Summer is over and the kids are all back at school. The routine has returned and with it, the Council went back into session on Sept. 15. Our first legislative meeting will be held on Sept. 20.
Although the Council doesn’t formally meet between July 15 and Sept. 15, a Ward Councilmember’s work is never done. I and my staff were busy all summer long addressing constituent issues around the Ward. Just last week we officially opened the Georgetown Waterfront Park, a great addition to the city. Infrastructure improvements have continued all across the Ward from the O and P Street project in Georgetown to the 7th and N Street park in Shaw. City Market at O will begin major construction shortly and one of two Connecticut Avenue median projects in Dupont has been completed.
The main issues facing the District as we enter the fall begin with finances. Although we remain strong financially, it is important that the Mayor and Council not continue to expand our spending. We will receive revised revenue estimates shortly and any additional funds must be used to fix the municipal bond tax issue and to replenish our reserve fund.
School reform will be another focus. As the new school year progresses, how are our schools performing? Ethics reform is another area of concern. There will be much discussion about new laws and regulations. Keep in mind that the problem the Mayor and some of my colleagues are facing is not because the laws need changing, but rather because there are accusations that these laws have been violated.
I will also focus my energies working to increase the number of police officers that make up our force. I have written and spoken about this issue many times and it remains a matter of great concern.
Finally, the Mayor and Council must continue to focus on economic development and job creation. As the economy continues to improve, we must take advantage of opportunities to improve our city.
I look forward to the upcoming Council session and working on the challenges ahead.