- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2006

Proposals calling for establishing a deputy mayor for education and a new rank in the Metropolitan Police Department were among many recommendations Adrian M. Fenty, the District’s presumptive next mayor, received from a group of resident advisers yesterday.

Mr. Fenty’s pre-transition team delivered the policy ideas via a Web-based seminar, dubbed a “Webinar,” providing insight about the priorities of a Fenty administration. The ideas covered a range of topics, such as education, housing and public safety.

“The point of this transition is to put ideas out there,” said Mr. Fenty, currently the Ward 4 representative on the D.C. Council. “The key, I think, is to encourage the residents of the District of Columbia to think big.”

Mr. Fenty, a Democrat, is expected to win today’s mayoral election because about 74 percent of the District’s voters are registered Democrats.

The pre-transition team compiled suggestions from more than 1,000 residents, who offered ideas via e-mail, on Web logs and in chat rooms.

Among the suggestions were calls for creating a position of deputy mayor for education and placing the D.C. public school system under mayoral control — two ideas that Mr. Fenty himself has suggested.

He has said he would like to set up a mayoral-run school system such as those in New York and Los Angeles. His education advisers also have recommended that the school system complete all of its facility repairs within two years.

“There is a concern that you, the mayor, have adequate control and authority to make needed changes,” said Bonnie Cain, who presented the education proposal yesterday.

Another suggestion called for the creation of the rank of master sergeant in the police department. An officer with that rank would be required to live in a specific police service area for at least 10 years.

The idea aims at providing a greater link between the community and police force.

The pre-transition group also recommended that Mr. Fenty make the emergency medical services (EMS) a separate agency. The EMS division currently is part of the city fire department.

Some of the proposals focused on how they would be funded, but Mr. Fenty said that his goal of a streamlined, high-technology city government could save the city money.

“We don’t need more money in the District of Columbia government. We need to spend it more wisely,” he said.

The draft ideas — which included suggestions for the environment, minority affairs, development, D.C. voting rights and affordable housing — culminated with a proposal to use a statistical program called CAPstat to bring greater accountability and action to D.C. government.

The program, which is modeled after those in New York and Baltimore, would operate on a $3 million budget and be centralized in the City Administrator’s Office.

Agency heads would use its statistics to track performance and achievement gaps in relevant areas, and brief the mayor on results in weekly reports and “HotRoom” meetings.

Residents can view executive summaries of all the reports at https://fenty.trewtech.com/Policy%20Group/Executive%20Summaries/.

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