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Posted at 12:29 PM ET, 08/19/2010

If elected mayor, who would Gray hire?

By David Alpert

Mayor Adrian Fenty says he focuses on the big picure and hires "A+" people. I'd say some are A+, some A-, a few B- or C. Would Vince Gray [Fenty's opponent in the D.C. mayoral race] hire A+ people? Would he keep some of Fenty's on? Would he hire even more A+ people than Fenty has?

I wish Gray would come up with a list of cabinet appointees now, because it would make the decision of who to vote for for Mayor much easier. Keep Harriet Tregoning, Gabe Klein and Michelle Rhee while sending Peter Nickles back to Great Falls? Skies are looking sunny with Gray!

But if they're all out and their successors lack the boldness and vision to really make DC better, choosing instead to always take the safe road, electing Gray would cast all the bright progress DC has made into shadow.

This is the real question which has been on many of our minds, including Dan Malouff's.

Gray has steadfastly refused to talk about appointments, except for assuring everyone that he would fire Peter Nickles. That's probably the smart move from his standpoint; Presidential candidates refuse to talk about Cabinet appointees too. However, it also complicates our task of choosing.

Continue reading this piece by David Alpert at Greater Greater Washington here.

David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By David Alpert  | August 19, 2010; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network  
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"I wish Gray would come up with a list of cabinet appointees now, because it would make the decision of who to vote for for Mayor much easier."


When we were deciding on who should take Anthony Williams place no one asked that question.

Nobody knew about Rhee. In fact Janny didn't know he was out until 12 midnight before the announcement. In fact during the last election education reform wasn't even a Fenty campaign issues.

When didn't know he would bring on Lanier.In fact many D.C. Citizens like Charles Ramsey.

So if we didn't place those restrictions on Fenty why would you ask this of Gray?

Is it because he is an older African-American male who is native to D.C.?

Posted by: thelildiva4u | August 19, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It's because we like the things that Rhee, Tregoning and Klein have accomplished, want them to be able to accomplish more along the same lines, but are concerned that Gray won't treat those things as priorities. If Gray said he would keep those people on, we'd know that he is serious about maintaining the progress that has happened in those departments.

It's not that we want to place "restrictions" on Gray, it's that we're looking for a sign that he will treat those departments as priorities in the same way that Fenty has.

Fenty's treatment of those departments is our favorite thing about Fenty. If Gray could convince us he'd be as good or better in those areas, then I'd vote for him instead of Fenty.

Make sense?

Posted by: Dan Malouff | August 19, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

You claim he should keep Michele Rhee on, and I am honestly wondering why. As a high school student in the DC public schools (School without Walls), I have seen a lot of what Rhee has supposedly "reformed", and I do not like it. Instead of focussing on renevating and improving such schools as Wilson, Deal, School Without Walls, and other schools that attract Higher income kids, how about renevating Ballou, Cardozo, Roosevelt, and others. Recently I read about the completion of renevations of Stoddert Elementary School, which is known for the vast amount of money it's parents can raise. She is bringing in teachers who have little expirience, especially with DC, and fancy pieces of pper while firing tachers who have the expirience neccisary to control the kids. They may not be awsome teachers, but kids who need the most help are more likely to pay attention to a teacher who lives up the block or was born in the same hospital then some chirpy rich lady who went to an Ivy league school two years ago and just moved to DC for the safety from being fired because they are the newest teachers.

Rhee is stepping on feet, and we have already seen small protests of students and teachers. What you haven't heard are the rumers of boycotting schools and major marches to protest rhee's disregard for anyone who isn't white, rich, and influencial and her hatred of senior teachers.

Posted by: davidofhumans | August 19, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

somebody tell me why keep Klein?

Is it because people say he's good, or have you checked for yourself?

Whats make a good DDOT official?

How many complaints are there from citizens? If a few grade A.

Has he managed his budgets. If he has grade A.

How does he decide on street repairs. With community buy in, is it politically driven according to different sectors of the city? if not grade A.

What is the condition of your street? have you checked lately? If its ok...grade A.

Does his agency hire local contractors that hire DC residents to fight unemployment in DC? Have you checked? If he does grade A.

Is DDOT's contracts sole source or competively bid? Equal playing field, Grade A.

How will you check the answers to these questions? Try it. You can't.

Posted by: gordonbundy | August 19, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I have been trying to get DDOT to remove a utility cut on my street since the beginning of this year. All I get are promises that never get fulfilled, while DDOT spends money and time on bike lanes, bike sharing, blah, blah, blah, all of which just benefits the yuppies. If Gabe Klein can't even get a metal plate removed from a road, then his boss doesn't deserve my vote. So much for Fenty's focus on neighborhood services!

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 19, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Gabe Klien????????

What are you grading on a curve.

Does a waste of money and lost of repution at the federal level even rate a C--. I think the H street debacle and his hissy fit even merit a job at a hotdog stands.

Planner are important for a developing city. Gray should call Robert Bobb and ask who he would recommend.

Posted by: CultureClub | August 19, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's stupid request. Let him win the primary and the November election and then go through the transition process like every other elected official. Why do we need an idea of who he would be hiring before he wins? Let us just assume that he will be hiring people with some sense and experience first and foremost. That alone is a big step up from the present administration.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 20, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Keep Gabe Klein? Are you pre-smoking that medical marijuana? Gabe Klein is WHY the District lost a 25 million dollar bid for federal funds for the streetcar project. He is not remotely interested in anything "complicated" or "process oriented" like meeting the requirements of federal applications for funds. He is like a dreamy eyed kid who lacks the ability to discern the difference between a lofty idea and a practical goal. He is a marketing guy. All he knows is branding. Not streets, not bridges, not potholes, not traffic signals and certainly not regional coordination. He has absolutely NO transportation operation experience and his regional peers know this which results in our being taken advantage of.

When Gabe Klein sent his electro-minions off on a headhunting mission following Gray's withdrawal of a PORTION of the streetcar funding because of a lack of planning details he sealed his OWN fate in a Gray administration. It turns out, with the rejection of the Klein application for federal funding, that Gray, in fact, was right.

Gray, like Fenty in 2006, should not be in the business of making public his decisions regarding cabinet members prior to getting the job. That would be a bit cocky. If he does nothing but hire those with credentials in their craft and demonstrable success experience, he will be mountains above the current Fenty cabinet.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 20, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth would we impose an additional (and unnecessary test) on candidate Gray?

When Fenty won the September 2006 primary he immediately started talking about how Chief Ramsay had to go. Technically, he had not been elected mayor, but he chose to talk about his appointments prematurely.

As Fenty has shown us, these appointments are made by the mayor and the appointees serve at the pleasure of the mayor. Let's not insert some arbitrary factors into the election process, than can be distorted into "reasons" to vote (or not vote) for Vincent Gray.

Posted by: sheridaw | August 20, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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