeah, Mayor Williams, WE MISS YOU!!!!
That Williams was broadly popular when first elected is entirely due to his record of better-than-before fiscal management under the federally-appointed control board. Remember that in 1997 we were bankrupt and for weeks during a long hot summer there was no trash collection. Even die-hard Barry supporters had trouble tolerating that stench. Williams was the squeaky-clean anti-Barry.
While in office, Williams continued his sound fiscal policy. Under him, our bod rating rose from "junk" to not so bad". The city not only cut back on spending, it became able to borrow more cheaply. So the big-picture fiscal health turned around. And Williams did his best to further that by starting some big projects- the ballpark, DCUSA, and the RI Ave Home Depot, for example.
But Williams, with the exception of the DMV and DDOT, was NOT known for increasing citizens' perceptions that the DC government was there to serve them. Yes, 727-1000 (now 311) was another important step, but it had many kinks and was not yet a real success in that people couldn't rely on it for the most basic things such as getting a streetlight fixed, trash collected, or a pothole filled.
On the bad side: Parks languished. Schools languished. MPD languished. Timely trash collection and snow removal languished. Potholes went unfilled. Government graft and bloat continued under Williams- Harriet Walters stole most of her money under Williams' watch. Ramsey hog-tied peaceful protesters under Williams watch. Extortion by DCRA and Health Inspectors was common under Williams watch. The public was so fed up by continued inefficiency and non-responsiveness that Brazil, Orange, Chavous etc all were shown the door.
So,the general public gave Williams credit for getting the big picture right, but citizens viewed his personality as aloof (he was actually more introverted than aloof) because they did not see the kinds of improvements they needed in their neighborhoods.
That set the stage for the current Mayor, who is nothing if not aggressive about responding to service issues. Fenty has made improvement at the neighborhood level his hallmark, and he's done very well indeed if how bad things were under Williams is such a distant memory.
Oh, and DC's bond rating (and hence its credit rating) are now higher than they EVER were under Williams. So he's managed to keep the boom-era fiscal track going, even through what is universally hailed as the largest post-depression recession.
Williams was the right mayor for then, but Fenty is the right mayor for now.
One thing said earlier about Mayor Willliams and Robert Bobb -- They listened to their professional department executives, challenged them - yes, but they did make informed decisions based on the knowledge of experts in their fields and then held them accountable (especially Bob Bobb)
No the Williams administration could have been better at the items mentioned above, but they were much better than those the followed. Communities may not have "felt" as well served, but guess where the neighborhood service coordinators came from... Williams. Fenty just repackaged them.
Schools master education plan Reinoso and Rhee repackaged from Charlotte, NC. Streetcars -- Williams. The concept of wrap around services coordinated with CFSA, DPR, MPD to support parents and students at DCPS-- Bobb.
Fenty takes credit for others ideas, sells them as his own. Fenty tells people go do "X" even when it makes no sense compared to the current best practices of that particular field. If you offer professional practice that is different than his desires, well, you're fired.
Fenty was and is the wrong mayor for now.
So the gist that I'm getting from this info is that Williams was good in that he took the city out of its Barry-era malaise, but he was bad in that he appeared closer to big businesses and developers than to neighborhoods. Fenty was able to supplant him because he had a reputation as being a tireless worker on behalf of the neighborhoods. Now it seems as though Fenty has squandered that reputation through his battles with the council and his opaque governing style.
Is that an accurate portrayal? Not too over-simplified? Or am I missing something here?
Dave, fairly good assessment. However, I do disagree that Anthony Williams did any disservice to neighborhoods in favor of big business inasmuch as I disagree that Adrian Fenty is something of a neighborhood Robin Hood.
Anthony Williams, once the District's CFO, had a mountain of pressing financial restructuring to do in the District. His pressing concern was necessitated by the existing conditions at the time. Williams as CFO came in with a scorched earth policy and fired, as I recall it, over 200 employees, escorted from the building by MPD (sound familiar). However, thereafter, he has stated that to be his single most regrettable act as a public officials. He deprived employees of their dignity. No such apology from junior.
