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Say What You Will About Fenty, But He Is Fixing Up a Lot of Parks

by Prince Of Petworth November 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm 23 Comments

IMG_0458, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I know folks have generally not been too happy with Mayor Fenty’s performance lately. But I have to give him props for fixing up tons of parks around town. It seems like every weekend I’m finding a new park that’s getting fixed up. This one is on N St., NW just east of 7th.

IMG_0459

  • Michael

    Hmm, maybe it has something to do with Fenty illegally circumventing the City Council to award $82 million in park renovation contracts to his fraternity brothers and campaign contributors:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/30/AR2009103003607.html

    This scandal really settled it for me – I’m definitely not voting for Fenty next year. I say this as someone who had been a lukewarm Fenty supporter. The whole “Fenty field” thing at Tubman Elementary kind of bothered me, but this pushed me over the edge. Let’s hope we get a decent candidate to challenge Fenty in the primary. PoP, you’ve got my vote if you want to run!

  • Gordon

    “Say What You Will About Fenty, But He Is Fixing Up a Lot of Parks”

    …with illegal, no-bid contracts awarded to his frat buddies. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I really do believe fixing up our parks is a huge win for our neighborhoods and communities; I just wish we could do it on the up-and-up.

  • nate

    I’d be fixing up a lot of parks too if it stimulated the wallets of my friends too. Let’s admit it, many of these parks are used rarely and the city rarely maintains them. Call it what it is: a money run our tax dollars. Fenty and his cronies are stealing our tax dollars under the radar, all while billing it as something good for us. Yet, we are so caught up in the moment when see the new park, we don’t realize it. These works are rarely vigorously demanded. Many are rarely used and some are over run by rowdy juvenile kids.

    People envision the groundbreaking and the artist rendering. Yet, no one ever asks about the plan for maintenance. Who wants to think about cleaning the graffiti, broken glass bottles, and run amok juveniles. Developers don’t want that slice of the business anyway. The developers have already exited the ground breaking and walked away with the city on the hook to maintain. I’d love to spur the demand for my frat brother’s company with someone else’s money.

    All for something we didn’t want, something we didn’t use, and something the city won’t maintain.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with nate. Good and regular maintenance is hardly ever recognized, and never celebrated.

    In the long term, credit should really be given to the mayors who on a regular basis have DPW and Forrestry maintain existing parks;

    rather than creating expensive new ones whose glory is only fleeting without proper and regular maintenance.

  • Abbey

    What ever happened to the plans for a new fence at Raymond Rec Park? There was a big banner up on the 10th St sign for a bit.

  • Anonymous

    and if it’s anything like the park planned for the corner of 10th and French, the artist rendering will be as close a park as this corner ever sees, too. One year, and no progress.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t WANT to HAVE to vote for Fenty. I’d rather someone better come along. But I don’t think thats going to happen. That said at least Fenty was born and raised here and crooked or not he clearly wants the city to improve and succeed. If awarding no bid contracts for park improvement is the worst scandal he has going. Well its a step up from most mayors and certainly a step up from Barry.

  • Anonymous

    Barry used drugs never convicted of corruption. Trust me millions were spent trying to catch him. You think you could have done better as Mayor of DC when Crack hit like a Tsunami in the 80’s & 90’s. Remember also the Reeves Center placed at 14th & U under Mayor Barry (+ the Metro) sparked the resurgence of that area.

  • nate

    # Anonymous Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I don’t WANT to HAVE to vote for Fenty. I’d rather someone better come along. But I don’t think thats going to happen. That said at least Fenty was born and raised here and crooked or not he clearly wants the city to improve and succeed. If awarding no bid contracts for park improvement is the worst scandal he has going. Well its a step up from most mayors and certainly a step up from Barry.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Don’t be so convinced that because Fenty is from here that he has the city’s best interest in mind. There are a host of African bictators that cared very little about their country. Same can be said for cities like Detroit (Kilpatrick) , Newark (Sharpe James), Birmingham (Langford) , Atl (name a mayor). They cared about enriching themselves. From what we have read of Fenty, can we say he appears any different?

  • David Tumblin

    Abbey, the construction of the new perimeter fence was delayed because the city is moving forward with a proposal to completely rebuild Raymond Recreation Center. The involved DC government parties are finalizing their recommended choice among several options. They hope to have a large neighborhood meeting before the change of the calendar year to go over the proposed option.

  • Just J

    Nate it the nail on the head. The long term cost is going to be a real drain on the city’s ability to manage its budget. The average citizen is going to be happy about it in the short term, but in 10 years when all of these projects are falling apart, it will be seen as a huge waste of taxpayer dollars

  • Pennywise

    He builds parks, as has been said, to enrich his friends. He has not built a crime lab, rather thats on hold due to (wait for it) contracting improprieties. He has not increased the police to any level needed by our constant violence. He made a good move on schools and then diverted into petty squabbles to to destroy that effort. We’d be best off if he was nailed in an FBI probe or killed by a thug. Okay, maybe not killed, but he’s no longer mayor in my eyes. He’s a skinny Barry, or a darker Bush. Ie, a corrupt fool.

