D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said Wednesday he wants Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to immediately freeze hiring and promotions to begin the process of closing a $175 million budget shortfall.
Gray, the presumptive mayor-elect to replace Fenty in January, said he hopes the hiring and spending freeze will be implemented shortly after the fiscal year 2011 budget year begins Friday.
"We want hiring freezes, freezes on promotions," Gray said. "That will help us from the very beginning to try to find the money we want to and as we get into this more, we can remove those freezes."
A spokesman for Fenty was not immediately available to comment. In the coming weeks, Fenty will be charged with sending the council a revised fiscal 2011 budget to account for the shortfall. The council will then be able to modify Fenty's proposal.
But Gray said he's hopeful he and Fenty, who have developed a more cordial relationship in the aftermath of the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, can work together on a revised budget before it's sent to the council.
"In these two weeks we have worked very closely together," Gray said after he taped an appearance on The Q&A Cafe w/ Carol Joynt show. "It's been a good spirit, broadly, so I am hoping we can take the same spirit and translate it into this budget challenge."