Barry Blocking the Park
Yesterday Councilmember Marion Barry (D – Ward 8) issued a disapproval motion to block the contract for the new park here in LeDroit Park. Mr. Barry couldn’t even bother to issue an explanation for meddling in a Ward One park and Councilmember Jim Graham is duly upset. Contracts over $1 million must be submitted to the Council and such contracts are approved if the Council takes no action within a certain number of days. Mr. Barry’s procedural move will delay the project by at least 45 days until the Council reconvenes in September and can vote on the motion.
Mr. Barry also issued another mysterious disapproval resolution yesterday to block DDOT’s consolidation of its offices into one building near Nats Stadium. Mr. Barry was stripped of his chairmanship in March after it was revealed last July that he was issuing do-nothing city contracts to his girlfriend. Our sources tell us that since then he has taken to generously sprinkling disapproval measures for projects throughout the District in a desperate move to show that he still matters.
The park can still move forward without the extra delay if Mr. Barry is convinced— likely with an old-school lobbying effort— to withdraw his motion. It’s a pity, though, that important government projects are subject to the whims of childish councilmembers. It should not take yet another lobbying effort to get this park built.
In a city that decries Congressional meddling in local affairs, it’s truly ironic that a desperately need Ward One project is put on hold by a councilmember we didn’t even elect.