Barry Soon to Be French Toasted
Morris, Vincent S., The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
It's become pretty clear to most observers that Mayor Marion Barry has very little actual control over the D.C. government.
But that hasn't slowed the steady stream of heavy-hitting media types from wanting to feature him and his misunderstood city.
Recently, Mr. Barry was featured on NBC and has been shadowed for the last month by a reporter from GQ magazine.
In June, TF-1, a French television station, will air an in-depth story about the relationship of the District to the rest of the nation. The segment will feature Mr. Barry prominently, but will look at all aspects of the District, according to producer Stephanie Dupasquier.
Yesterday, Miss Dupasquier's crew set up shop in Mr. Barry's 11-story office at One Judiciary Square for a segment on budget decision-making.
For dramatic purposes, the crew wanted video of Mr. Barry, who actually speaks a little French, and his sometimes nemesis - Chief Financial Officer Anthony A. Williams - chatting informally about the District budget.
The carefully scripted segment showed the two men huddled around the mayor's work desk as Mr. Williams lobbed softball questions at Mr. Barry.
"Everyone appreciates your financial acumen," Mr. Williams told Mr. Barry at one point. That's Politics looked over at Miss Dupasquier, but she wasn't laughing.
The two talked for about 25 minutes, occasionally looking over their shoulders at the camera crew for cues. "Are we about done?" asked Mr. Williams at one point.
That's Politics is still puzzled over how much interest the French will have in watching dubbed conversations about "long-term capital financing," but maybe that's why we aren't in TV.
D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz, at-large Republican, turned some heads last week when she showed up at a forum sponsored by the Women's National Democratic Club.
Community activist Kathy Pearson-West noted the irony when she nodded toward Mrs. Schwartz, sitting at the front table, and said: "You know this is a real good club when you can bring out Republicans."
With an eye on running for mayor this fall, Mrs. Schwartz is making an effort to broaden her appeal across the city. The March 19 event, held to discuss the future of the District, attracted about 75 persons.
Since the D.C. Council - at the request of Mr. Barry - recently agreed to hand out pay raises to a few D.C. government bureaucrats, we though we'd take a look at how some of the recipients stack up.
The director of the D.C. Department of Recreation, Betty Jo Gaines, oversees 72 neighborhood recreation centers and playgrounds, 42 swimming pools, 22 day care sites and 17 senior-citizen facilities.
How are others in comparable jobs paid? The National Park Service's national capital region director is paid $110,700 a year; Montgomery County's recreation chief, $105,300; Alexandria's recreation director, $83,111; Fairfax County's recreation chief, $94,112; and Baltimore's recreation director, $78,000.
Under the council action, Mrs. Gaines' pay goes from $81,885 to $114,238 annually. But her total compensation, when $17,135 a year in fringe benefits is included, is $131,373.20, according to Reginald Basden, financial officer for the recreation department.
Rodney Palmer, director of the D.C. Office of Policy and Program Evaluation, is in charge of education, criminal justice, youth violence and welfare-reform issues on behalf of the mayor. …