City Desk

Fenty on WAMU-FM: ‘I’m the One Making the Tough Decisions’

In an appearance this afternoon on WAMU-FM's Politics Hour, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty made as stinging a rebuke to his political ankle-biters as he ever has.

"The difference, I think, between a councilmember and an executive is, you know, I'm the one making the tough decisions," he said in a lively conversation with host Kojo Nnamdi and reporter Tom Sherwood.

Shades of "I'm the decider" perhaps?

But, more than that, he gave what could prove an effective response to critics who say he's too arrogant, aloof, and personally out-of-touch to deserve a second term as D.C.'s mayor: "We're taking on issues that aren't just tough, we're taking on issues that are intrinsically not politically popular," Fenty said, citing D.C. Public Schools closings, mandating at-will employment for DCPS employees, and implementing taxi meters as examples.

In a version of an answer he deploys often, Hizzoner characterized concerns about his style, his bedside manner, as far removed from the concerns of everyday citizens.

"When they talk to me," Fenty said, "this is what they say: They say, Mayor Fenty, I want to you to keep continuing fixing the schools; I want you to keep driving the crime rate down; I want you to keep renovating schools, liberties, recreation centers. Keep building new construction in the city. I want you to keep the population growing. I want you to keep fixing up hospitals like Greater Southeast. Keep reducing the backlog in child welfare....They say deliver results because that's what we elected you to do."

In another portion of the show, Fenty addressed allegations of malfeasance involving allies Omar Karim and Sinclair Skinner and tens of milliions in parks contracting.

Without once mentioning Karim or SKinner's name, Fenty denied any wrongdoing and called for ongoing investigation by the D.C. Council and city inspector general to run their course. Any contract awards, he said, were "completely removed from the executive branch of government, completely followed the procurement law, and very high-quality work [is] being done."

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  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    I'm the decider.

  • J

    There were Loose Lips shout outs from Tom Sherwood during the interview as well.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    YEA, RIGHT!

  • noodlez

    THIS BAMA AND HIS LAWYER SPEAK HAS GOTS TA GO! ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTIONS DIRECTLY.

    I LOVE THE WAY HE TRIES TO MIMIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY INVOLVED WITH THE CONTRACTS IN QUESTION AND THE IMPROPRIETIES. CLASSIC!

    WE CAN DO BETTA!

  • Georgia Avenue Day

    Um, do we really want to attribute the drop in crime to Fenty or MPD Chief Lanier?

    I think Anthony Williams deserves the honor.

    The drop in crime has nothing to do with improvements to MPD, increased patrols, or that all hands-on-deck silliness.

    DC's drop in crime over the last few years is due to Pookie, Day-Day and TayShawn being priced out of DC in the District's high ass real estate and rental market and shipped off to PG and Charles County (Ward 9) with their Section 8 certificates.

    Also, Williams intiated much of the work that shut down low income apartment buildings and public housing projects throughout the city that have either been gutted and turned into overpriced condos or demolished and turned into condos and retail space.

    Pookie, Day-Day, Tayshawn aka the shit starters....and their aunts/mamas/grandmas are becoming more and more extinct in District and their Jack Johnson's problem now.

  • Tom

    Every time I hear him say "Big City Mayor" I want to donate that much more to Vincent Gray. It's like he's always trying to prove he's a mayor of a big city. In the words of Doug Wilder "Do the Job"!

  • tired

    He is a self righteous idiot.

  • Focus

    Tom Sherwood is tripping. Tell the truth Fenty! Great job!

  • Truth Hurts

    When Sherwood finally shut up, Kojo and Fenty focused on what matters: Results, concrete results. Sherwood only wanted to talk about the same lame stuff as O.C. Nothing substantive, just personalities and meaningless slogans. Like "we can do better". Actually, we can do far worse by going back to the old days of DC.

  • F. Douglass

    LL, your "I'm the Decider" reference is VERY prescient! adrian has clearly come from the same playpen as his fellow short bus, republican classmate George W. Bush. i.e., if you repeat the lie enough, "when they talk to me...this is what they say..." you hope people begin to believe the lie.

    And let's not forget George W. never personally steered a contract to Halliburton or Blackwater Worldwide, as adrian has never personally steered a contract to "Grahamzilla" skinner. Both had underlings do the dirty work, thus allowing for plausible deniability on the part of the executive.

    The rot always starts at the top adrian. You must go!

  • hymesb

    F.Douglas,

    How can you compare Skinner to Blackwater? They did billions of dollars in business. Skinner didn't make enough money to pay off his student loans.

    I find it funny that Sherwood didn't say anything about the large company's getting crazy business.

    It is only when small minority companies get business that people assume someone must be stealing,

    Not enough nerve to call out the big boys Sherwood?

  • noodlez

    FENTY CANT DO ANY BETTER THAN WHAT HE IS DOING NOW!

    HE PEAKED TO EARLY!

    PICTURE THE GUY WHO TALKS A GOOD GAME, BRAGS ON HIS JUNK, BUYING ROUNDS OF DRINKS ON SOMEONE ELSE'S CREDIT CARD, CONVINICES GIRL/GUY WITH ESTEEM ISSUES TO GO BACK TO HIS PLACE, AFTER SOME HEAVY PETTING HIS PREMATURITY GETS THE BEST OF HIM(SPLAT).

    SO NOW AFTER THINGS GOT ALL HOT AND HEATED AND HE KNOW HIS PERFORMANCE WILL BE SUB PAR HE WANTS TO SWTICH GEARS AND TALK FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT ABOUT ALL THE DRINKS HE BOUGHT, SKIRT THE REAL ISSUE ABOUT WHY HE IS THERE AND EXPLAIN HOW YOU ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME AT HIS EXPENSE IN A NOT SO SUTTLE WAY.

