In the District, Closings shut door on services; City furloughs 13,000 workers

By Paul Duggan
Thursday, March 3, 2011; 11:09 AM

From The Washington Post archives

Published: November 15, 1995, Wednesday, Final Edition

The D.C. government shutdown, Day One:

It wasn't a shutdown, exactly. It was a partial shutdown -- but partial enough to anger people who weren't sure which District agencies would be open yesterday and which wouldn't, and who showed up at municipal offices looking for services that weren't available.

With GOP congressional leaders and President Clinton unable to agree on short-term federal spending legislation, a host of cash-strapped District agencies were forced to cut staffing, public libraries and the Department of Motor Vehicles were closed, and the Department of Public Works suspended road repairs, trash collection and other services.

The city did an about-face, however, on parking tickets. After initially saying that parking enforcement aides would be furloughed, officials announced overnight that the 78 aides, who each write about $ 1,400 worth of parking tickets a day, would be out checking meters as usual.

By furloughing about 13,000 of its 39,000 workers, the city saved about $ 1.2 million yesterday, officials said. But the 26,000 workers who were kept on their jobs cost the city about $ 4.4 million in "uncovered expenses."

So the city, dependent on a technically broke federal government for money, spent a bundle of cash that it didn't have.

And it was miserable outside.

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