District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry's transition team formally closed down its operations yesterday, giving the city's new chief executive a final list of more than 200 recommendations for action. Eighty percent of the suggestions were to be considered "top priority."
The recommendations ranged from the mayor taking a physical examination at D.C. General Hospital as a way of showing faith in the city's troubled long-term care facility for the indigent, to setting up a model early childhood center in the District. More than a third of the suggestions would require spending additional city funds.
But Barry, continuing the optimistic and upbeat tone that has marked his acceptance of several similar transition team recommendations, noted that "the overwhelming majority of the recommended actions are things that require no additional money. Being a fiscal conservative, you know I like that."
Barry said "95 percent to 98 percent of them are do-able. They can be done and will be done by this administration."
The mayor would not say, however, which items would receive his immediate attention, although he did note that he has already acted on some recommendations.
The transition effort, headed by C&P Telephone Co. executive Delano E. Lewis, marked the first time in the brief recent history of local elected politics that the administration of city government had been turned over from one elected mayor to another.
To assist him in giving directions to his government, Barry assembled a 14-person task force, aided by more than 1,500 volunteers who functioned as community "think-tanks" to study city government and see how Barry could best implement his campaign promises.
The final phase of that process was concluded in a 114-page report released yesterday. The report echoed the findings of earlier reports in portraying the city's 45,000-worker bureaucracy as ill-managed, lacking in morale and leadership, not getting its fair share of available federal monies and lax in its affirmative action policies.
In addition to these problems, Lewis recommended yesterday that Barry provide more formal channels for citizen involvement in his administration, including roles for persons who had worked on the task force.
Lewis also recommended specifically that operations of two troubled city agencies -- the offices of consumers affairs and human rights -- be given special study.
Lewis also recommended that Barry's administration regularly evaluate the performance of city department and agency heads and undertake a study to be completed within six months of the city's Department of Corrections.
The task forces recommended that only one city department head be considered for removal -- James W. Baldwin of the Human Rights Office.
Barry already has removed Baldwin and reassigned him to the city's Minority Business Opportunity Commission, which is charged with administering a law that requires the granting of 25 percent of all city contracts to minority-owned firms.
Among the other recommendations made yesterday were improving the city's emergency medical services, improving community relations in the fire department, upgrading medical facilities at Lorton Reformatory, and possibly staggering car registration dates.
Barry also was asked yesterday to name a poet laureate for the city, strengthen the office of business and economic development and esthetically enliven the public areas of city buildings.
Barry said yesterday that he would have a physical exam at D.C. General and would also follow another task force recommendation to visit the Lorton correctional facility.