What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bus Barn to be or not to be.............How will Ward 4 be represented?

Today’s actions by Council Chairman Kwame Brown demonstrates exactly how our City Council should not work.  Mid term changes in Chairmanships of oversight Committee’s adds nothing to the playing field but trouble.  With Council in recess until after Labor Day it is clear that there are wounds to heal,  and opportunities for those with new assignments to step up and be noticed. Sadly, the vote 12 for and one opposed was left up to Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells to fend for himself.  I may not always agree with Tommy but rest assured today was clearly not their brightest moment.  Petty egotistical nonsense was the call of the day when the reading took place and the vote was taken.  Left standing alone was probably one of the brightest of current serving members.  Tommy stood his ground and opposed the actions based on the sheer fact that it didn’t serve the residents of the city well. His short work on the Transportation Committee jump started many programs that were left idle or not even thought of before.  Street cars for H Street, NE - improved bus routes, and more bike lanes. To mention a few. But the biggest looser could well be the voters of Ward 4 as our current Councilmember Muriel Bowser will now assume the seat as the Council's representation on the WMATA Board.  This is a great way to start off her campaign for re-election as I see it.  She will no longer be able to ride the fence here in the ward.  But have to take a position and stand on her decision. Just as the be fumbled actions of Chairman Brown were taking place Ward 4 residents had a bomb dropped on them with news that there are considerations to have the Bus Barn on 14th Street, between Buchanan and Decatur  moved to the site of Walter Reed Army Hospital.  As you may be aware the Army is to give about ½ of that property to the District later this year.  With no solid plans on the table,  and community groups working hard to get what they think would be a great array of stores and services brought to the prized area,  Bowser can now no longer ride the fence on the issue.  Already,  late today a hastily prepared press released was put out with the words “Alert” attached announcing that Bowser would not support a new Bus Barn on the Walter Reed site.  Clang, clang, clang went the trolley as the as the bus of opportunity made a pit stop to refuel. This single issue  could serve the community well.  Not just the results but the process itself. As it will clearly be a defining moment in leadership style and a clear opportunity to put a check and balance system into place so we can all judge the current elected for leadership qualities, honesty, integrity, and the ability to bring compromise to the community leaders.  This is a tall order for the little darling of Ward 4 as she is best suited for Ribbon Cutting’s. Showing up smiling and not really knowing how to get into the needs of the residents and to see projects through fruition.  Looking a constituent in the face and solving an issue and being around to hear them say thank you is a tall order for some elected. Her even knowing of on going problems and never offering any assistance is one we experience here in Ward 4 every day. So Council is off for the Summer but Ward 4 is truly gearing up for a continuous race for the coveted Council Chair to represent some of the finest people in the city.  You can bet that I am engaged and connected to the problems and eager to help find a resolve.  Not always the case for our current elected. Does her unity today with 11 other councilmembers help or hurt the prospects?  It clearly places the burden on Muriel to perform,  get off the fence and represent the community.  Which part will soon to be determined. When elected to the Ward 4 City Council seat, I will represent the citizens of Ward 4 first and foremost. I will not ride the fence but stand up for the needs and services that each resident deserves to have. I will honor the oath that I will take and see that Ward 4 has a voice at the table on every issue. I will represent those that elect me to represent them and their concerns. My donations will not come from outside sources vying for my interest ahead of that of the residents of Ward 4. Visit my web site and read more about what I will do when elected. www.keithjarrell2012.com

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