Loose Lips

Fenty Basks in Glow of D.C.’s Shiny New Things

Public Works Champion: Mayor Adrian Fenty has plenty of practice. (Photo courtesy Executive Office of the Mayor via Creative Commons license)

Public Works Champion: Mayor Adrian Fenty has plenty of practice. (Photo courtesy Executive Office of the Mayor via Creative Commons license)

With the mayor’s race heading into the pre-primary home stretch, incumbent Adrian Fenty is rushing to cut as many ribbons as he can. This morning, Fenty will help reopen Ward 3’s Stoddert Elementary School, which has been completely renovated and expanded with two new wings. D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a figure who has loomed large in the mayor’s battle with main rival Vincent Gray, is scheduled to be on hand as well.

If a public schools ribbon cutting isn’t picture-perfect enough for news cameras, a high-profile endorsement of Fenty by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg should allow our Hizzoner to dominate the Tuesday local news cycle.

The Bloomberg event, scheduled for 12:45 p.m., will be at Carmine’s, a brand new New York restaurant import on 7th Street NW in Penn Quarter. Fenty already went to Carmine’s pasta-cutting ceremony earlier this month! It certainly can’t hurt to make a return visit to a buzzworthy new restaurant known for “big portions” and “low prices.” (What’s not to love?)

But wait, there's more. In an event described as “one part economic development announcement, one part campaign function” by the Washington Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer, Fenty climbed on a construction excavator yesterday and helped kick off the demolition of Hogate’s restaurant on the Southwest Waterfront. Per Niebauer:

The Fenty administration is slated, in the next four weeks, to cut the ribbon on Canal Park at 200 M St. SE, break ground on the CityMarket at O project in Shaw, launch the revitalization of the Howard Theatre, open the new Yes! Organic Market in Ward 8 and announce a master developer for the redevelopment of the Hill East waterfront.

There is one big construction project where the mayor will be denied a pre-primary ribbon cutting: the reopening of the Georgetown Public Library. Following fires at the historic library and Eastern Market on April 30, 2007—separate events, but happening the same terrible day—Fenty boldly declared the two would be rebuilt. The library is scheduled to reopen in October. Eastern Market reopened last year.

Big city mayors love ribbon cuttings. For Fenty, they reinforce his campaign’s getting-things-done messaging and provide a platform to attack Gray. “What I think Chairman Gray’s idea of getting something done is talking about it,” Fenty said during a WPFW-FM radio debate in July. “The only thing he ever did for Deanwood Recreation Center is talk about. The only thing he did for Kenilworth was talk about it. We’re the ones who did everything from putting the money in the budget to doing the design to building it. Chairman Gray talking about something isn’t the same thing as building it.” (Hmmm—Boss Shepherd, “the Mayor BlackBerry of his time,” liked to build things, too.)

While Gray, as D.C. Council chairman, doesn’t usually get to be front and center at such ribbon-cutting events, he’ll get a chance to square off against the mayor directly during a WAMU-FM radio debate tomorrow. Maybe someone will ask if Fenty and Gray if D.C. taxpayers can afford all these shiny things. Kojo?

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    and boss shepherd has a statue in his honor now. fenty deserves the same?

  • DC Guy

    OMG, that photo is bordering on the Michael Dukakis "tank shot".

    No, we cannot afford all of this, but that's ok for Mayor Fenty. He never met a balanced budget and has depleted our multi-billion dollar surplus.

    Now that we don't have a surplus, what will another four years of a Mayor Fenty Administration look like?

    My guess: Moten and Spokesperson and gatekeeper, with unqualified contractors continuing to rape DC taxpayers while our Virginia based legal counsel funnels additional monies to Fenty friends in the name of lawsuit settlements, followed fairly quickly by the reconstitution of the Control Board.

    Oh Joy!

  • Really?

    Soooo. Are we going to get a press conference on why only 8 schools met AYP?

