Last Tuesday, we elected the people who will lead the District of Columbia starting in January. My colleague, Vince Gray, will take office as our new Mayor and Kwame Brown as Chair of the Council. The challenges before elected leaders are tremendous, and the next several weeks will be crucial in determining the fiscal future of the District.
The Council and Mayor are beginning to address the revenue shortfall and budget gap now anticipated in fiscal year 2011, which started October 1. To that end, the Mayor took immediate action to freeze personnel hiring and procurements. Our government faces a shortfall of $100 million in declining revenue and $75 million in various spending pressures. In the grand scheme of things, we have little control over the economy, we can’t make the stock market perform better, and we can’t make commercial property sell for more. But what we CAN control is what we spend, and I believe that should be the focus of our efforts.
The question on everyone’s mind these days is: What’s next for school reform?
On Wednesday, October 13, Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced her resignation, and Mayor Fenty and Chairman Gray jointly announced the appointment of Kaya Henderson, Rhee’s deputy, to serve as interim Chancellor.
The September Democratic primary has come and gone and the Council’s summer recess is over. It’s back to school, back to work, and back to reality...literally! After a heated campaign, we have my colleagues Vince Gray as the Democratic nominee for Mayor and Kwame Brown for Chair. And we have an outgoing Mayor Fenty with three more months on the job. Together we face a tremendous challenge right off the bat – rebalancing the fiscal year 2011 budget, which began October 1st.
The primary election is over! Congratulations to Vince Gray, who will be the Democratic nominee for Mayor, and to Kwame Brown who will be the nominee to Council Chair. As someone who has been down this road before, I greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication to our city that went into those successful campaigns, and I look forward to working with them on what is best for our entire city.
What challenges will the new mayor and city council face as Washington enters the next decade?
I’m feeling a little more optimistic these days and wondering if we are turning a corner, at least in one respect, with regard to the economy.
This promises to be a long, entertaining summer in terms of Washington’s number one spectator sport, politics.
A reuse of the Hurt Home would be great and very much welcome, but I would like to see it occur in the best possible way for the neighborhood.
States and localities around the nation, of course, are dealing with problems similar to those facing the District: a significant decline in revenues matched up against state and local budgets, which have seen sharp growth through the current decade.
Next week on Wednesday, May 26, the D.C. council will vote on the fiscal year 2011 budget. The District ...