Let it be clear, under the Williams Administration, violent crime in the District declined in direct proportion to the institution of "hot spots" and declarations of "crime emergencies". Chief Cathy Lanier, too, repackaged this (though not as successfully).
I believe that Williams did not run again because he opted to make some "real" money in the public sector. I think he accomplished much of what he wanted in office and set the District on the road to "world class" success.
Like most smart executives, Bloomberg, Daley, etc. Williams surrounded himself (for the most part) with a cabinet that were competent in their fields of expertise. To be fair, there WAS crony and "sleep your way to the top" appointments as well. Those people know who they are and some have managed to remain in those positions since Michael Rogers (CA) brought them on to the District payroll and Robert Bobb continued their "services" at the behest of Vincent Orange(D) Ward 5. Having "staff" close the the executives spouse does provide it's own set of benefits.
Not to be contrary, Contrarian, but:
Williams repackaged as NSCs positions which existed under Barry. And the whole idea originally came out of Boston.
Fenty rewrote the Janey-era master facilities plan, greatly accelerating it from a 15 year plan to a 5 year plan. Reinoso did take some text from Charlotte to use in his vision statement, but vision statements hue to broad "best practices" generalities. So I say, "So what"?
Fenty improved on Williams, and necessarily saw through many projects that were begun under the previous mayor. As all mayors do.
There really is very little that is new in this world.
Didn't the financial company Williams left DC Gov to head just recently go bankrupt? Williams rose and fell with the tides. There is nothing remarkable about that.
If the election were held today, Fenty would win.
There is no credible competition.
Yeah but the election isn't being held today. There's still a year to go. Lord only knows what could happen - or who could enter the race - in the next year.
I agree that, ultimately, Fenty will probably win a 2nd term. But still, you have to acknowledge that Fenty circa 2009 is a shell of his former self, at least in terms of the amount of power he has to get things done in the city.
Maybe I'm misreading the kabuki dance of D.C. politics, but it seems like his biggest initiative - school reform - is in jeopardy and the Fenty's major supporters - Catania, the WaPo ed board - are beginning to criticize him openly. That can't bode well for him.
But then maybe all this Fenty bashing is for show. I don't know. Shit is complicated!
Everything that Fenty is trying to accomplish was already in paper and in the works. All Fenty had to do was read the notebook. Without a clue of how to manage, he jumped in the behind of Bloomberg and has faked what is going on in DC as his own. Do I miss Williams? Compared to this fool, Hell to the yes! I wasn't a great fan of Williams but I do not believe he would have been this ruthless in implementing his initiatives. He had some finesse and class and he could communicate. Mush mouth or anti depressant mouth(however you see him) can't get out a good sentence and he can never answer a question. Janey would still be here, some real numbers and percentages regarding progress would be realized and there would be no Peter Nickles! Right now we have scandal written all over the government in all agencies.
Downtown rez, Williams went to, what I believe was an investment banking firm that, as a result of horrible business decisions prior to his joining the firm, like many others, ended up in bankruptcy. To the point, Williams left DC Government in pursuit of wealth. I never said that he was a financial messiah. A damned good CFO but I doubt that he could squeeze a dollar out of turnips.
You wrote "Reinoso did take some text from Charlotte to use in his vision statement". However, facts trump fiction. He publicly took the blame for copying without credit whole passages from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school system's strategic plan when drafting his report for the D.C. system. Worse, he called the plagiarism a “shortcut” taken “to meet a deadline.” A bit more than the snippet for a vision statement as you suggest.
Further, you suggest that to revert a carefully crafted 15 year plan created (following 30 years of incompetent parenting and school administration) under Dr. Janey, to a 5 year plan under Rhee is a good thing. The way things are going under the "Rhee" plan, it appears that we are seeing, as Kathy Patterson suggested in the Post, history repeating itself with a downward spiral of charges and counter-charges between the executive and legislative until there is yet another systematic upheaval and everyone loses yet again. In short, she is moving quickly, but in a backward direction.
