City Desk

Weekend in Review: Snowbigdeal

Everything's closed, we got tons of snow, there's more in the forecast. Yeah, we know all of the above.

What we really want to know is what happened within the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty between roughly 5 pm and 9 pm. At the former hour, his people put out the word that the D.C. public schools would open a mere two hours late. What ambition!

That shocker came on the heels of a blizzard of far more cautious announcements: Montgomery County schools would be closed until Wednesday. And the school systems in just about every other regional county were counting Monday out, easy.

So on what twisted logic did Fenty and schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee actually believe that they could get teachers and students past impassible streets and sidewalks and into their often out-of-boundary schools? That would be question No. 1.

Question No. 2, logically, is who screamed at them following the 5 pm two-hours-late announcement and talked some sense into them? Was it the teachers? Hard to suppose that this group would have swayed the powers that be. Was it parents? Doubt it—parents want the schools to stay open. Was it Peter Nickles? Again, doubt it—Mr. Hard Guy couldn't be expected to advocate for such softness.

We're waiting for answers.

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  • Grumpy

    DC always takes a 'let them eat ice' attitude towards their students during inclement winter weather. Kind of speaks to how they get treated in general. Safety should be first.

  • ZZ

    Actually, I think it was upper-middle-class parents--the one group Rhee pretends to listen to. Check out DC Urban Moms discussion forums for lots of outrage...

  • DC

    What about DC Government employees who have an extra hour to get to work when metro is not completely up and running. Can we stop making political decisions and start making smart decisions?

  • Terry Miller

    The metro is not open in the above ground stations, and even where open, is operating at 30 minute intervals. The buses are running very few routes. I guess those poor fools who are either too poor to own a SUV or too concerned about the environment to want one, are going to be stuck going, as my father used to say, by shank's mare (which I took to mean on foot). My father also used to say, if wishes were horses beggars would ride, by which I took to say, it is all well and good to wish for something, like an "on time" opening of D.C. government, but wishing doesn't make it so.

    Fenty has blown this big time.

  • sigmund freud

    Fenty, thinking only politically, stuck his big foot in his big mouth at Saturday's press conference when he said the city would be open for business as normal on Monday. Then reality reared it's ugly head, like even main streets like 14th still unplowed as of Sunday 4 pm and side streets still unplowed. He wanted to try to save face at the expense of kids and decided with Queen Rhee to open 2 hours late. What a d*ckhead! Please Vincent Gray or Kwame Brown run for mayor.

  • Ward One Resident

    A friend of mine who is a teacher at a DCPS school said that teachers and administrators did play into the change to a point. At his NE school, only four teachers and an administrator were going to be able to get in, which meant that all the kids who showed up would have been herded into the cafeteria/auditorium and spent the day there. That's not exactly the kind of studious atmosphere I'm sure that Rhee was thinking of when DCPS put out that email saying they were keeping the schools open for educational purposes....

  • Joan

    The Mayor lacks maturity and sound judgment. Just because his buddy Obama made fun of DC's snow response last year, Fenty thinks he needs to prove himself - like a kid in middle school was teased by the bigger kids.

    This has convinced me to support Anybody But Fenty!

  • sigmund freud

    boohoo, my comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Skipper

    It was a dumb ego move by Fenty trying to show how tough DC was. The problem was that while he's got four-wheel drive SUVs driven by others that allow him and his kids to get around, the rest of DC residents, students, teachers, and gov't employees aren't so lucky.

  • Ward1Resident

    Thank goodness someone finally was looking out for the best interest of students, and it wasn't Mayor Fenty or Michelle Rhee.

  • Sick of DC’s FENTY Tea-bag party.

    Please! Give me a break! He man is doing his job. How can you find fault in a Mayor trying everything in his power to keep the District moving?

    I guess he would have been more "mature" if he sat on his hands and did nothing.

    The "ANYBODY BUT FENTY" crowd should take its true name "FENTY IS WRONG NO MATTER WHAT" crowd or THE FENTY TEA-BAGGERS. That is just how they act. Everything the opponent does is a vast conspiracy and/or immatur/self-serving act. If something goes well, it was the previous administration's idea. They make mountains out of mole hills everytime.

    I am sick of them. They give the district a bad name. Not Fenty. They are the ones that knowingly voted a crack head into office after "the B**** set him up.".

    They are like the Black tea-baggers of DC. Same one that governed in DC's racial heyday...the 1980's...when crack was king and Washington was know for its Bullets.

    Go TEA-BAGGERS!

  • old man

    A significant amount of DCPS students depend on school to provide two solid meals. If they miss meals on Friday and on Monday, those kids lives are significantly worse. Everybody in this city can't afford to load up at the grocery store so that they feed their kids for four straight days or at the least it causes significant strain on a family's finances. This vitrol in this post just shows how this city is changing.