    FUCK! SHIT! I GOTTA GO. WOULD LIKE TO DELVE FURTHER BUT GOT TO GET HOOKED UP TO MY LEASH AND GET DRAGGED AROUND UPPER NW AND MOCO FOR THE REST OF THE DAY!

    YALL WORK WITH THAT FOR NOW!

  • Georgia Avenue Day

    Truth, do you really think that because of Gray's association and years of loyality to Barry that Gray will take us back to the days of a control board, a new jack city crack epidemic, and corruption throughout DC government?

    You don't really think that Truth, you have it out for Gray for some personal reason.

    And the corruption in the Fenty administration will soon reveal itself as even steven with some of the bullshit from the Barry era.

  • LOL

    I think that while Fenty is clearly riding the fruits of development brought in by Williams [mainly rec centers and libraries], he deserves the credit for having enough sense to continue much of what williams started.

    Other than that, he is clearly running towards the end of the road [at least i hope he is]. I am willing to get a look at Gray because of how poor of a job Fenty has done. It seems that he wants the perks of the mayor without all of the interests that have to be balanced. Maybe he should have been a city administrator instead.

  • Truth Hurts

    Georgia Ave,
    I've been involved in and/or around local and national political campaigns for 40 years. I don't personally know Gray but I know a great deal about his politics, his donors, his associates and his record. I won't personally benefit no matter who becomes the next mayor. But I've worked and/or lived in DC for my entire life, I love the city, and I firmly believe Gray is an indecisive fake. Does it also trouble me that he's close to Barry and Thomas and that he plays on racial biases? Yes.

  • proballdc

    Can anyone please name a piece of legislation that Fenty introduced while on the council that passed and was not repealed?

  • Anonymous

    "But I've worked and/or lived in DC for my entire life, I love the city, and I firmly believe Gray is an indecisive fake."

    Yeah. And I firmly believe Fenty is a decisive fake.

    If you've been around that long, TH, you'll know that it doesn't really matter who's mayor--it's the mayoral puppet-masters that are really running the show.

  • hymesb

    Anonymus,

    Fenty may be a lot of things. But a Fake is not one. He tells you what he wants to do and does it. The list of accomplishments are real. Critics attempts to dismiss them is telling. Fenty did not have to create a police department or school to improve them. Likewise, he did not have to invent the development industry to encourage the beautification of the District,

    @Georgia ave.

    Yes, I do think Gray would take the city backwards. Just like I think Barry being elected would set the city back. Barry didn't ruin the city by himself. It was his supporting caste as well. Gray and his chief Strategest are both firmly members in that set.

    Gray means a return to power of the same people. Gray is 67 and he isn't bringing in new blood. He would remove it.

    Anyway, even if Gray isn't what we know him to be it is irrelevant. Fenty is doing a very solid job. He has accomplished more than anyone should have expected. There is no logical reason to change direction.

  • ABF

    Everything that Fenty has done is a carbon copy of everyone who has come before him so the only thing he has on the "new and energetic" phrase is that he acts like a two year old Having a tantrum while doing it. Now, that he has surrounded himself with other kids who will kiss his behind instead of telling him what citizens are really thinking, of course all he will hear is praise. We (the real citizens of DC) know that to say something contrary to what he wants to hear will result in 1. Our loss of job if we work for DC Govt, 2. A friend or family members loss of job if he can't get back at us personally. 3. Inspectors coming to our homes or businesses if we have one or 4. Not being awarded a contract we are fully qualified for. THAT'S the only reason there hasn't been louder public outcry towards him. We also know that those of you who are so "supportive of him are only because you are 10 year olds, no qualified for whatever perk, job, contract you have recieved and you know that as soon as he leaves YOU leave too. All of you from NY, Pa, Fl, NJ and other parts can give up as much money as you want but i can trump your cash with MY VOTE! Get out of here!

  • Anonymous

    As fast as humanly possible, no matter how bad it is.

  • S.E.

    All of the "Progress" that Fenty and his supporters brag about was not done by Fenty alone. The support of the Council and the Council Chair was/is a factor.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    hymesb and Truth- you two obviously buy into Fenty's propoganda. Every claim he's making as "progress" tinges on being illegal.

    Checkpoints, aka All Hands on Deck- it's profiling at its worse and at least the courts have ruled against this.

    School reform- the tactic has been to screw everyone who gets in their way, firing any educator vocal against them at will with little support

    Parks and Recreation rehabs- almost a hundred million dollars in taxpayers monies- routed through his frat buddies- and your only defense is its ok because they are minorities and work has gotten done (through third party subcontracts). I don't care if it was 27 cents, what they are doing should be illegal. How many of these contracts would they have gotten if Fenty was not the executive...

    He's taken iffy trips to foreign lands without letting anyone know. His running/frat buddies all have prospered tremendously since he's taken office, done dozens of shady deals, tried to shake down legitimate businesses, and a host of other shit, and this ass clown's buck-tooth grin is enough to convince idiots like you two that we're making progress. Get real. 40 years of being involved in DC politics have made you complacent Truth- is this the best the City can do- really?

  • bloomingdale20001

    OMG...When questions are raised...this administration has always been the first to say let's look into this"

    Bull! Bull! Bull!

    Ok...Mr. Fenty. how about:

    -Grace Wiggins? You did not answer question on why she was fired. Ms. Wiggins.

    -Release the books on NCRC and AWC

    -Allow Agency Director's to testify to the council

    -Why won't the office of D.C.'s Deputy Mayor of Planning Economic Development provide documents to The McMillan Park Committee.

    -Why are FOIA request unanswered.

...