City Desk

Selling The Budget To Wards 3 And 8

The Informer has a good piece detailing Mayor Vince Gray's recent town hall forums on the city budget. His messages to Ward 8 and Ward 3 were clearly targeting different audiences:

In Ward 8, Gray talked about the $53 million budget item that would help build a new Ballou Senior High School and the $16 million for Dr. John Hayden Johnson Middle School. He also mentioned the $58 million for capital infrastructure investments at St. Elizabeths east campus in his budget.

The Ward 3 presentation contained the same material but had a somewhat different spin. He stressed that the University of the District of Columbia, the main campus located in the ward on Connecticut Avenue, NW, will receive $39 million for facility modernization and the building of a new student center.

The D.C. Council members who represent Wards 8 and 3 had different approaches to the town hall meetings, as well. D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), a four-term mayor, came into the Savoy gymnasium after Gray started his presentation and when, given the opportunity to speak, blasted Gray's budget.

"I do not support this budget because it is balanced on the backs of the poor," Barry, 76, said. "I did not come to break up this meeting – and I am known for doing that – but I just don't like this budget."

Gray said [if it was] Barry's intent to break up the meeting, he didn't appreciate it.

"I will not back down from anybody," the mayor said defiantly. "If you step up to me, I [will] step right back up."

However, across town, D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) proved to be far more courteous.

"I want to thank the mayor and his budget team for their hard work," Cheh, 60, said. "I am pleased with the budget overall but some changes will be made."

Read the rest at the Informer.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • John

    The building of the Student Center at UDC is a waste of money. Money should be spent on improving the academic programs, hiring professors and classroom bulding modernization. This is making the frosting before you make the cake. Waste!

  • Wrack

    No huge fan of the mayor here, but it's not exactly noteworthy that he gave different speeches to different audiences.

  • Drez

    Good article, and thanks for the link to The Informer.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    Shani Hilton- Dear you must be new to the game... Gray and Barry are at odds because of Gray's timing of the budget presentation. Gray decided to present the budget the day before Barry's re-election and thats RUDE. The argument between the two started at that point and went down hill.

    Due to the proposed budget of the Mayor not actually being the REAL budget his talks are a bag of wind. Gray displaying such an attitude is out of place considering the Council will and can change the budget.

    If I were Barry I would have been frustrated too. Gray can be considered a Jack at this point, just WORTHLESS!! LOL
    Your ARTICLE somewhat tried to put a racial spin: STOP THAT, work on journalism! Truth is Gray was rude and out of character!!

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