Further, projects whose deals had been cut and work began prior tho is first day in office, are not for Fenty to claim. That would be disingenuous and easy to expose.
Of course you are correct, if an election were run today Fenty would likely win. Unless Williams decided to run again or Robert Bobb returned to town to run. He is the incumbent and none of the, as you say it, "credible" candidates have announced an intent to run. I am quite sure that this is strategic. Why put yourself in campaign mode before it is necessary and while you have the Mayor out there making blunder after blunder himself he, in effect, is campaigning against himself. More, there is a developer out there that has guaranteed $2 million dollars to the campaign of his opponent. In short, no need to show your hand before you have to.
HELL YES. While he was criticized for being a bad politician and transparency problems. Sure, he was business focused and annoyed a lot of people who don't get that good business makes life better for everyone. But he managed to get the job done without reeking of corruption every step of the way.
I had a positive opinion of Williams throughout much of his term. My positive opinion of Fenty ended about six months into his.
We disagree, proball. For example (and in no particular order)
On Development- It is completely reasonable for this administration to claim credit for successfully implementing projects that were conceived of in a prior administration. It speaks to managerial competence and follow through.
I'm not trying to denigrate Williams, but who accepts a financial position without knowing whether the company is solvent? It's like Cheh not knowing the names of her fellow council members.
On Rhee- I (and pretty obviously most other parents) believe Rhee is taking DCPS in the right direction. No elected official in DC has both the power and poor judgment to change that direction. Test scores are up, enrollment has stabilized.
On Reinoso- You say strategic plan, I say vision statement. Both are jargon for the same thing.
On a hypothetical alternative candidate- Bobb, Williams, Gray, Brown(s), Faith. Enough said.
Downtown Rez: you make some good points--especially the one on alternative candidates (Bobb, Brown, Faith, etc.). I do think the difference between Williams and Fenty is all about trustworthiness.
We pinged Williams for not knowing about go go, for being aloof and nerdy. In retrospect, those qualities are endearing for a mayor of a big city.
Fenty came in with a rep for constituent services, a homegrown talent who can relate to residents, who cares up speed bumps and lighting and hydrant problems, whatever. He promised the wonky get-stuff-down approach like Williams along with a side of good liberal politics: affordable housing, police accountability, etc.
The big problem facing Fenty is that he's acts like a king. His administration rarely responds to the council for requests for information. He fires people (Clark Ray) with little public comment. He all too regularly calls on Nickles to pick fights. He does not answer reporters questions on such topics as his kids schooling, his outside travel to Dubai (not exactly the Eastern Shore). And he rarely admits error.
When King Fenty is not cutting ribbons, he's dodging questions. We have tremendously high unemployment numbers, a homeless services budget still facing cuts, and the specter of a man feeding his frat brothers millions in contracts.
I don't think Williams would run again. Bobb is long gone. So who are the viable candidates?
Downtown Rez, it is not just a "conception" to attract commercial development and push through those projects to include beginning construction. After that point, the train had already left the station and, if the neophyte Fenty Administration had done anything more than let what was in the works be would have invited costly lawsuits for the city. Those project developers will today tell you that they owe their projects to the Williams Administrations; land and funding was committed pre-Fenty.
Since you don't know "most" parents in the District, your glowing assessment of Rhee's perceived success is suspect on it's face.
For the record a Strategic Plan is a process of defining it strategy, or direction, and making decisions on the allocation of resources to pursue this strategy, including capital and people. A Vision Statement outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be.
There is a clear difference.The previous is very detailed and defines it's strategy based on THAT organizations overarching vision. What Reinoso did was to take another school system's strategy, developed based on it's unique local challenges and paste it onto the District system with no modification to it to tailor it to the District. I remind you, he admitted to cutting and pasting to meet a deadline.
Again, we are nearly a year away from election day and this Mayor is in effect campaigning against himself. At this pace, a "credible" candidate is not going have to do much more than show up without a criminal record.
You are right, we agree to disagree.