    I think that would be more important to this adminstrationi then say ribbon cutting and dinning with Bloomberg.

  • Korrupt

    How can anyone vote for this man?

  • Contrarian

    Building stuff is great, that is capital funds.

    Then there is budgeting money to operate and staff the new/rebuilt buildings. Check the details on the number of programs and staffing at DC libraries, and Dept. Parks and Recreation.

    Schools, well DCPS is its own special world...

    P.S. Good to welcome the five burroughs voters to DC...

  • David Hoffman

    Voter WANT FAIRNESS in contracting and other opportunties! Not just contracts steered to "Friends of Fenty", campaign contributers, etc.

    Voters WANT JOBS! When you drive by these buildings being built, how many DC residents are working at these sites? BTW - before you answer, we have been video taping them for the last 3 years!

    Voters want ANSWERS, not go-go parties, media assaults, ribbon cuttings, hip-hop songs blasting through the streets about how "everything is great-everything is legal", the District is moving forward (even if it's moving forward-fast, off the edge of a cliff) and bused-in supporters badgering them to support Fenty but mysteriously don't know what school they went to, what neighborhood they live in, or what's really going on when you ask them specific questions.

    But what do you expect? Everyone uses variations of this line, ".....I cannot answer any questions about any specifics. I'll be happy to get the answers from someone and report back to you." How is the city being run then if no one knows anything and openly admits in public about knowing NOTHING? Is it possible to have someone HIRED to run things who actually KNOWS whats going on in their HEAD as they're being paid to? Here are some answers we've had to dig up on our own since we tired of the same old scripts and people wanted to know:

    Q. Who is getting the jobs to build all those parks, recreation centers, libraries?
    A. Not DC residents according to DC's audit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdKT5yh3Qu0

    Q. Are DC residents paying a fair price for these parks, libraries, recreation centers, etc?
    A. Not that I could tell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbFpMdskMis

    Q. Are the best qualified people getting the contracts to build these parks, recreation centers, libraries, schools, etc?
    A. You decide, but in my humble opinion, no: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbFpMdskMis

    Q. If District of Columbia residents are paying too much for anything, does it affect the city's finances? Are we safe financially based on the person hired (elected) to run the executive branch of government?
    A. I'd say no, but you decide: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/12/AR2010081206269.html

    Q. Can DC residents do anything to prevent any contractor from being paid for something they reject such as NO-BID contracts?
    A. Absolutely not! Are you kidding: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/Fenty-backer-in-line-for-no-bid-contract-498482-100810519.html

    Q. Can DC residents 'FIRE' or vote someone out of office this upcoming election? Is there anything stopping people from using ill-gotten gains to commit voter fraud in the upcoming election? You must be joking, right?
    A. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2010/08/fenty_blocks_vote-buying_bill.html

    Q. Are Elders treated with respect by Fenty?
    A. This elder certainly wasn't and I am outraged: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0909/656054.html

    Q. Are causes for women given the same and fair treatment that other 'Friends of Fenty' supported causes are given?
    A. I would have to say, no at least the world renowned Women's Organization fighting Cancer "Susan Komen" wasn't: http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/dc/reasons-still-unclear-about-lack-of-reimbursement-for-dc-police-services-081610

    What are your thoughts about these things?

  • Sean

    I don't know what's worse, Adrian Fenty thinking Bloomberg's opinion matters in a DC Election, or Bloomber thinking his opinion should matter in a DC election.

  • Exterminator

    I guess we are doing grand-openings in a sequential way. I do believe the newly remodeled Eastern is ready. Uh Oh!!! My sources said that it has all the bells and whistles than one could ask for...but the rodents have returned too. Mice have been scurring all through the 71 million dollar building... Just maybe that is why the ribbon cutting ceremony is on hold...no need to have a group of people smiling and saying "cheese" for photo-ops and then little mickey...jumps into the frame.

  • SuperS

    What happened to the article the post thinks we suck?