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Fenty, council members meet on Hartsock

A delegation of five council members met with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) Monday evening as planned to discuss the mayor's controversial re-appointment of Ximena Hartsock as interim director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) requested the meeting after a tense period of arguments between the legislative body and the mayor's administration. Several council members were upset after Fenty signed an executive order to hold Hartsock over in the job for another 180 days despite a 7 to 5 council vote to deny her confirmation as permanent director.

Gray and council members Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), David A. Catania (I-At Large), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) comprised the delegation. They traveled to the mayor's bullpen for the meeting, sitting in one of the glass conference rooms.

Gray went as chairman while Bowser and Catania represented council members who supported Hartsock's confirmation and Cheh and Thomas represented those who rejected her. Hartsock has been a polarizing figure in parks and recreation, particularly in a plan to privatize child care centers that left employees without work.

Her confirmation hearing, however, drew criticism for some statements made about her Chilean roots.

No word yet from the mayor and council on what's next.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 10, 2009; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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With no facts as to what came of this meeting, what is the point of this blog?

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | November 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Mary Chey and Harry Thomas regurgitated the racist rhetoric that was spouted against Mrs. Hartsock at the hearing?

I suppose they would have to considering the color of her skin appears to be what matters most to them.

Posted by: 8-man | November 10, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

What matters is that the council denied her confirmation and, she, like others before her, should not be allowed to continue to be paid by the city in contravention to that decision.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | November 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: nivla | November 10, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Her confirmation hearing, however, drew criticism for some statements made about her Chilean roots."

That's what you are calling it? Several councilmembers said she was unfit for the job because as a hispanic woman she was unable to understand the needs of black residents or male residents.

That's not 'criticism'. That's racism and sexism.

I'm not a huge fan of the Fenty administration, but by most accounts this woman was actually working wonders with Parks and Rec. The reason for the battle against her? Parks and Rec has been a department run solely for the sake of providing jobs, the parks were in terrible shape, and accountability was nonexistent.

She started to change a lot of that, and that doesn't sit well in DC.

The blatant racist and sexist attacks on here at her confirmation were almost unbelievable.

So, no, it wasn't just some mild 'criticism of her Chilean roots'.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

This is the same department were contracts were funneled through. ...she is incompetent and possibly a theif.

If any councilmember makes an "agreement" that is a councilmember that does not need my money

Posted by: 411Tibby | November 10, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Correction - Bowser and Catinia were there to be the "boot lickers" they are for Fenty and his corrupt administration.

Bowser's head would explod if she had an independent thought. Ward 4 has no representative on the Council and will be in the same boat until they can get rid of Bowser.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | November 10, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

After everything, they are still trying to talk to Fenty, still extending the olive branch. I'll give you one guess what that result is. Why talk to someone who does not listen? Don't talk, act!!!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | November 10, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

According to WCP, Hartsock is supposed to go on 12/1

Posted by: candycane1 | November 10, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The decision to oust her was all about politics and nothing to do with the excellent job she was doing. Watch your confirmation hearing and you'll see the only detractors were a few disgruntled former employees.

I hope they choose to keep her in the post, but really, after all the mud-raking they put her through, I can't see why she or anyone else for that matter would want the job.

Posted by: GetOuttaHere | November 11, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Always quick to say disgruntled former employees. How about employees who have the institutional knowledge of the department who Hartsock and her appointees feared because they KNOW HOW to run a department and they don't.


Posted by: reddog19 | November 11, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

How many qualified Americans in this city are without jobs?

The mayor could not find another potential candidate to replace Ms. Hartsock?

What is the real deal? Is it too hard to find a foolish person that is willing to break the laws before they are confirmed?

Proud to be an American, but make me understand this craziness about a non-citizen seeking a six figure favor when so many experienced and law abiding citizens are jobless, especially in this city.

Buy American!

Posted by: shank2sb | November 11, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of a conversation with Fenty? He is just going to do what he pleases anyway. Good thing it's raining because otherwise he could have been out riding his bike with his friends.

Posted by: southyrndiva | November 11, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser does whatever King Fenty bids her to do. This woman doesn't have a mind of her own. Bowser doesn't represent the voters in Ward 4. She represent her majesty King Fenty. She needs to go to. For the record, I didn't vote for Bowser as most non voters and voters in Ward 4.

Posted by: Ward4DC | November 11, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

The constituents have learned that Hartsock is a legal liability to the District of Columbia, and the council needs to continue its efforts to remove her!

Under the leadership of the "outlawed Hartsock," she openly and notoriously terminated most of DPR’s African Americans in MSS positions, that out preformed Hartsock's "transition team" of overpaid, underachievers from DCPS. Hartsock's unjust, mass firing of experienced, veteran employees was based solely on her beliefs that African Americans are only capable cleaning toilets at DPR.

Under the leadership of the "outlawed Hartsock" and her "transition team," over $70 million in federal funds have been abolished from DPR's budget due to her decision to close DPR's day-care centers-which were ENTIRELY FUNDED by the FEDs. Due to her actions, over 160 DPR day-care employees were unjustly fired and given two weeks severance pay.

Hartsock, who earns more than any other director in the history of DPR--$165,000 per yr-and her incompetent group of "transition cronies," illegally earning as much as $120,000 per yr. as starting salaries at DPR, have and continue to exploit taxpayers of the District of Columbia.

The council will lose all respect from the constituents if this non-citizen is allowed to continue creating a "trail of tears" amongst the citizens.

Posted by: dcnatives | November 11, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

UMM - Those great DPR veterans who were terminated??? No loss - they were hardly competent - JUST LOOK AT THE PARKS AND THE REC CENTERS!!!!! There's a reason why they're a mess and haven't been properly taken care of for years . .

Posted by: speedylegs | November 12, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Why does the DC Council continue to try and find middle ground, or attempt to seek compromise with a Mayor who has made clear that he does not respect the legislative branch or the laws of the District of Columbia?

Fenty is a despot. The Council must move around him or over him, whichever will best serve the citizens of DC.

This Mayor has no intention of doing the right thing. His service is to self.

Posted by: 2belinda | November 12, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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