I didn't support Fenty then, as I question his morals and integrity and, to this day, my opinion has not changed.
Again, you miss the point, the question was why Williams left public service. It was to work in the private sector. If your memory fails you, this lovely city was "insolvent" when he took over. He brought it to solvency. When leaving public service he said that he likes working with broken systems. He was considering a presidency of one of the local universities after leaving which, too, was facing economic crisis. I am quite sure he has gainful employment. He was never sanctioned by the D.C. Bar for professional fiscal mismanagement. Junior was.
We will disagree.
Though I'm sure we do agree that, wherever the (talented) Mr Williams is, he is pleased as punch that the city just this year received its first ever AAA bond rating on Wall Street. He his no doubt thrilled to see "junior" build on his own signature achievement and take it to a higher level
First AAA Bond Rating
The District has received its first AAA bond rating, making it eligible for lower interest rates for upcoming capital projects, according the city's chief financial officer.
Yesterday, Standard & Poor's assigned the highest possible rating to the series 2009A income-tax secured bonds and series 2009B income-tax secured refunding bonds. "The stable outlook reflects very strong coverage of annual debt service and a history of overall, long-term growth," it said.
The D.C. Council is expected to approve a resolution today to sell bonds to pay for dozens of capital improvement projects worth $652 million.
"In 2010 alone, we will make $4 million less in interest payments, which will go back into the District's general fund," Natwar M. Gandhi, the chief financial officer, said in statement. "We expect these savings to grow over the next four years to as much as $28 million."
The largest amount -- more than $158 million -- will help modernize public schools. Other projects include nearly $10 million for library renovations and construction and $54 million to improve recreation centers.
-- Nikita Stewart
Yes. I am pleased to see that the District Council and the Mayor have not squandered away all of the Williams gains. One wonders what the District would look like in this turbulent economic climate were it not for the under appreciated Anthony Williams.
I believe it was in his second term that he continued his record of stabilizing the finances of the District.
At that time, the city was able to balance its budget for TEN consecutive years between FY97 and FY06; the cumulative fund balance swung from a DEFICIT of $518 million in FY96 to a SURPLUS of nearly $1.6 BILLION in FY05.
During that same period, the District’s bond ratings went from “junk bond” status to “A” category by all three major rating agencies.
So, I'll say it again, Williams did all of the dirty work, through the financial control board, to place the city on par to being a world class city. I rank him among the nation's great mayor's.
With reference to the library renovations and recreation center improvements, I am certain that these projects will get done. They are certainly worthy causes. However, had this administration followed the appropriate contracting and procurement laws, and had the District Council been paying attention instead of photo op'ing with the Mayor at these inappropriately funded center renovations, they wouldn't at this stage be facing delays.
As a previous reader noted had Fenty continued the Williams practice of holding yearly citizen summits to allow input from the taxpayers on issues vital to the running of the city government perhaps he wouldn't find himself in the pickle he is in with Housing Authority and, dare I say, the law.
Thank you, proballdc.
Given the source, I'll take your grudging acknowledgment of the fact the current mayor brought the DC bond rating up two steps from an "A" to a "AAA" to be on par with your effusive prose about how the previous mayor brought it up two grades from a "BB" (AKA junk status) to an "A" (investment grade).
Of course, in both cases, the partnering with the council (or at least with responsible council members) always helps.
With reference to the library renovations and recreation center improvements, I'll return the favor and grant that Fenty certainly appears Williams' "junior" when compared with the $425 million dollar scandal noted here: http://www.districtdaily.com/2009/11/four-years-ago-a-contracts-scandal-a-similiar-cast-of-characters.html in comment #12.
Mayor Williams went to Freidman Billings and Ramsey....a firm that is still in business.
I too worked for Mayor WIlliams and he was the best for the time.
I disagree Fenty would not win if the election were held tomorrow...
I am basing that un facts. He had an over 52% disapproval rating and this was BEFORE today's current scandals.
Money cannot buy you a vote and because of DC small population all a rival would have to do is raise 750K if they had over 100 volunteers. In this city that is easy to do.