  • Bette

    If you can't feed them, don't breed them.

  • Terry Miller

    I heard that before about missing meals, and it is a problem. But the other problem in DC that does not apply in other jurisdictions, is that DC school students have to make their way to school either by walking (if it is close enough) or via public transportation. If the public transportation is not functioning and the walkways are not relatively clear, you are putting kids in harms way. If a kid is hurt or killed on the way to school, who will be responsible?

  • Sick of DC’s FENTY Tea-bag party.

    Obviously, there is too much snow out there for school at this point.

    However, this article asks about the decision making on Friday between 5pm and 9pm.

    Again, it is the Mayors JOB to try to keep the district and its schools running. Later, they adjusted their expectations. They kept them closed. That looks like a straight up and down decision. But...no. it has to be used as an example of Fenty's arrogance, immaturity, secret keeping and insensitivity.

    Really! I know that many people that blog are city employees and/or effected business people with their own personal agendas. But, come on!

    To THE FENTY TEA-BAGGERS, Fenty could fart in his own bathroom and they would claim he crapped on a nunks forehead.

  • Sick of DC’s FENTY Tea-bag party.

    Obviously, there is too much snow out there for school at this point.

    However, this article asks about the decision making on Friday between 5pm and 9pm.

    Again, it is the Mayors JOB to try to keep the district and its schools running. Later, they adjusted their expectations. They kept them closed. That looks like a straight up and down decision. But...no. it has to be used as an example of Fenty's arrogance, immaturity, secret keeping and insensitivity.

    Really! I know that many people that blog are city employees and/or effected business people with their own personal agendas. But, come on!

    To THE FENTY TEA-BAGGERS, Fenty could fart in his own bathroom and they would claim he crapped on a nun's forehead.

  • Jennifer N

    "City employees and/or effected business people" -- should have been "affected" not "effected". Michelle Rhee would back me on this.
    Anyway, DC mayors have historically followed the federal system, i.e., if the feds were closed, DC govt was closed. I see why Fenty departed from that policy --to make sure that citizens could access services, and to keep things moving. The problem is this: you must allow for acts of God and create and follow an emergency plan. There are essential personnel who are designated to keep things moving. Leave things to them. Create a comprehensive system for homework if schools are closed (and we could all have guessed that today they would be). Instead, the schools are closed at the 11th hour and the govt is open. Many metro stations are closed; most bus routes aren't running; many roads are not plowed. How are people supposed to get to work? And then back home when the melted snow becomes an ice slick?
    I support you, Fenty, but I want you to do more than just keep things open. Create a process that makes sense. Require employees to work from home. Almost anything is better than having folks practically killing themselves to get to work to show you that they're as "tough" as you think you are.

  • Jennifer N

    sorry -- should have been we could all have guessed that they would have been.

  • sedcdude

    Joan that about sums it up right there, 1st it was Bush he attempted to emulate now the big O, too funny and obvious, too late TURTLE BOY, FENTY is who you are and FENTY is who you will ever be, pitiful!

  • sedcdude

    @ Sick of DC's FENTY Tea-bag party
    I guess he would have been more "mature" if he sat on his hands and did nothing."

    ACTUALLY this may have been a move on his part:

    "for it is better to keep your mouth closed and keep people wondering if you are a fool rather than to open your mouth and prove it"

    Less is more in some instances and you have to allow nature to take its course sometimes, that right there is good ol' fashion wisdom and maturity, you can't force everything and you definitely can't please everyone, so with that said and to point out your tired, stale references to your shortsighted DC flashback, APPLES AND ORANGES!

    Due to the fact that dc does not receive an abundance of snow on a regular basis, he should have taken a defensive approach as opposed to offensive, see what happens and then react, he had nothing to lose after it was obvious that this storm would be crippling, IS WHAT IT IS!

    BTW cultures and eras are cyclical in AMERICA, I'm sick and tired of people identifying DC's past ONLY by Mr. Barry's indiscretions, violence and crack, last time I checked political scandals, drug use and violence is still very much apart of anywhere USA!

    Once upon a time there were FLOURISHING "BLACK" NEIGHBORHOODS, BUSINESSES, UNITY, GOVERNANCE, ORDER and common sense throughout the city, I wonder why and where it went?

    IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW NOW YOU DO!!

  • sedcdude

    @ Sick of DC's FENTY Tea-bag party
    I guess he would have been more "mature" if he sat on his hands and did nothing."

    GOOD MOVE is what I meant!

