D.C. Council digs in to 2014 budget


D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and his colleagues are ready to take their whack at Mayor Vincent Gray’s spending proposals. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

After a week of spring break, budget season resumes this week at the John A. Wilson Building.

On Monday morning, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) officially presented his 2014 spending plan to the D.C. Council, making his yearly appearance before the legislative dais to take questions. With a few exceptions — particularly David A. Catania (I-At Large), who had sharp inquiries for Gray on education priorities and overall spending growth — the members kept the questioning relatively friendly and mild.

Starting Wednesday and continuing through the month, individual council committees will hold public hearings as they decide how to rework Gray’s proposal. The council is scheduled to take the first of two votes on the budget on May 22.

Also starting Wednesday, Gray is holding a series of town hall meetings where residents can get more information about his spending plan. The meetings are more informational than interactive; gripes or suggestions are, at this point in the process, better directed to the council.

A list of the mayoral forums follows; unless otherwise specified, the meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m:

Wednesday, April 10
Ward 5: Luke C. Moore Academy, 1001 Monroe St. NE

Thursday, April 11
Ward 1: Columbia Heights Recreation Center, 1480 Girard St. NW

Wednesday, April 17
Ward 8: Turner Elementary School, 3264 Stanton Road SE

Thursday, April 18
Ward 4: Brightwood Education Campus, 1300 Nicholson St. NW

Saturday, April 20
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Youth hearing: Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Ward 2: Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW

Thursday, April 25
Ward 6: Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan, 215 G St. NE

Tuesday, April 30
Ward 3: Alice Deal Middle School, 3815 Fort Drive NW

Thursday, May 2
Ward 7: Department of Employment Services headquarters, 4058 Minnesota Ave. NE

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | April 8, 2013