Question at City Hall: Who you gonna call?

Councilmember Jack Evans with then Mayor-elect Vincent Gray in Georgetown last September
Councilmember Jack Evans with then Mayor-elect Vincent Gray in Georgetown last September

Knowledgeable folks around the District's city hall are saying that a major problem with Mayor Vincent Gray’s office is there is no “go-to” person there to get things done.

Observers say Gray “is acting like he is still the Councilmember from Ward 7” East of the River, not the Mayor.

 Sources register the following observations and complaints:  

-- Nobody is in the Mayor’s office to “get it done.” So, a lot of matters are slipping through the cracks.

-- The administration is just not functioning the way it should be -- because of this.

-- The Mayor is doing constituent services which should be handled by a go-to person in his office.

The complaints continue.

For his part, Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) says he goes directly to the Mayor, and he says he has no problem with that.

Evans says the Mayor is very responsive, and requests downtown and in close-in neighborhoods Georgetown, Logan, Shaw and other Ward 2 areas are getting responses. “I have a very good relationship with Mayor Gray," Evans said. "We communicate by email after 10 o’clock at night. I email him and he emails me. We get things done.”

Evans, a 20-year-member of the Council, has learned how to work with the last several mayors -- whether the issue is street light fixing or building convention center hotels.

Evans held a rousing re-election fundraiser Thursday at the home of Georgetowner Herb Miller that raised $50,000 for his 2012 re-election campaign. “I was really touched by the outpouring of support,” he said.

Approximately 100 people attended the event.

0 Comments For This Article

Peter Rosenstein

The headline reads: Question at City Hall, Who ya gonna call? Then it is followed by three anonymous complaints- guess they were too afraid to give their names or they were made up complaints, about not having anyone to get their complaints too. Kind of sounds like a few elitists used to having a direct line to City Hall with preferred VIP service to circumvent what other citizens need to do.

Then Jack Evans, who has been around and served the people of Ward 2 for many years, and with many Mayor's, says he is having no problems.

So what is the point of this column?

Stewie Griffin

@ Peter...First, everyone knows you are a civic crank. Second, under Fenty, each Ward had a go to person which either the ANC's or individuals could contact to say, have garbage removed, have a park cleaned, have D-DOT handle street issues, etc. Under Gray, and I am sure do to his scandals, he has had no time to appoint people to these positions. If it wasn't for Evans, nothing in Ward 2 would be handled, because as Beth stated, the "go person" is gone since Fenty left. And all resources, thanks to Gray and Barry have been placed into the endless hell hole of Wards 7 and 8, including police, who are being stiffened from our Ward to protect Ward 7 and 8. Peter, you got what you voted for.

Ron Lewis

I've found that not only is the Mayor very involved in and concerned about community needs, but the Mayor's community outreach office, headed by the extremely dedicated, effective and tireless Francisco Fimbres, is an excellent "go to" place for responses to community concerns.

Steve Glaude

For those in Georgetown and the rest of the District who may be unaware, the "go-to" office in the Executive Office of the Mayor is the newly re-named Office of Neighborhood Engagement in the Office of Community Affairs. Each Ward has designated Outreach Specialists. The contact information for Ward Two representatives are Francisco Fimbres francisco.fimbres@dc.gov and raesha.williams@dc.gov . They both can be reached at (202) 442-8150. They have responded, and will continue to respond, to any outreach requests. Additionally, I am always available at steve.glaude@dc.gov and (202) 375-1991.

Mayor Gray insisted these appointments be made early in his Administration and demands that those of us in outreach capacities respond quickly, efficiently and effectively. The Neighborhood Engagement staff is at your service. Just reach out and you will get service!

Steve Glaude
Director of Community Affairs
Executive Office of Mayor Vincent C. Gray

dcgovcorruption

I take offense that you are calling ward 7 a "hell hole". I would not use that term to describe any ward in this city. I live in Ward 7, Hillcrest and I don't see the hell going on here that you described. You obviously are upset that Mayor Gray is the mayor.