  • sedcdude

    Lastly, this is indicative of his POLITICAL STYLE, hardnose, get er' done mentality, but for real for real he's soft as a twinky!

    Look at the varying opinions in this thread, including the pompous arrogance of Terry Miller and the reasoning of Jennifer. Fenty wants to be something he is not and if you are a leader and comfortable in your own skin your decisions should be balanced and deliberate, not wishy washy and favoritist....I'm just saying!

    ME for mayor in 2010!

  • Sick Of FENTY TEA-BAGGERS

    Yes, I agree that there is more to the history of DC than the Murder/Crack days of Barry. I am not denegrating Fredrick Douglas, Charles Hamilton Houston, or Charles Drew.

    I am denegrating bs crooked politicians like Barry, Gray, Chavious, Harry Thomas, Vincent Orange and the lot. They and their monetary supporters they did bring that stuff on the district,

    They are the political opponents of Fenty that try to focus us on his personality instead of accomplishments are the people that ran the city with Barry.

    They are the ones that over-saw that era. Now, I will concede that no one person brought that into being. But it did happen on their watch.

    Fenty does not come from that crowd and they have never supported him. I have a very difficult time rationalizing any support for them. I am Black. I have been in DC since the mid 80's. I won't listen to fools that ran the District and its CHILDREN into the ground.

    Their whole arguement is "Fenty is a jerk.". Fenty is aloof. Fenty isn't really Black. Fenty is Gay. Fenty beats his wife. Fenty excercised too much. Fenty is a thief. Fenty steals candy from homeless black children". They have and will say anything.

    All I am saying is judge people by what they accomplish. Not by whether or not you think they have a big ego. You have no idea what Fenty thinks except by what he does.

    And, I tend to trust the person that is not pointing fingers. Especially if I can tell he/she is really making improvements.

    And what he does is try to accomplish things. You see he didn't allow his staff to stay at home today. Work is obviously important to him.

    Vincent Gray and the council are sitting at home watching sportcenter replays. Fenty is the one that has to dig us out. All the council will do is wait a week and blame him for spending too much money. Monday morning quarterbacking is easy. But we already know what they did when they had the ball in their hands. Crack dealers, Murder central status, functinal illeteracy, and the Control board.

    And, no, that is not the entire history of the district. But is is the RECENT HISTORY of the district. So recent, it should not be ignored in the face of their constant mudslinging.

  • Terry Miller

    Schedule DC, you describe my post with terms like "Pompous Arrogance" I read them over and I couldn't figure out why you thought so. Maybe you didn't like my father's sayings? He also used to say "you make a better door than a window" when I stood in front of the TV. (It took a long time for me to figure this one out). My father was a country boy who never graduated from high school, but I thought he had a way with words. I think now these are just old country sayings that have passed out of usage. So sorry if I came off as patronizing.

    At any rate, I raised kids in D.C. Rode the metro bus with them to D.C. public schools because there are no school buses for kids, and for a while I didn't have a car. Once I even took my kid to school based on the latest report on TV (they didn't have computers like they do now) only to have to turn right around and take him home again in the snow. I an a native Washingtonian and I stayed in the city during some of its darkest hours because, good, bad or indifferent, I love this town.

    This most recent snow wasn't a close call. It was stupid to even act like it was a close call. I guess if Fenty had paid attention to the polls, he would have learned that he needs to show a little more compassion, not less.

  • sedcdude

    @ TERRY
    "I guess those poor fools who are either too poor to own a SUV"

    I pondered that statement and that statement only and after reading fully I'm at fault!

    @ Sick Of FENTY TEA-BAGGERS
    I hve to agree with you that those recent hitorical facts did occur on said watches, but that does not devoid FENTY'S incompetence, cronyist acts and lack thereof bona fied political position, can't be both, choose, good and fair or dismissive and appeasing!

  • sedcdude

    srry for the typo's

  • Terry Miller

    Sedcdude, No problem!

  • Jennifer N

    look -- be honest. fenty hasn't done anything that previous mayors haven't done with impunity. toss otherwise undeserving pals plum contracts? check. hire advisors so abrasive and borderline incompetent that even dyed-in-the-wool brown nosers don't like them? perhaps. but he has done things -- good things -- that his predecessors weren't able to accomplish. we just liked them better. i don't know why, but we did. even mr. bowtie, mayor williams, because he was a starched shirt when he came into office and he was a starched shirt when he left. consistent, you know?

    the problem with fenty's administration is that fenty has become unlikable. we all met him during the campaign; we liked him, heck, even loved him in some quarters. but the "get the job done no matter what" and the "i'm the mayor" nonsense has to go.

  • S.E.

    @ Sick Of FENTY TEA-BAGGERS:

    Fenty is a A$$ WIPE

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