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Who Pulled Officials From Cheh Forum?

District staff routinely make the rounds of evening community meetings to discuss school issues. That's what Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) had in mind when she invited three of them to her education forum at Alice Deal Middle School last night.

But when you're chair of the council's government operations committee, proposing to reduce Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's office budget by $287,000 and pressing him for details about the donation of the firetruck donated to the Peaceoholics, then the routine is not that routine.

A couple of hours before the 6:30 meeting, according to sources, Cheh's staff received a call with the news that DCPS operations director Jesus Aguirre and two officials from the District's school construction agency, Tony Robinson and Will Mangum, would be no shows. After more checking, sources said, word came back that they stayed away under orders from Fenty's office.

D.C. State Board of Education member Laura McGiffert Slover and interim DCPS ombudsman Jeff Ross did appear as promised.

Cheh had no comment. Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said she could not confirm that anyone in the mayor's office gave such an order.

Bill Turque

By Bill Turque  |  May 1, 2009; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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So childish. But it's nice to see the State Board playing a part and talking to people.

Posted by: cleanconscience | May 1, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

This is so typical of Mayor Fenty. He is so arrogant. I wish DC citizens could fire him.

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | May 1, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse


You can (and hopefully will) fire him . . . in about 1.5 years!

Posted by: schooletal | May 1, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Fenty's behavior once again shows how little he cares for DC residents. It is all about him and his obsession to be all-powerful.

He is more concerned with engaging in petty revenge against those who dare challenge him than bringing residents together to improve City services and ultimately the lives of many people.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | May 2, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I suspect Cheh will be the one losing the election

Posted by: secochran | May 2, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I mean, WOW!!! I knew Fenty was beyond infantile, but withholding public officials (paid with taxpayer dollars) from District taxpayers at a community forum to discuss matters of education is tantamount to executive insubordination. Yes, I said, insubordination. Fenty has forgotten he, too, is an EMPLOYEE of the District Government. He TOO is paid by those same taxpayer dollars.

Punishing taxpayers to settle a grudge with a councilperson, in my opinion, is an offensive impeachable offense.

This story has played itself over and over again with this Mayor. It has become his Modus Operendi. It is no accident or coincidence.

The council is doing their diligence in carefully reviewing the Mayor's budget and making cuts where they see they need to be made. Even if that is in the Executive Office of the Mayor.

The Mayor has made a 15% reduction in the budget to every agency of the government. However, in his own office, there are no such cuts, except on paper. Let me explain:

What the Mayor has done, and you can check this out, is recently move his cronnies out of his office and into other agencies of the government reducing his office's overhead. Then he restricts those agencies from laying those cronnies off in his mandatory 15% staff reductions. That would be OK if they added value to government service, but they don't. Many have been given titles as special assistant to this or that and take up space in an office and do very little day to day work. Ohhhh, and they all carry the same 100k+ salary that they had at the Mayor's office. Agencies are restricted from modifying their salaries.

So, agency directors have to fire employees that serve the mission of their operations to accomodate the Mayor's cronnies.

All of this right under the nose of the D.C. Council and the taxpayer.

Folks, the Mayor really believes that he has replaced Barry as "Mayor for Life". He thinks that he can do what he wants without recourse.

Now, when you see Mayor Fenty on television saying he and the Council are getting along JUST FINE, think back to this article. He puts on a pony show before the cameras and behaves like a spoiled brat when the lights go down.

The District deserves better. ALOT better.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | May 2, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Mayor needed their assistance at the office while he prepares to go somewhere he will not tell us about. On a serious note, will noone have the political guts to run against Fenty?

Posted by: johnklenert | May 4, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

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