We have all read the recent story about the cell phone bills for the members of City Council and the fact that some are using their phones for an extended amount of minutes. Additionally while traveling, on vacation and even some while in Europe. Should we be paying for this luxury? My blog details some of the abuse that the city is experienceing.
What's in a name?
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Ward 4 again comes up short on leadership, costing us another $1.4 million dollars.
In the last several weeks we've seen D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray move millions of dollars between various projects, a maneuver called a "reprogramming," to address emergency needs — construction projects, safety upgrades, lawsuit settlements. Reprogrammings are a fact of life in any budget year, as unexpected issues crop up all the time, and most are run-of-the-mill.
Here's four recent reprogrammings of interest. Take note of the last one, fans of off-leash dog parks.
• The Metropolitan Police Department's overhaul of 2850 New York Ave. NE, where several divisions will soon move, requires $3.5 million. Gray has proposed reprogramming that money from 13 separate funds, including $1.1 million from "Penn Ave. SE properties" (unclear as to what that is), $46,225 from vacant property inspection and abatement, $215,566 from IT system modernization, and $1.44 million from the Georgia Avenue Great Streets project. The latter has not gone over well with D.C. Council members Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, andMuriel Bowser, D-Ward 4, who have issued a joint disapproval, delaying the funding move until after the council's summer recess. The District's Great Streets initiative is a joint effort of numerous agencies to transform nine struggling corridors, including Seventh Street-Georgia Avenue. "We still need it for the Georgia Avenue Great Streets," Bowser told me. "If the administration has a way to replenish it, then we can talk about it."
• The Department of Housing and Community Development reprogrammed $1.25 million previously budgeted for the Langston Terrace and Greenleaf Gardens projects to pay a lawsuit settlement related to work on Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. D.C. Housing Enterprises Inc., a nonprofit subsidiary of the D.C. Housing Authority, hired Cheverly's Civil Construction Inc. several years back to relocate a school bus parking lot on the Canal Park site to a new location deep in Southwest D.C. Civil Construction completed the project, but according to reprogramming documents, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty halted the parking lot project late in his administration and cut off funding. The contractor sued, and is now due $1.25 million.