Loose Lips

D.C. Under Government Shutdown Would Have No Libraries, Be Filled With Trash

shutterstock_87061514Mayor Vince Gray is set to spend this afternoon considering whether to break federal law by keeping the entire city government operating in the event of a shutdown of the federal government. In the meantime, here's how the city would fare if it did go along with the feds on Oct. 1, according to a presentation from city administrator Allen Lew at today's breakfast with the mayor and the D.C. Council.

About a third of D.C. government employees would stop working, taking the services they provide with them. The Metropolitan Police Department, the fire department, and D.C. public and charter schools would be among the agencies that would keep operating, although paychecks for the employees who kept working would be delayed.

All D.C. libraries would be closed—right in time for legislation that would have expanded their hours to go into effect. Department of Parks and Recreation recreation centers and Department of Motor Vehicles offices would also be closed. Licensing and permitting at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs would stop, but restaurant health inspections would continue.

The District Department of Transportation would also stop routine street repairs, according to Lew. LL's waiting for an answer from the mayor's office on whether parking laws would be enforced—during the 1995 shutdown, after much debate, parking officers were kept on the job.

Trash pick-up would start a week after the government shutdown, running every other week after that. That's unless Councilmember Jack Evans, who wants garbage pick-up to be classified as an essential public health function, gets his way. "The one thing that constituents will start noticing very quickly is when trash starts piling up in the streets," Evans said at the meeting.

City agencies are working on their individual shutdown, but LL already has the Council's draft plan from Monday. The Council would stay fully staffed for Tuesday's staff meeting, with staff reductions to follow after that. By Oct. 3, each councilmember would be left only with one personal office staffer and one committee staffer.

Garbage photo by Shutterstock

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