D.C. city government officials said yesterday that outgoing City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon will not have personal use of $25,000 in transition funds and will have to bill the city for legitimate expenses.
A spokeswoman for Dixon said the chairman had already drawn up a budget that would spend all but 38 cents of the money.
Annette Samuels, press secretary to Mayor Marion Barry, whose office is providing the funds, said Dixon will have up to 90 days to bill transition expenses to the city but will not receive any money hmself. "He is not getting any money personally," she said.
Dwight S. Cropp, the D.C. government's executive secretary who must approve any money spent by Dixon, said he expected the money would be limited to the use of two staff aides and possibly office space to help Dixon sort through his files.
Cropp said a similar arrangement was used when former council chairman Sterling Tucker left office in January 1979. The cost of Tucker's transition was $25,900, officials said.
The Dixon spokeswoman said his proposed budget added up to $24,999.62. The budget includes $543 for continuing the lease on Dixon's official Chrysler sedan. Most of the money, under Dixon's budget, would be used to pay five staff members, three of whom would work for only one month.
Tasks that Dixon will perform during his transition include handling correspondence, "continuance of media relations," and giving advice on legislation, the city budget and the council's automated systems, according to the spokeswoman.
The resolution authorizing the transition funds, which was approved without debate by the council last week, includes items not given to Tucker, specifically allowing the money to be used for such items as "payment of travel expenses and subsistence allowances including rental of governmental or hired motor vehicles."
"All that's subject to negotiation with the chairman," Cropp said.
According to a staff member, Dixon plans to keep five aides on the payroll for about a month after he leaves office Jan. 2 -- his secretary Doris Pitts, executive assistant Carol Richards, budget director Stephen Reichenberg, personal assistant Mary Terrell, and aide Larry Berry. Pitts and Berry would stay on beyond the first month.
Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), who introduced the measure, said yesterday that the transition funds were necessary because "the records of the council are in the hands of the chairman. The current chairman is expected to put them in order. He can't do it without staff."
Jarvis said the funds were "not for Arrington Dixon, the person." She said the documents need to be sorted so that the council and the city could have "the proper historical perspective" of his records.
Dixon's spokeswoman said that after he leaves the council he will spend six months as an unpaid guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. At Brookings, Dixon will examine the opportunities for development presented to cities by cable television and other telecommunications advances, according to the spokeswoman.