07/01/15 11:10am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

From a press release:

“A bill introduced today [Tuesday] in the DC Council would increase fines for shoddy home repairs, poor construction, condemnation, and vacant properties. The bill from Ward 1 DC Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau doubles these fines from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and then ties them to inflation. The bill also clarifies that DCRA can use its authority to issue multiple fines for repeat violators.

“This bill is a response to what we’re hearing from constituents and news reports about outdated fines that are too low to deter bad behavior by unscrupulous contractors and developers,” said Nadeau. “Homebuyers don’t want to feel like they’re playing roulette when they’re buying a house. We need to give DCRA the tools it needs to enforce our laws and support safe housing.”

Some fines haven’t been updated in over 20 years. Under the bill, a violation such as failure to obtain a permit for building operations would change from $2,000 for the first offense to $4,000 for the first offense.

Nadeau is joined by co-introducers Councilmembers Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) and Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), all fellow members of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which has oversight of DCRA. Cosponsors are Councilmembers Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Anita Bonds (D-At Large).

This bill complements Councilmember Nadeau’s successful amendment to increase the number of housing inspectors at DCRA. Taken together, they create more powerful enforcement and ultimately safer housing conditions across the District. In February, Councilmembers Nadeau and Orange hosted a Ward 1 Town Hall on BCRA issues at which residents shared problems with holding bad contractors accountable.

A copy of the bill is available here.

07/01/15 9:30am

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

07/01/15 7:30am

From a press release:

In four years spanning the Fenty and Gray administrations, the District’s school modernization program violated statutory requirements on transparency and funding, failed to assess and secure contingency savings, and spent more per square foot on five high school modernization than called for by the District’s Master Facilities Plan, according to a report today from the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (ODCA).

[DGS Final Report (pdf)]

The audit, covering fiscal years 2010 through 2013, found that the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization and its successor, the Department of General Services, failed to provide sound financial management, “creating the risk that the District has not obtained maximum value for taxpayer dollars and the potential for misuse of taxpayer funds.” The District spent $1.2 billion on school renovations during the four-year period. (more…)

06/30/15 10:05pm

caption contest
Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

Your captions in the comments and winners (free PoP t-shirts, onesies or tote bags) picked Friday. If you find a caption particularly funny be sure to let me know in the comments so I can select a reader pick too.

Ed. Note: I’m pretty tardy is sending out some past winners, I promise I haven’t forgotten you! Winners will have to pick up your goods at a happy hour I’m planning for mid-July.