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Saturday, March 5, 2011
DC Council Member Kwame Brown: "Let's Lead Together"
DC Councilman Kwame Brown is trying to make amends by putting his over-the-top SUV spending days behind him.
In his latest eNewsletter, the embattled councilman writes to his constituents:
"Thank you, District resident, for entrusting me to lead the Council. I am honored and humbled by the confidence you have placed in me to help guide our city through what is certain to be a tough time.
As you are well aware, the District is faced with a more than $300 million budget deficit. We will have to do more with less. The Mayor will present the Council with the Fiscal Year 2012 budget next month. Without question, cuts are inevitable. But you have my guarantee that I will do everything possible to make sure the city is collecting the hundreds of millions of dollars it is owed in federal reimbursements.
In addition to working with the Gray Administration to restore our city's financial health, I am also focused on continuing aggressive school reform and getting our residents back to work. Although great strides have been made in improving our schools, much more needs to be done to improve the quality of education our children are receiving at the middle school level. That is why I have kept education reform under the oversight of the entire Council under the Committee of the Whole. Aggressive, sustainable reform must give our young people the support they need early on, and well in advance of high school, to ensure they succeed and continue on to college or master a vocation.
I am also committed to making sure residents are working and getting hired by companies contracting with the District.
Thank you again for your confidence. Let's lead together!"
Brown, who as you read above admits that the District has a budget crisis, came under fire for driving a fully loaded Lincoln Navigator, which rented for around $1900, at the tax payer's expense.
Make that two, full-loaded SUVs at tax payer's expense.
Brown has since returned the SUV, but Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), chairman of the transportation committee oversees the Department of Public Works, has requested a full investigation of city-owned vehicles.
DCPW leaders are expected to meet with Wells on March 7.
In an interview on WHUR radio's Insight Segment with Harold Fisher, the mayor of DC, Vincent Gray, when asked who in the DC government should have rented vehicles at the echelon of Brown's stylish SUV, Gray stated that of course the mayor should have a rented vehcile for "security measures", but did not indicate if that same courtesy should be extended to council members.
Ironically, Brown is set to chair a panel to investigate the spending of UDC president Dr. Allen Sessoms and his own extensive, and expensive luxury trips and luxury SUV, while the university is set to cut many of the school's programs and student funding.