Commissioner Corey Arnez Griffin

I find that the team that Mayor Gray has charged with constituent engagement is enthusiastic and eager to deliver on the "ONE CITY" vision. The Mayor's active engagement in constituent services demonstrates his personal commitment to his "ONE CITY" values and should be applauded.

Mike Silverstein

During the transition period, many people in the Dupont Circle area asked Mayor-elect Gray to consider retaining Mayor Fenty's Ward 2 coordinator, Paco Fimbres. I mentioned to him during a Ward meeting that Paco would often e-mail us at 630am or 11pm to respond to a problem, and that was exactly the kind of person he needed.

Mayor Gray not only kept Paco on staff, but ended up promoting him. And he brought on Ra Williams to handle Ward 2 matters as well.

Paco Fimbres and Raesha Williams don't do 9-to-5. They do a job, and whatever time it takes to do that job, so be it. The time stamps on their e-mails don't lie. They work long hours.

Mayor Gray and the DC government have their share of problems and challenges on their plate. But Ward 2 constituent services people are not among those problems. He's lucky to have Paco and Ra. And so are we.

EP Sato

Those complaints are legitimate. I went to all four at-large members, Jack Evans and the Mayor when I had problems with the Preschool lottery. While the matter was not resolved, I can say that at the very least Seiku Biddle, Kwame Brown and Jack Evans looked into the matter and did something about it.

Mayor Gray, Phil Mendelson and David Catania blew me off like yesterday's news. I've worked with all these people, so it made it a bit shocking to get treated so poorly. If a former "insider" is getting dogged, what does this say about the way Gray's treating the John and Jane Q Publics of DC?

CCCA Prez

via Twitter:

@Director4One

@Director4One I was very surprised and dissapointed to see this article by the G-town Dish. Their sources are wrong and inaccurate.
10 hours ago

@CCCAPrez

@Director4One daDish does a lot of factual research all ovr the city w/ diverse residents b4 they publish *anything*
8 hours ago

Anonymous

Hi Beth,
You hit a nerve out there. Hot topic. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous

There is a big difference in constituent services between Fenty and Gray. Fenty got things done quickly, Gray not so much. Jack Evans office is always good.

Anonymous

I am tired of these salty people that are always looking for an excuse to bash VG. Fenty lost, get over it.

If you have not spoken to your ward rep, you are not looking very well. They are known throughout ANCs, list serves, civic associations, stakeholders. They have a website and social media. I know it seems weird but you have to actually do something to get in contact with them, like find their contact info, how ever easy that may be.

The go-to person is still the same person that was under Fenty - Paco Fimbres! Not good journalism at best, or maybe the writer has an axe to grind.

God DC local journalist are def minor league and horrible at their jobs.

Anonymous

maybe the real issue is that when we go to the "go to person," things still dont get done!

Anonymous

Jack Evans continues to bash Mayor Gray every chance he gets! Don't you read the newspapers! That's because King Evans knows the Mayor is under a thick cloud and wants to play it both ways. It depends on who you are and who you call. If your one of the lucky one's maybe they'll help!!! Just the facts.

Anonymous

His Royal Highness King Jack has done a lot for this city and ward two. Nobody can argue otherwise. Jack's staff works very well with the Mayor and his community outreach team to be responsive and solve many of the neighborhood concerns. This piece by Beth is nothin more than poor journalism. Unless, she is already on King Jack's payroll and it was meant to promote King Jack the candidate.

Barry Williams

Ward 2 is lucky to have Jack, no matter what you call him. He gets it. His constituent services are top notch, he understands how to get things done for our neighborhood, and he seems to be one of the few with a real eye on our finances.

I never held out hope for Gray and he is showing what he is made of. His neighborhood services leave a lot to be desired, which is why people on my block stick with Jack.

harold Butler

For those that wonder about city wide issues that are/ are not being addressed, we wonder what are the accomplishments of this MAYOR. The last Mayor stayed public and visible, good or bad

Anonymous

@ Barry Williams.... are u for real? what block do you live in? you sounds like one of jack's hacks or employees. Barry as for Marion Barry jack's best friend and Williams for Tony his favorite mayor. what a joke!

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