Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Adrian Fenty's 15 Minutes

I'm pretty sure the clock is just starting for him.

Stadium Proponent Über-Villain Adrian Fenty chatted on the Washington Post website today. He took a few questions, stuck to his talking points, and tried to distance himself from the stadium.

He laid out the only condition he would’ve supported funding:
I support 1) renovating RFK and having the team play there or 2) a deal similar to the MCI Arena deal where the owner of the team paid for the stadium and we paid for the infrastructure around the stadium. AF

He was asked about how strongly he’d oppose the stadium in the coming year. (Marion Berry has fired some shots across the bow indicating he’ll try and tie it up for as long as possible.) Fenty’s relatively innocuous, but not-so-soothing answer:
It would be wrong for any public official (no matter what side of this matter they are on) to avoid their responsibility to review the contracts and leases that are submitted to the Council related to the construction of the stadium, similar to any contract that must be approved by the Council.

In other words, the battle’s not completely over. The ironic thing now is that any delays that Fenty/Berry/Catania et al cause are going to directly hurt city residents. The penalties the Council and DC agreed to would result in a significant financial loss to the city.

What they must remember is that, no matter the merits of their arguments, their side lost the debate. They must be careful public stewards and not let their emotion over the issue carry over and end up harming the city’s residents. Because, if the city does have to pay penalties, that will be money that could be better used on schools, libraries and other essential city services. And, if they’re going to cause those problems, it is their feet that should be held to the fire, not those who supported and were victorious in the stadium debate.


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