In a surprise move, the NW Current has decided to endorse Council Chairman Vince Gray. In making this decision, the Editorial staff has cited the cronyism and city finances as the main reasons to vote against incumbent Adrian Fenty:
The story of the past four years is not unblemished.
Mr. Fenty initiated the excessive rainy-day spending, we do not see him as any more fiscally sound. Indeed, Mr. Gray at least included budgetary language calling for replenishment of the reserves.
We have further problems with Mr. Fenty’s record. The dark side of his focus on results is a seeming arrogance toward other elected officials and constituents, as well as efforts to justify cronyism as necessary I the name of efficiency.
The saga of reconstruction of recreation centers is the most telling example. When the council refused to turn over the long-delayed projects to the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization, the Fenty administration funneled contracts through the public housing authority, a way to avoid council review. The selected bidders just happened to be run by Mayor Fenty’s fraternity brothers, who would have earned outlandish fees. The council’s ongoing investigation may never turn up legal wrongdoing, but that does not mean the administration’s conduct was appropriate.
One will wonder if such an endorsement will give Mr. Gray the votes he needs from Ward 3 to unseat Mr. Fenty.