Mayor Marion Barry has a new, $125,000 home in far Southeast Washington, complete with a police guard house and three-television-camera outdoor security system that cost city taxpayers $11,711.16, according to the D.C. Department of General Services.
Ending a yearlong search for an alternative to their rented row house on Capitol Hill, Barry and his wife Effi purchased the house Oct. 15 from a City Council aide and her husband.
The Barrys made a $10,000 down payment, received a $100,000 mortgage from the savings and loan association on whose board Mrs. Barry serves and obtained a $15,000 second trust from the previous owner, Marcieta E. Bowie, the executive assistant to Council member Nadine P. Winter (D-Ward 6).
William B. Fitzgerald, president of Independence Savings and Loan Association, which provided the mortgage, said the Barrys were not given preferential treatment. Mrs. Barry has served on the eight-member Independence board for several months. In accordance with federal regulations, she did not vote when the board approved the loan.
The 30-year mortgage was made at 12 percent, the going rate at the time. The second trust, payable over 10 years, was also made at 12 percent.
"It never dawned on me that anybody would question that we made a loan in this city to a minority person. That's what we're in business to do. It's a natural situation that we participate in every day," Fitzgerald said when asked if he saw anything about the loan that could be viewed as irregular. w
A spokesman for Barry said yesterday that the mayor did "not see any impropriety in securing the mortgage loan from Independence. That has been his savings and loan for a number of years and it was a natural place for him to go."
The new Barry home is a four-bedroom house on a small hilltop at 3607 Suitland Rd. SE, about one-third of a mile inside the District line in the Hillcrest neighborhood of the city just south of Pennsylvania Avenue.
The house has a red brick front with tall pillars and a large lantern hanging over the door. The sides have aluminum exteriors. It is one of the newer homes on the street of mostly older brick, middle-class homes. It is across the street from St. Timothy's Episcopal Church and a block from Anne Beers Elementary School, where voters in precinct 110, one of the most influential precincts in Ward 7, cast their ballots.
Barry had sought a home in the area, some confidants said, partially in an effort to establish a political base in a section of the city where many younger, black middle-income families earning between $25,000 and $40,000 a year are moving. Mrs. Barry, who is expecting her first baby in June, had said she liked the area because it reminds her of the neighborhood in Toledo where she grew up.
The neighborhood is considered a relatively low crime area, but the small glass and aluminum guard house with four television monitors was installed to insure "maximum security" for Barry, according to police Chief Burtell M. Jefferson.
Walter E. Washington, who was a mayor of 11 years, had around-the-clock police guard at his home at 408 T St. NW, but no television cameras. Instead of a guard house, police officers took shelter in a cruiser parked out front.
Jefferson said the extra security precautions were necessary at Barry's house because of "logistics." He declined to elaborate. "Where was the president of the United States killed?" Jefferson asked a reorter, angrily. "Was there any indication of the assassin ascertaining it was a low-crime or a high crime area.
"The mayor is entitled to the maximum in security. If it takes that much money to provide him with maximum security, then it's worth it," Jefferson said.
Jefferson said the $11,000 cost figure, given to a reporter by Edward McManus, chief of field operations for the Department of General Services, was inaccurate. Jefferson refused, however, to give what he considered to be the real cost.