BEFORE TURNING to some important business we see ahead for the mayor, we congratulate Marion Barry for a solid victory. He will begin a new term with a council of experienced and capable elected officials, led by David Clarke, for whom congratulations are also in order. The important business we have in mind for the mayor is twofold: he should put Patricia Harris to work for the city in the area of her own specialty, and he should do something about the wretched elections board situation.

First for the positive feature of our program. Mrs. Harris' proposals for economic development and housing -- in a way, the focus of her campaign -- represent, in our view, her greatest strength. Nor can anyone doubt that this area is one of special importance to the city now and for the next few years. She had some good ideas and a lot of energy on the subject of how to attract businesses to the city, how to preside over and encourage development, how to bring new life to the city's deteriorated physical aspect and its economic condition. In her concession remarks the other night, she spoke of her commitment to improving the state of the city. Her particular talents, experience and desire for public service could be of great use, were the mayor to offer her some kind of special role in helping to bring about the revitalization of the city -- and should she accept.

Mr. Barry, who has demonstrated an ability to recognize and recruit the skills of his political competitors, should work out with Mrs. Harris, if he can, some particular, authoritative responsibility in this general field. We hope he will do so -- and that she will agree.

So much for the positive proposal. Now on to the elections board scandal . . .