SIMMONS: Good move: City keeps its bean counter

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But the job of the CFO is not to acquiesce to the wishes of Mr. Catania, other lawmakers or even the mayor.

The Clinton White House and Congress established and strengthened the independent CFO in the mid-1990s not as a puppet, but as a responsible budget and revenue entity to help restore fiscal sanity and maintain financial integrity at a time when the city had neither.

And know what? The city is in fine shape because of their intervention. That is why Mr. Gray could characterize Mr. Gandhi as “a steady steward” for more than a decade.

The council is expected to confirm Mr. Gandhi before its 12 members go on summer recess, and I don’t know of anyone who anticipates a unanimous vote.

Mr. Catania has established quite a reputation for posing pointed questions during council hearings, and he can bet his mad money that the Washington business community is going to show support for the “idiot bean counter.”

Let’s see if Mr. Catania will man up and take a tempered road or throw another expletive-filled hissy fit.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at

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About the Author
Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...

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