Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) on Friday led his first mayor-council breakfast as the city's chief executive.
The monthly meetings where the mayor breaks bread with the council members and updates them on administrative issues became a source of tension under former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. The meetings were sometimes canceled, and council members complained that the agenda often lacked substance.
On Friday, Gray had nothing on the agenda, but council members did not seem to mind what became a getting-to-know-you meeting with Gray as mayor and newly sworn-in Council member Sekou Biddle (D-At Large). Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) also was in his new role at the breakfast.
"There's no agenda today," Gray said in a brief interview. "This is just a meal."
Gray moved the breakfast to the sixth-floor mayoral suite, which was not used in the Fenty administration. Fenty, who created a bullpen for offices, held the breakfast in a 5th-floor ceremonial conference room.
Gray has said he wants to open the suite to the public and use it more. The conference room where the breakfast was held has a spectacular view of the Washington Monument. "Can you imagine this on the fourth of july?" Gray asked.
Oversized chairs make it possible for just 12 people to sit comfortably at a table. With 13 council members and the mayor, that leaves two people without seats. But council members Michael Brown (I-At large) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) did not attend Friday.
What might be described as a kiddie table was used by City Adminstrator Allen Y. Lew, spokeswoman Linda Wharton-Boyd and chief of staff Gerri Mason Hall.