Tips From One Mayor to Another

By David Nakamura and Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's new BFF -- best friend forever -- paid him a visit at City Hall the other day.

Michael R. Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, dropped by the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday afternoon after spending the morning on Capitol Hill.

As Wilson Building watchers know, Fenty (D) has patterned both his open-style "bullpen" office and his school-governance restructuring proposal after the models created by Bloomberg (R). For Fenty, aligning with Bloomberg lends gravitas to his new administration; for Bloomberg, playing mentor to young acolytes adds luster to his growing national political clout.

Having made three trips to the Big Apple, Fenty was eager to entertain Bloomberg. And the New Yorker came bearing gifts: a set of four identical wall clocks of the type usually displayed in, say, stock traders' offices to show times in different parts of the world.

Bloomberg said Fenty would be able to track time in the city's four quadrants -- SE, SW, NE, NW -- and handed him engraved nameplates to label the clocks. "Now you can be sure to leave no jurisdiction without service," Bloomberg said.

In return, Fenty gave Bloomberg a collection of D.C. lapel pins, as well as honorary citizenship. Putting his arm around Bloomberg for the cameras, Fenty made a not-so-subtle reference to Bloomberg's rumored ambitions to live in the White House: "We'd really like to have you as a D.C. resident."

Then, Fenty, Bloomberg and two dozen members of the New York and D.C. press corps headed up to the fifth floor and barged into the D.C. Council's first legislative meeting of the year, where Bloomberg delivered a short pep talk about the merits of mayoral control of schools. The council will vote on Fenty's plan this spring.

"I gave him honorary citizenship," Fenty announced, prompting Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) to quip: "Now you can pay us taxes!"

Not missing a beat, Bloomberg, a successful business executive who voluntarily reduced his mayoral salary as a symbolic gesture, responded: "Well, I make only $1 per year."

Representation of the Taxation

Speaking of taxes, tourists will learn the plight of D.C. residents when it comes to federal matters if council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) gets his way.

Under a proposal Brown made Tuesday, giant LED boards would be placed outside the Wilson Building and the new baseball stadium that show just how much city residents are paying in federal taxes even though the city does not have a vote in Congress.

"The world will see our message," Brown said.

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