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Thomas bills would set new limits on Fenty administration

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer would be prohibited from transferring any funds to the D.C. Housing Authority and its subsidiaries for 90 days, under emergency legislation that Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) plans to introduce Tuesday.

The Department of Parks and Recreation would also have to notify the council of any transactions of $75,000 or greater, under the bill.

The legislation is one of three measures Thomas is introducing Tuesday that involve the council's recent disputes with the administration.

The legislation that would stop transfers stems from the council's probe of an agreement between the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and the housing authority to transfer millions of dollars to the independent agency to build parks, recreation centers and ball fields.

The housing authority has awarded contracts in excess of $1 million without council approval, which Attorney General Peter J. Nickles has declared an unlawful practice. Nickles has said that future contracts should go to the council for approval but any contracts already awarded are "legal and binding" to the chagrin of several council members.

Thomas, chairman of the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation, discussed his legislation at a news briefing Monday.

He is also introducing a resolution that would give his committee the power to issue subpoenas to provide the council with documents and to force witnesses to testify about the transferred funds.

Thomas and three other council members, Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), held a hearing Friday to look into the transfers and contracts.

Representatives of the housing authority testified, but council members were upset that Larry Dwyer, who runs one of the housing authority's development arm's D.C. Housing Enterprises, did not appear.

The third measure addresses Fenty's recent re-appointment of Ximena Hartsock as interim director of the parks and recreation department for 180 days while he seeks a replacement. The mayor re-appointed her after the council rejected her in a 7 to 5 vote.

The bill would amend city law so that "a nominee shall not serve as an acting subordinate agency head...or in any hold-over capacity..." if rejected.

The mayor would also have just 60 days to nominate a replacement if the council disapproves his initial nominee.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 2, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  City Finances , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  
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Neil Rodgers, Chief of Staff of Harry Thomas was the Interim Director of DPR when the first DC Housing Authority Contracts were awarded. Neil Rodgers and Neil Albert's feud is the main reason behind Harry Thomas attitude regarding DPR matters. Neil Rodgers wanted the Direction of DPR but Fenty promoted Albert and dismissed Rodgers. Rodgers' jeaulosy of Albert inspired him to work for Harry Thomas. Harry Thomas is just Rodgers puppet and Rodgers' only agenda is to take DPR down. Employees at DPR are often tricked by Rodgers fake caring intentions...mostly because DPR has been a warehouse of unwanted -lazy government employees who realize they are protected by Thomas. No DPR administration will succeed until Harry Thomas leaves DPR alone. DPR is filled with deadweight and if Hartsock can't clean it up, nobody can't.
In the meantime Harry fights to retain some of the worst workers...and there goes my tax money.

Posted by: nhfaa | November 2, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

The liberal Council of the District of Columbia is a joke! Who takes these morons serious?

Ward 3 D.C. Resident

Posted by: illegalalien | November 3, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

The City Council is grandstanding. Pure and simple. They have decided to nitpick everything the executive branch does and wants to add more layers of oversight. Therefore, giving them more power to put their own people in the position to get business. Progress be damned. I would try my best to by-pass them if it was me. If you didn't, they would just hold everything up and then turn around and say that you aren't doing anything.

This is about the building of parks to give families a place to take their children. Harry Thomas and Gray almost brag about their authority to hold things up.

Posted by: politicalrealist | November 3, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Political Realist: I agree 100 percent. I see it this way: my taxes still the same but my 12 year old son, who has been playing on crappy fields since he was 6, is now enjoying Fort Reno recently unveiled by Ximena Hartsock. If any of the future projects are held up, Thomas should expect parents and kids protesting outside his office. Thomas and Gray are just grandstanding but Mary Cheh...she is such a disappointment.

Posted by: helen345 | November 4, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Your claims of lazy, unwanted government workers at DPR lead one to believe that you are either Mary Beth Soza (Hartsock's DRP employee that wrote the so-called "un-bias" editorial in The Washington Post canonizing Hartsock as DPR's Lord & Saviour)or a member of her incompetent "transitional team." Whichever assumption is true, here are the facts:

(1) Under the leadership ofthe "outlawed Hartsock" and her "transition team of Teach America, DCPS employees," DPR failed to open as many recreation centers as the former directors did with what you called "lazy government workers."

(2) During the "outlawed Hartsock's" short, six-month tenure at DPR, she illegally funneled over $30 million in taxpayers' dollars to Fenty's frat buddy-Omar Karim of BANNEKER VENTURES. That's a $5 million a month give-a-way to Fenty's "friends and family plan" at the expense of residents that have a vested interest in the city; and, who are not recent implants--as is the case with Hartsock and her "transition team" of Midwesterners.

(3) Under the leadership of the "outlawed Hartsock" and her "transition team," 11 full-time, Project Managers surf the internet all day on the--GOVERNMENT's DIME--due to her contracting their work to Fenty's frat buddy-- Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures.

(4) Under the leadership of the "outlawed Hartsock" and her “transition team," small businesses that sub-contract with DPR have to pay Fenty's frat buddy, Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures, a 9% extortion, MAFIA STYLE FEE--to do business with the government of District of Columbia.

(5) 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.


Posted by: dcnatives | November 4, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

(continuation of earlier post)

(6) Under the leadership of the "outlawed Hartsock," DPR's employees that you referred to as "lazy and unwanted," (I can only assume are CODE WORDS for, African Americans in non-domesticated positions) are 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 veiled racist beliefs that African Americans are only capable cleaning toilets at DPR.

(7) 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. What the council, constituents, and the rest of the nation have learned that: Hartsock is a legal liability to the District of Columbia, and if the council doesn't demand her and the transition teams' RESIGNATIONS--the feds will come a knocking!

There is definitely, "fire in the minds of men" in the District and Hartsock and her "transition team” are the UNWANTED, GOVERNMENT CON ARTISTS that Fenty and Nickels will ultimately use as a sacrificial offering to extinguish the inferno Hartsock has fueled by steering millions of taxpayers' dollars to Fenty's frat buddy- Omar Karim of Banneker Ventures.

VOTERS of District of Columbia WILL NOT FORGET Councilmember Thomas’ noble and unyielding efforts to end Hartsock’s and her “transition team's" pillage of the taxpayers' coffer and their contempt for laws that govern the District of Columbia!

Nhfaa-- you, Hartsock and her "gang of Teach America implants" have been busted by Councilmember Thomas; stop hating and start packing-- y'all days are numbered at DPR!

Posted by: dcnatives | November 4, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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