Fenty fills out Gray critique in TV interview
In an extended one-on-one interview with NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt this afternoon, Mayor Adrian Fenty again took aim at contender Vincent Gray and his service in the early '90s administration of Sharon Pratt.
"In the early to mid '90s, the city's finances literally fell through the floor," he said, "because the people who were running the city at the time didn't balance the budget."
But Fenty never referred to any particular action Gray took as Pratt's director of the sprawling human services department.
He did compare the general welfare of the city during the Pratt years to the state of the District today. "Crime was completely out of control," he said. "Fast forward that to today, where we have the lowest number of homicides I think since 1966."
DePuyt called Fenty out for tying Gray to matters beyond his direct control. Fenty said he only sought to draw contrasts: "If you are the incumbent, your first obligation is to demonstrate that you've been able to get things done, that you've delivered results. ... I believe that if you're in a job, and you're getting a job done, you should be allowed to continue, no different from being a news anchor."
One thing is clear: Fenty refuses to be outflanked by Gray on fiscal responsibility. The council chairman has slammed Fenty on the hustings for spending down the city's savings and punting tough budgetary decisions to legislators. Today, Fenty repeatedly referred to his budgetary decisions as "mature" ways to strike a difficult balance between preserving needed city services in a time of stingy revenue.
Fenty also addressed why his well-regarded HIV/AIDS czar, Shannon Hader, abruptly left the city health department. He noted that Hader spent more than three years on the job, "easily the longest-serving HIV/AIDS administrator by at least double," he said. But would not address why she left -- including rumors of a clash with health director Pierre Vigilance --- saying only that "for professional reasons, she's moved on."
DePuyt noted that Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chair of the health committee and usually an ardent Fenty supporter, called Hader's departure "catastrophic" in a Post story today. But Fenty wouldn't directly address the claim: "We have momentum. We're on a upward trajectory," Fenty said, noting that Hader's replacement, Nnemdi Kamanu Elias, has a resume "every bit as exciting and robust as Dr. Hader's was when we hired her."
Also addressed: The Office of Campaign Finance's decision to investigate Chancellor Michelle Rhee for a potential conflict of interest in pursuing private funding for the new teacher contract: "It didn't make any sense," Fenty told DePuyt. "At best, it's very hard to understand where anyone thinks there might be any wrongdoing."
Rhee, he said, "stands on firm ground."
Posted by: candycane1 | June 9, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: joejack65 | June 10, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: starclimber9 | June 10, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ConservativeDemocrat | June 10, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bill121 | June 10, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 10, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: heltonennis | June 10, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ward4DC | June 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1citizen | June 10, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: politicalrealist | June 12, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.