October 27, 2009

Two-Sided Nickles

We wrote yesterday about Attorney General Peter Nickles’s determination that park construction contracts, including the contract for the new park in LeDroit Park, should have received approval from the City Council. Well, somebody in the mayor’s office must have paid Mr. Nickles a stern phone call; the Post reports that he is now recanting his previous statement.

Mr. Nickles now insists that Council review should be reinstated henceforth, but not retroactively for current construction contracts.

The Council, however, is not too pleased.

Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D) is annoyed and told the Post,

For the attorney general to give a carte blanche green light to these questionable contracts, even before council hearings or any legislative action, is inappropriate and not in compliance with my reading of the law. If they are required to be submitted, we make no distinction between the past and the future. We expect to receive these contracts.

Councilmembers Kwame R. Brown (D – at large) and Harry Thomas Jr. (D – Ward 5) will hold a hearing on the matter on Friday and are threatening to sue to halt the contracts.

However, ANC Commissioner Myla Moss (ANC1B01 – LeDroit Park), in an email to Councilmember Jim Graham (D – Ward 1), wrote that the park project in LeDroit Park

was reviewed and discussed before the Council during the last round of appropriations negotiations at which time the Council voted to allocate funds for the project.

While a bidding process was absent this project was not only transparent, it also involved inter-agency and inter-governmental collaborations.

When we spotted Councilmember Graham at last night’s streetcar open house we didn’t realize the urgency of this issue or we would have strongly expressed our opposition to further delays (while of course chastising the mayor for his illegal maneuverings).

The Council and the mayor’s office are at odds; let’s hope that LeDroit Park doesn’t fall victim to this clash of titans.  In fact there’s something better than hope: you can email Mr. Graham your opinion.

Also, you can attend the LeDroit Park Civic Association meeting tonight; Mr. Graham and Ms. Moss will discuss the issue.  It’s at 7:00 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Avenue).

Categories: Good Goverment, LeDroit Park Park
Tags: , , , , ,

3 Replies

  1. [...] Friday the City Council held a joint hearing on the contracting dispute that has now ensnared the forthcoming park in LeDroit Park. The Post reported that Councilmember [...]

    Our Park in Limbo || Left for LeDroit - November 1, 2009 @ 7:08 pm
  2. [...] contract for the park will be rebid expeditiously and submitted to the Council for approval as required by law.  If all goes well from this point, the park will open in September. Categories: LeDroit Park Park [...]

    A New Park This Fall || Left for LeDroit - January 9, 2010 @ 12:59 pm
  3. [...] The design modifications will be finalized by the beginning of April, after which the mayor’s office will solicit bids, and— this is new!— submit the winning contract to the City Council for review as required by law. [...]

    See You In September || Left for LeDroit - January 27, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

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