The D.C. Council is wasting no time in making Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi’s next five-year term official.
A hearing on his confirmation is set for Thursday, precisely two weeks after Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced his intention to renominate Gandhi, who has served since 2000. A committee vote on the nomination has been tentatively set for Friday afternoon, according to a staffer for a member of the Finance and Revenue panel. That sets up a final council vote for July 10.
So what’s the rush? Under the law, Gandhi can remain in his post indefinitely while officials take action on his confirmation.
But Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) said it would have been his druthers to have Gandhi confirmed before his current term expires on June 30. Alas, July 10 is the best he can do.
Evans said there’s “no upside or downside” to having the final vote before the council begins its summer recess aside from “the uncertainty of not having it done.”
”If we’re going to confirm him, we ought to just confirm him,” he said. “I just think it’s important to move forward.”
The hearing begins at 10 a.m. Thursday — which, as it happens, is the precise moment the Supreme Court is set to announce its ruling on health care reform.
UPDATE, 6/27, 12:50 P.M.: A draft witness list for Thursday’s hearing has been released. I have added a few annotations; with the exceptions of Mittleman and Payne, all are likely to testify in support of Gandhi’s reappointment:
1. Mayor Anthony A. Williams [1999-2007]
2. Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis [Ward 4, 1979-1995]
3. Councilmember Kathy Patterson [Ward 3, 1995-2007]
4. John Hill, CEO, Federal City Council
5. Barbara Lang, D.C. Chamber of Commerce
6. Ernie Jarvis, [president, D.C. Building Industry Association]
7. Elaine Mittleman, Esq. [lawyer involved in Skyland property litigation]
8. Ed Lazere, executive director, D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute
9. Geo T. Johnson, [executive director of AFSCME District Council 20, which the represents the bulk of unionized city employees]
10. Terry Lynch, Ward 1 resident [and concerned citizen]
11. Eric Payne, [former OCFO contracting director, now suing Gandhi for wrongful termination]
12. Jim Dinegar, President and CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade
13. Dr. Natwar Gandhi