Workers arrived in the office of Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) this week to figure out how to install a shower in his first-floor office - a luxury anytime, but especially when the mayor has proposed layoffs, salary freezes and other cuts.
A shower would be so luxurious that those who spotted the workers dropped a dime with D.C. Wire to express their outrage.
But the outrage, according to Evans and council Secretary Cynthia Brock-Smith, is unwarranted.
"There's not going to be a shower," Brock-Smith said. "There was a misunderstanding."
Brock-Smith said her office frequently explores ideas when council members raise them.
Evans, she said, asked about the possibility of installing a shower more than a year ago. His office is in the same corner of the building as the fifth-floor office of Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and the fourth-floor digs of Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) who both have the benefit of roomy bathrooms but no showers.
A year ago, Evans was contemplating how nice it would be to have a bathroom with a shower, though every council member has access to the shower facilities on the fifth floor, Brock-Smith said.
The longtime-council member said in an interview, however, that he had already abandoned the idea after considering the expense.
But Brock-Smith said support staff continued to have the shower on a "to-do list" and just got around to visiting Evans's office this week. "It's been off the exploratory list for at least a year or more," Brock-Smith said.
Deluged by questions about the luxury in these hard times, Brock-Smith said, "I told my staff, 'We're not doing that.' He's using the fifth-floor shower like everyone else."