Mendelson Writes to Make Things Right
D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson continued his letter writing campaign to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) since he says he cannot get any answers from the administration during hearings.
This time the question is crossing guards. Where are they?
In a letter dated today, Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, said he held a hearing on legislation that would require the administration to provide its plan for school crossing safety. Though no one from the administration testified at the hearing, he said he received a letter from police Chief Cathy Lanier saying the legislation is not needed because the police and D.C. Public Schools would be working together on the issue.
The lack of crossing guards particularly irks Mendelson, who had questioned the administration's decision to move the responsibility from the police department to the District Department of Transportation.
Mendelson has said he believes the police department can often fill the gap because crossing guards are part-time, low-wage positions that are difficult to fill and keep filled.
His letter-writing campaign today extended to Frank Seales Jr., interim director of DDOT. "The responsibility for this was removed from the Metropolitan Police Department to the Department of Transportation because it was said at the time, D-DOT could administer this program more successfully," he wrote. "This has yet to become apparent."
But Mendelson wasn't done with Fenty. He sent him another letter on a different subject.
A day after the labor unions began circulating a flier criticizing Fenty at the Democratic National Convention, Mendelson sent a letter to the mayor asking why the administration is stripping the Office of Labor Management Partnership, created in 1997 to improve labor relations, of its $802,000 to operate.
The administration, he says in the letter, has told him that the unions have pulled out of the 7, partnership.
But Mendelson says the unions have been feeling slighted by the administration.
"The government cannot succeed if its leaders are at war with its workers," Mendelson wrote. "I am sure that you agree that the working men and women in District government are vital partners as we strive to be a world-class city. Disbanding the OLMPC, and the labor management partnership councils, is incongruent with this goal. Quite simply, alienating those workers on whom we rely is a serious mistake."
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