Supercan plan is trashed

December 18, 2013

Under Mayor Gray’s plan, thee old 32-gallon cans (left) would be replaced next year with new 48-gallon and 64-gallon cans. (Mike DeBonis/The Washington Post)

Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s plan to pay for $9 million worth of new trash and recycling bins ran into D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s nitpicking buzzsaw Tuesday. Mendelson convinced his colleagues to unanimously back his objections to diverting part of a payment to the city retiree health-care fund, forcing Hizzoner to find new funds to tap.

The Gray administration, as well as Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, said the extra money wasn’t necessary to keep the health fund solvent, but Mendelson (D) accused them of using insufficiently conservative assumptions in making that calculation — and he had the backing of some public employee unions in doing so. Now Gray (D) may have to wait till February, when new revenue estimates will be issued and the fiscal 2013 surplus is declared, to pay for one of his election-season priorities.

In other news:

“Pay-to-play” talk hits the dais as council votes to approve parking contract over Vincent Orange’s objections (WAMU-FMLoose LipsWashingtonian)

With no ado whatsoever, minimum wage hike gets final approval (WAMU-FMWTTG-TVLoose LipsReuters)

Why is Qatar investing so heavily in D.C. real estate? (Post)

Pediatrician Robert Dickey will serve 18 months on child porn charge (PostWfinds hRC-TV)

2013 murder count now exceeds 2012 count — even after subtracting Navy Yard killings (WRC-TV)

Historic designation, delays pushed streetcar barn cost from $10.7 million to $25.3 million (WAMU-FM)

Eric Payne vows to continue his lawsuit against top D.C. officials (Post)

D.C. police use a data-mining program of questionable effectiveness (Al Jazeera America)

J.C. Hayward finds her career and reputation in limbo as Options PCS investigation plays out (Post)

If Options closes, most students would likely go to DCPS schools (Post)

Should charter board have done more to act on special-ed lapses? (GGW)

Tommy Wells proposes giving cops and firefighters retroactive COLAs — even without a new contract (AP)

Young mother raped under Watts Branch bridge (WJLA-TV)

MedStar plans sprawling downtown clinic (WBJ)

Doesn’t look like there will be an Apple Store at CityCenter (WBJ)

Vincent Gray says a Wizards practice facility with “some important community purposes associated with it” could get city assistance (Wizards Insider)

DDOT reverses court on Wisconsin Avenue traffic calming: bowing to “political pressure” or popular will? (GGW)

Study underway to improve Canal Road pedestrian access to and from Georgetown (Patch)

Besides Metro and gondola, Georgetown 2018 plan includes many smaller-bore improvements (WBJG’town MetropolitanUrbanTurf)

Reminder to firearm owners: Gun re-registration starts Jan. 1 (WRC-TV)

More manpower needed to help residents apply for public benefits? (DCFPI)

Grocery workers ratify new contract (WBJ)

Gray is named “Scrooge of the Year” by D.C. Jobs With Justice (Union City)

The District’s per capita personal income is 79 percent above the national figure (WBJ)

D.C. cop may be guilty of human trafficking, not mere prostitution (Post letter)

Thieves stole choir members’ credit cards during performance (WJLA-TV)

Still no leads in Ron Kirby murder (Post)

A little courtesy during late-starting council hearings would go a long way (WRC-TV)

W.C. Smith takes another stab at developing Congress Heights site (WBJ)

Some work has started on M Street cycletrack (WAMU-FM)

Georgetown Theater refurb won’t include apartments (Current via Dish)

How D.C. Cab got D.C. right (DCist)

16th Street Heights resident Virginia McLaurin, 104, still volunteers! (WRC-TVWJLA-TV)

Merry Christmas from the 1920s D.C. jail (DCist)

Top chef R.J. Cooper is locked in dispute with key investor (Post)

Le Diplomate is the toughest reservation in D.C., “far and away” (Young & Hungry)

H Street: the place for foie gras (PoPville)

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 | December 17, 2013