The D.C. City Council, hoping to steamline its operations as it enters its third year of limited home rule, has adopted a new committee structure which Council members said is designed to increase efficiency.
The biggest personnel change under the new structure involoves Council member Douglas E. Moore (D-at large), who was stripped of his positions as chairman pro tempore of the Council - a largely honorary post - and chairman of the powerful budget committee.
Accusing Moore of doing an unsatisfactory job and frequently being absent, the other members of the Council dissolved the budget committee this week and reassigned its duties to the committee of the whole, which includes all 13 Council members. A week earlier, the Council had voted to replace Moore as chairman pro tempore with Willie J. Hardy (D-ward 7).
Two other Council committees were also dissolved in the reorganization plan, which was proposed by Council chairman Sterling Tucker. The University of the District of Columbia committee was merged with the committee on education, recreation and youth affairs, while the public safety committee was joined with the juduciary committee.
Former UDC committee chairman William Spaulding (D-ward 5) became chairman of the special committee on adminstration and personnel. Hardy, in addition to becoming chairman pro tempore, was named to head the special committee on advisory neighborhood commissions, which is the Council's liaison with those grass roots community structures.
Moore alone was left to be the one Council member without a committee chairmanship or corresponding prestigious position. Moore blamed his loss of power on his reluctance to go along with policies allegedly dictated to the Council by the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade.
"I would serve as a chairman if it were meaningful. But the most important thing is my integrity and being able to be the kind of person I've always been," Moore said. "I don't owe a thing to the money merchants and they're not going to mortgage my integrity on a committee chairmanship."
Each of the Council's 10 standing committees is responsible for a certain part of the Council's operations, including oversight of various city agencies.
The two most powerful committees, most Council observers agree, are the two that deal with how the city spends and acquires its annual budget of more than $1 billion.
With Moore's budget committee gone, the responsibility for allocating the city's spending plan will fall to the committee of the whole, headed by Council Chairman Tucker. It will be that committee which will make the nuts and bolts decisions on which city agencies and programs should get how much money, whose budget can be raised and whose must be cut.
The other side of the city's financial picture is drawn by the finance and revenue committee, chaired by Marion Barry (D-at large). Barry's committee recommends what taxes, user fees and other forms of revenue are necessary and politically viable.
Both barryand Tucker are likely candidates for major in 1978 and Moore says he is thinking about it, too. Thus, the usual sparring to match anticipated income with desired spending could take on special political overtones in this fall's budget sessions.
Just before the Council voted 10-3 Tuesday to accept the reorganization, Moore called the plan "a smokescreen" that had been designed to help either Tucker of Barry get elected mayor in 1978.
Moore said the new plan concentrates too much power in the hands of the Council chairman, who already is allowed to vote on every Council committee. "This is most unusual," Moore said.
Moore noted that while Tucker claimed the plan would balance committee responsibilities among the Council's members, the number of committees on which indivudual Council members serve varies from two to six. Moore was also critical of the plan because, unlike most committee structures, it does not prohibit members of parties other than the majority party from being committee chairmen.
Moore ciritcized Tucker's plan for giving committee chairmanships to the Council's lone Republican member and to the single member from the Statehood Party, while at the same time "not taking into account a citywide, at-large Democrat" from the city's dominant party.
The other standing committees, their chairmen and responsibilities are:
Committee on Human Resources and Aging, chaired by Polly Shackleton (D-ward 3), which oversees operations of the city's largest agency, the Department of human Resources, as well as the city's independent commissions on the arts and on the aging.
Committee on Education, Recreation and Youth Affairs, whose chairman is Julius Hobson (Statehood at large). This committee has oversight responsibility on the city's public school and college system - including the University of the District of Columbia - and also the library and recreation and youth advocacy departments.
Committee on Housing and Urban Development, chaired by Nadine P. Winter (D-ward 6). Mrs. Winter's committee oversees the city's department of housing and community development, rent control and the office of municipal planning, which studies how land in the city can best be utilized.
Committee on Employment and Economic Development, chaired by the newest member of the Council, Wilhelmina Rolark (D-Ward 8), who defeated the committee's past chairman, James Coates, in last fall's election. Manpower, job training, minimum wage and economic development activities fall under the jurisdiction of this committee, along with banking regulation and the city's efforts in the field of tourism.
Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs, headed by John A. Wilson (D-ward 2). Wilson's committee monitors the city's licensing, consumer affairs, insurance and human rights operations.
Committee on Transportation and Environmental Affairs, chaired by the Council's lone Republican, at-large Council member Jerry A. Moore. The city's transportation and environmental services departments are among the agencies under this committee's oversight jurisdiction. It also monitors affairs of the Metro system affecting the city.
Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, whose chairman is David Clarke (D-ward 1). This committee oversees the city's law enforcement and public safety operations - including the police, fire and corrections departments - and is also the Council's committee for affairs relating to the courts.
Committee on Government Operations, whose chairman is Arrington Dixon (D-ward 4). In addition to conducting the Council's investigation of the city's Department of Human Resources, Dixon's committee oversees operations of independent and administrative city departments, including personnel, general services, the board of elections and ethics and the executive branch, headed by Mayor Walter E. Washington.