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Cheh pulls prank on D.C. council members

Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) proposed spending $500,000 to put a Starbucks in the John A. Wilson Building and $2 million to help enter residents in The Washington Post's annual Peeps Contest. She also wants to require the mayor to immediately deliver any sporting events tickets to the D.C. Council and to merge his office with that of the city administrator and deputy mayor to save $15 million.

Actually, she doesn't want to do any of that. Cheh, who postponed an April Fool's joke to avoid conflicting with two mayoral candidacy announcements at the end of March, released a fake memo to her colleagues Wednesday with outrageous recommendations for the fiscal 2011 budget that took a jab at tensions between Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and the council.

"Finally, a little levity in the Wilson Building," Cheh said, laughing. "Every once in a while, we have take ourselves less seriously."

For example, one of her recommendations reads:

"Direct that whoever occupies the position of Mayor of the District of Columbia immediately transmit to the Council any tickets to sporting events delivered to the Executive Office of the Mayor for re-delivery to the Council. It is anticipated that this action will save approximately $160,000 annually in staff time devoted to press releases and answering press inquiries. This action may also provide Councilmembers with alternative recreational activities in lieu of conducting investigative hearings, thus resulting in a savings of $760,000. This latter savings may be too conjectural to be certified by the Chief Financial Officer, and Members should not rely on it for gap closing."

Another reads:
"For the purposes of the FY2010 gap closing, direct that no funds shall be spent by the Office of the Attorney General to issue opinions supporting the legality of Mayoral actions. It will be assumed that the Attorney General will reach such a conclusion in all cases, thus resulting in savings of $360,000 staff time and office resources for the remainder of the Fiscal Year. "

Here is the full memo.

By Nikita Stewart  |  May 12, 2010; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Nikita Stewart  
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the one on the attorney general and assuming his opinions will support the mayor's actions is funny. a nice jab at the institution.

Posted by: whomp1 | May 12, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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