The D.C. City Council made two major personnel decisions yesterday, replacing the controversial Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6) as head of the committee that handles housing and rent control legislation, and naming John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) to chair the tax-writing finance and revenue committee.
Winter, who had said she wanted a new council post, wound up trading jobs with Willie J. Hardy (d-w/ard 7). Hardy was named to head the housing and commuity development committee, and Winter to replace her as council chairwoman pro tem.
The changes were part of a council reorganization that eliminates two of its nine standingf committees and puts control of the city budget and the council's internal administration solidly under its new chairman, Arrington L. Dixon, who took office yesterday, replacing Sterling Tucker.
Any lingering rivalries among council members contending for leadership posts were masked by a speedy unanimous vote.
Wilson moved into the tax-writing finance and revenue chairmanship vacated by Mayor Marion Barry, and William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5) was moved into Dixon's old post as chairman of the government operations committee, which oversees a broad array of crucial city functions, from the mayor's office to its employment policies.
The changes in leadership and organization, reported prevously be The Washington Post, were engineered by Dixon.
Although it was too early to make judgments yesterday, it seemed likely that the change of chairmanships would bring major changes in the manner -- or at least the tone -- of council operations.
Hardy, in four years on the council, has held leadership positions dealing chiefly with the council's internal operations rather than the writing of legislation. She has not sat on the committees dealing with housing and economi development matters. Her political background is in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Winter, who moves off the housing committee, wanted to leave the job, she said, because she found dealing with such fields as rent control -- referring disputes between tenants and landlords -- to be a no-win situation in last year's reelection campaign.
Once regarded as a tenant-oriented activist, Winter was challenged last year by a candidate who drew strong support from real estate interests. One real estate executive said yesterday that she seemed to have moderated her views accPtably in the past year.
Wilson, who moves into the finance committee slot, will have strong influence over municipal tax policy and administration. An outspoken, streetwis former antipoverty and Democratic Party worker, he holds strong views on the work ethic.
Staking out a contrary position to the council majority, Wilson voted last year against tax credits for home-owners sponsored by Barry. He said he felt the city needed all the revenue it could collect for underfunded municipal programs.
Spaulding, the new government operations chairman, is a rather bland and mildmannered professional cryptologist who narrowly won renomination in September.
Wilson formerly headed the council's public services and consumer affairs committee, now to be headed by Wilhelmina Rolark (D-Ward 8). Spaulding headed the committee on education and youth affairs, which has been abolished.
The council chamber was jammed with members' friends and family for the largely ceremonial session, which was addressed briefly by Barry.
Council Membership, mormally 13, is temporarily down to 11 -- six women and five men -- because of the departures of Barry from his at-large seat and Dixon from his Ward 4 seat.
The D.C. Democratic Central Committee will meet Monday to name a temporary replacement for Barry's seat. The Ward 4 seat will remain vacant until a special election May 1, when Barry's at-large seat will also be filled permanently.
Only one new council member, Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large), took office yesterday. She is a former member of the school board.
Using emergency powers, the council enated one bill yesterday. Introduced by Dixon, it creates a special commission to monitor progress of the proposed constitutional amendment granting the District jull voting representation in Congress.
Following is the list of committee assignments approved yesterday:
Transportation and Environmental Affairs -- Chairman (reelected) Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At Large); Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large), Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3).
Judiciary -- Chairman (reelected) David A. Clarke (D-Ward 1), Hardy, Kane an Rolark.
Finance and Revenue -- Chairman, Wilson; Clarke, Hardy, Kane and Shackleton.
Human Resources -- Chairman (reelected) Shackleton; Rolark and Wilson.
Government Operations -- Chairman, Spaulding; Kane, Mason, Moore and Winter.
Housing and Economic Development -- Chairman, Hardy; Clarke, Moore, Spaulding and Wilson.
Public Services and Consumer Affairs -- Chairman, Rolark; Mason, Winter and Spaulding.
Dixon said more members will be added to the smaller committees after the two council vacancies are filled.
The council also appointed three holdovers from the previous council as temporary staff officers of the council. They are Robert A. Williams, acting secrtary; Edward B. Webb Jr., acting general cunsel, and Sylvia Edwards, acting legislative counsel.
Alan F. Grip, who was special assistant to Tucker, will remain in that post, at least temporarily.