Term: 4 Years
QUESTION: What would you do specifically to deal with the District's budget crisis? List three programs you would cut or streamline and tell how you would raise additional revenue.
Maurice T. Turner Jr. (R)
4004 16th St. NW
Retired D.C. police chief; member of Washington police department for 32 years, the last eight years as chief (retired in 1989); during tenure as chief, District crime rates for several major offenses were reduced, including rates for rape, robbery, burglary, larceny and arson; drug arrests increased by 128 percent between 1980 and 1988; as chief, managed an agency of 3,880 officers and 975 civilian employees with an annual budget of more than $217 million; a third-generation Washingtonian; graduate of Dunbar High School and the FBI National Academy; served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1957; member, Greater First Baptist Church, board of directors of the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs, Pigskin Club and International Association of Chiefs of Police; three children.
A: The city's current fiscal problems are obviously most severe. These problems are also quite complex, so there can be no simple solutions outlined in two or three paragraphs. However, the first priority of a Turner administration would be to institute a complete and comprehensive management audit of city services and staffing. This audit would pinpoint where the excess actually exists in the city government. Once these excesses have been identified, I would reduce the size of city government through: 1) establishing a selective hiring freeze; 2) attrition (we lose almost 5,000 to 6,000 employees annually through retirement, etc.); and 3) the cross-training and reassignment of city employees to those positions where they are most needed. There would especially be a complete review of the District's Department of Human Services, the city's largest and most complex agency. Where identified, duplication of effort would be eliminated. Ultimately, this agency will be broken up into smaller agencies, one of which would be a separate Department of Public Health, a necessary component in our efforts to improve the delivery of health care to District residents. Beyond a reduction of the city's work force through humane and sensitive methods, there would be an immediate review of the city's contracting process. Unsolicited contracts have cost the city millions of dollars. To raise additional revenues, I will embark upon aggressive endeavors to attract more small and mid-sized businesses to the District. In addition, through a number of initiatives, we will make this city an attractive and safe place to live so that the flight of middle-income professionals out of our city will be reversed.