- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2006

Interim Metro director Dan Tangherlini yesterday announced plans to serve as city administrator in the administration of Adrian M. Fenty, the Democratic nominee for D.C. mayor.

Mr. Tangherlini, a former director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, removed himself from consideration for Metro’s permanent general manager.

“This morning I did send a letter to the board of directors at the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority and Metro to withdraw from their national search for a general manager,” Mr. Tangherlini said yesterday.

Metro’s board of directors is conducting a nationwide search for a permanent general manager and was strongly considering Mr. Tangherlini. It is expected to make a final decision after interviewing several candidates this month.

Mr. Tangherlini told The Washington Times last month that he would consider the administrator job seriously only if he was denied the Metro position.

But yesterday he said a series of phone calls and meetings with Mr. Fenty persuaded him to commit immediately to the city spot.

“What changed is a series of conversations I had with Mr. Fenty,” Mr. Tangherlini said. “I really got excited about his vision, I really got excited about what he saw my role being and I really saw it as the biggest opportunity to make a difference.”

City Administrator Robert C. Bobb has resigned his post under Mayor Anthony A. Williams to run for D.C. school board president.

As city administrator, Mr. Bobb was paid $195,000. Mr. Tangherlini likely would earn a similar amount. The Metro general manager job likely would pay more than $235,000.

Mr. Tangherlini took the interim Metro job early this year. He is known for his hands-on management style and has been credited with improving the transit agency’s public image in the past six months.

Richard A. White resigned as general manager in January after repeated system and service failures tarnished Metro’s image. Among the setbacks were a November 2004 accident in which two trains collided on the Red Line.

Mr. Fenty yesterday said he hopes Mr. Tangherlini will bring the same energy and responsiveness to the city administrator spot as he has brought to Metro.

Mr. Fenty, also known for hands-on leadership as a D.C. Council member representing Ward 4, said he chose Mr. Tangherlini because “Dan and I think really do complement each other well. We work extremely well together already in the D.C. government.”

Mr. Tangherlini will begin working with Mr. Fenty immediately on other potential appointments while continuing his job at Metro. His contract with Metro expires Feb. 16, but he said he likely will work with the Metro board to leave early.

Mr. Fenty has said he will not make any more personnel appointments before the Nov. 7 election. Because a strong majority of D.C. registered voters are Democrats, the mayoral candidate who wins the Democratic primary is likely to win the general election.

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