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For D.C. Council



Sunday, October 27, 1996; Page C06

As the District fumbled and stumbled its way to the edge of a financial precipice, the D.C. Council -- as a rescue party -- was largely missing in action. Some might say the city was set on its disastrous course through the council's own indulgences and toleration of executive branch excesses. Clearly, the major players in the effort to pull back the city from the cliff have been the D.C. financial control board and chief financial officer -- and not the council. But the District can't achieve fiscal recovery or make sustained progress in addressing serious long-term problems without a fully engaged and politically courageous D.C. Council. That's why the Nov. 5 general election -- in which six of the council's 13 seats are up -- is so important to the city. We believe the race contains candidates who can make a real difference in the city and help form the nucleus of a strong legislative team for the future. Our choices are:

At Large (vote for two): Harold Brazil and Carol Schwartz. We endorsed Mr. Brazil in the Democratic primary because of his strong stand for fiscal discipline, regulatory reforms, a positive business climate and generally good instincts when it comes to looking out for the public interest. We see no reason to change now. Mr. Brazil would be a good pick.

Mrs. Schwartz, a Republican, also was our choice two years ago when she ran a surprisingly strong race against Mayor Barry, garnering 42 percent of the vote on a shoestring budget and with all volunteer help. Like Mr. Brazil, Mrs. Schwartz was often a lone voice in the wilderness for fiscal sanity during her last stint on the council. She opposed every one of those bloated budgets that helped get the city where it is. With Harold Brazil and other council members noted for their vision and guts to make tough decisions, Carol Schwartz can help restore the city to fiscal health and the council to its rightful place in the city. In a field of nine candidates, Mr. Brazil and Mrs. Schwartz stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Ward 2: Jack Evans. Mr. Evans deserves reelection. He often talks a stronger reform game than he delivers. But compared with the majority of his colleagues, Jack Evans is willing to accept fiscal realities and take the resolute actions required to get the city out of its current mess.

Ward 4: Charlene Drew Jarvis. Mrs. Jarvis has the experience, broad knowledge of the government and commitment to the city to be a major contributor to the District's turnaround. Ward 4 voters should give her that chance.

Ward 7: Kevin Chavous. This should be the term in which Mr. Chavous realizes the potential he demonstrated during his first four years in office. The council -- and city -- could benefit from his leadership on ways to reduce costs of government and improve city services.

Ward 8: Sandy Allen. We said in the primary that Sandy Allen offered the best chance for Ward 8 voters to get the kind of leadership and quality of representation they desperately need but have not had. We still think so. She has won one vote of confidence from the primary voters and merits another from voters in the election next week.

© Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company

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