What it is that costs Mayor Fenty points with voters

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Sept. 1 editorial "Mr. Fenty's disconnect," basically reiterated the Post editorial board's endorsement of D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for reelection, stating: "We think that the record shows his well-run administration has begun to reform schools and that it has lowered crime and improved city services in all eight wards."

Respondents to The Post's poll on the Sept. 14 primary, it continued, generally agreed that the District is headed in the right direction and that Mr. Fenty is responsible for that progress.

The editorial dismissed community stalwarts as "mandarins" and the mayor's dealings with the D.C. Council as "silly fights." That conflated his administrative and the council's respective policy and oversight responsibilities and failed to take into account how he has rewarded his supporters and special interests and how he routinely brushes aside legitimate concerns regarding his planning and regulation responsibilities.

Only in passing did it mention the secrecy that has hindered the ability of the council and the public to track Mr. Fenty's decisions, affording him leeway to pursue his and his supporters' interests.

The editorial first characterized his "take-charge, cutting-through-the-bureaucracy, don't-take-no-for-an-answer-style of governing" and then expressed the hope that the candidates move beyond questions of style. In fact, Mr. Fenty's supercilious and secretive administrative style is precisely what accounts for his disconnect with D.C. voters.

John Hammond, Washington

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