  • Anonymous

    How about $12 million to create 40 community garden plots at Justice Park.

    $300,000 per plot?

    Those are some pricey eggplant. But, that’s okay, since tax money grows on trees.

  • Parks

    You want an idea of how well the city maintains parks and in particular fields, read this:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/29/AR2009102904610.html

  • nate

    Fenty is smart though. He is copying the formula of every black mayor that preceded him. Black people are very easy to manipulate. Build us a park in a crappy neighborhood and we’ll forget you never solved the crime. Most of us have grown accustomed to it by now. It’s no big deal. But show us you care for us by building us a park or a rec center, and you have our vote for life. Give us some money by way of redistributing wealth through a meaningless Summer Job seals your candidacy for life. Just think of how many black people still brag about how Barry’s Summer Job gave them their first job. Never a mention of how that job was a springboard for them.

    We don’t want to do for our self. But we are happy with sticking it to the white man by voting for the guy that gave us something.

  • Dirty

    “Call it what it is: a money run our tax dollars. Fenty and his cronies are stealing our tax dollars under the radar, all while billing it as something good for us. Yet, we are so caught up in the moment when see the new park, we don’t realize it. These works are rarely vigorously demanded. Many are rarely used and some are over run by rowdy juvenile kids.”

    Sounds oddly familiar to what is happening at the National level…

  • nate

    Dirty Says:
    Sounds oddly familiar to what is happening at the National level…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    True. But at the national level, an entire country shares the burden. On a city level, a small pool of tax paying citizens shoulder the burden.

  • gswiszcza

    Anon, I don’t know where you’re getting your figures, but the Justice Park renovation is $750k for the entire park, not just the half of it that is going toward the community garden. Which is still a decent amount, but it’s less than the cost of renovating the 14th and Girard Park and only slightly more than the cost of the S & T Street parks.

    Also, the garden portion of this park was a community driven feature that DPR didn’t even think of until someone at an early community meeting for the park brought it up. The garden idea was consistently supported by community members over and above other designs such as using the park for passive space, which is why it is in the design now.

  • Dirty

    Nate – the top 10% pay 71% of federal income taxes, 40% pay 0%. Not sure what small pool constitutes to you, but to me the entire country does not share the burden and that is the problem. The class warfare exists because not everyone pays even 1% in federal income taxes.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/250.html

  • Buck Turgidson

    @Dirty. That’s an interesting factoid. However, given that the tax burden for the rich has been steadily decreasing for a generation (down from the pre-Reagan 90% marginal tax rate), and the class warfare has been *increasing* at the same time, I’m not sure how you reach your cause-and-effect conclusion.

    I’d argue that the USA was far better off in those pre-1980 days, when income inequality was kept in check by a highly redistributive income tax on the top 10% of the population, and the middle class was growing. It’s all been an express train to the Third-World since then.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t be so convinced that because Fenty is from here that he has the city’s best interest in mind. There are a host of African [d]ictators that cared very little about their country.

    Fenty compared to African Dictator?? I am not his biggest fan but this is stupid.

    Newspapers need not worry blogs will eventually destroy themselves…

  • Sick of Poverty Pimps

    The executive’s job to produce results for the citizens. Schools and Parks & Rec are curcial to the success of our children.

    Harry Thomas and Gray are running around bragging about their power to hold things up. You can see the smiles forming at the corners of their mouths. They don’t give a damn about progress. They care about feeling important. They care about their friends (who have bilked billions over the course of the Barry thru Williams administrations) getting their schemes going again.

    Now that they are on the outside looking in, they want to point fingers and call names.

    Fenty said within a day of learning about the contract issue that he would send everything but executed contracts back to the council.

    But, they won’t settle for that, they want to review everthing over 75K. OK. you were mad about contracts over a million. So they react by asking for more than citizens every agreed to let them review. They want to stall everything so they can get their fingers in every pie. Grandstanding Poverty Pimps!!!

    Harry Thomas is the worst of the lot.

  • Anonymous

    The City Paper says that Justice Park is a $12 million project:

    Fenty’s DCHA Contracts: Some Questions
    Posted by Mike DeBonis on Oct. 23, 2009, at 8:16 pm

    You have questions about the $82 million dollars in parks-and-rec spending that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is sending to the D.C. Housing Authority? LL has (some) answers!

    What are these projects?

    According to data furnished by the D.C. Council, they are 12 projects to renovate 12 parks or recreation facilities. One, to build a $1.3 million ballpark at Emery Rec Center, was awarded in January. The rest—concerning 7th and N park ($800,000), Bald Eagle Rec Center ($5.3M), Barry Farm Rec Center ($15M), Chevy Chase Playground ($1.3M), Fort Stanton Rec Center ($12M), Guy Mason Rec Center ($3M), Justice Park ($12M), Kenilworth Rec Center ($12M), Park View ballfield ($1.2M), Rosedale Rec Center ($16M), and a new park in LeDroit Park ($1.7M)—were awarded last month.

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