Anything over that is over saturation
Downtown Rez has a lot of the facts on the ground incorrect. It sounds good to say Janey had 15 years modernization plan and Fenty has a 5 year but those in know are saying these projects are overbudget, and shoddy.
Would you let a person build you a house in less than a month when the industry takes 3 months?
The right wing triumphs tonight, thanks to Obama's pussy footing.
D Rez is wrong on all of her "facts", as you correctly point out, Carlie. Nothing Fenty has done comes close to the success Williams had. Fenty has a worse record on civil rights, the one weakness Williams had.
Anyway, tonight shows that Obama's pussy footing is the wrong way to go. Did you see the pic of the fascist the voters of VA elected, surrounded by his troop of white Nazis? Frightening - but that's what happens when the Left is betrayed by double dealing, two timing, back stabbing liars like Obama, Emanuel, Biden, & the rest.
Just like a Fentyite for to take credit for Nat Gandhi's hard work. It wouldn't have mattered if Fenty or Faith were mayor as long as Nat Gandhi was CFO the rating would have gone from A to AAA anyways. This is his work and Williams (with Gandhi before) not Adrian's.
Carlie good points about the recent polling. The polls were flawed but did point at one big problem for Fenty: people, a lot of people just don't like him.
He's done nothing to change the narrative that seemed to harden this past year: the guy just seems like a jerk. Not sure if Williams ever acted as petty as Fenty has.
Jason, Williams could get testy at times but at the same time he maintained a solid business acumen. I recall hearing a story about him holding a cabinet meeting, with Robert Bobb sitting to his left (who had done or "not done" something he had asked, and he addressed the group as such "Since our City Administrator is not on the job today, he will be unable to provide a briefing"---oouch!!
Nonetheless, I will admit that bond ratings are generally the work of the jurisdiction's chief financial officer. Particularly in the District considering that the CFO is independent from the city, appointed by the Mayor (after his multi year appointment is up) but only fire-able by Congress. And yes, Williams did take the District out of congressional financial control with his work as CFO and passed the torch on to Natwar Ghandi. Those are facts. However, Williams, as Mayor, ensured that developers were attracted to and invested in the local economy. His work actually continued into his terms as Mayor.
Williams is, by far, the best Mayor, pound for pound, that the District has ever had.
This "an in-the-know friend says" crap is stale. Can't those other people post for themselves? Because I'm a DCPS parent and volunteer, and I've been to about two dozen schools around the city. And I KNOW schools are greatly improved. I've seen it myself. But, hey, if I'm lying and they're not, the responsible thing to do would be to call out the exact school and problem, not to post some second or third hand BS that a "friend" told you.
What, no props for:
The undeniable facts are that Ghandi is with us because Fenty reappointed him, and the budget is balanced because balancing the budget was a 2006 Fenty campaign promise. And the Mayor has followed through on those promises, even in hard times. I mean, you all are intelligent, adult, good government fiscal conservatives, right?
Give credit where due. Jeez. And they say Fenty's petty...
I miss the former Mayor tremendously. He was honorable, accountable, transparent, followed the law, and did not make government a place only for his friends and relatives. He also was able to let things go. He was not into punishing people for their opinions. He tried to get the best qualified into government. He made mistakes for sure, but he was a man whose methods were logical. The hopes of a fair, professional, nonpartisan government under the current Mayor have died. The rule of law is gone. Employees on the books prior to January 2007 are working and trying to survive under very difficult circumstances. The sad part is that most of these employees supported the Mayor. It seems now that they elected their executioner.
Downtown Rez, Fenty DIDN'T fulfill that promise. DCPS budget WASN'T balanced because Ghandi's representative at DCPS failed to report a 12 million dollar deficit in a budget that Ghandi reported as being "balanced".
It is called "fuzzy math"
Intelligent, adult, good government fiscal conservatives expect REAL balanced budget.
And yes, Ghandi is responsible in that he certified the budget as being balanced when it, in fact, was not.