The District of Columbia's top legal officer, Acting Corporation Counsel Louis P. Robbins, has reaffirmed his view that City Council members - like other city employes - must pay for reserved parking outside the District Building.
According to Sam D. Starobin, the city's director of general services, the affected council members will soon be sent reminders that they owe more than $15,000 in charges dating as far back as 1973.
But first, he said, council members will have time to decide officially whether they will deal with the payment in some way other than taking the money out of their own pockets.
Edward B. Webb Jr., the council's chief lawyer, said yesterday that he expects to recommend that the council wipe out past and future parking fees by passing emergency legislation.
The issue goes back to 1973, before home rule, when Mayor Walter E. Washington issued an order requiring all city employes to pay for parking on city-owned lots.
The order was part of a city effort to encourage the use of mass transit and improve air quality. And it applied to council members who parked, then as now, in the rear of the District Building at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
But the council sought to exempt itself by passing a resolution. The corporation counsel's office has contended in a series of opinions, the latest issued last week, that a resolution was inadequate and that the council had to pass a law. That is what Webb has suggested might be done now.
Starobin said a list in his office, compiled in August, showed that nine members owed $1,050 apiece. They were democrats Arrington Dixon, Willie J. Hardy, Nadine P. Winter, Polly Shackleton, John A. Wilson, David A. Clarke, Douglas E. Moore and William R. Spaulding and Republican Jerry A. Moore Jr. Hilda Mason, of the Statehood Party, was listed as owing $360. Democrat Wilhelmina Rolark paid $360 when she got an earlier notice, Starobin said.
Council Chairman Sterling Tucker has a free curbside space.
Several council members, among them Wilson, Clarke and Mason, have contended they do not owe anything.