By Larry Janezich
I watched some of the City Council debate last night on the DC Government channel (13), and I thought Councilmember Wells supplied thoughtful and heartfelt reasons why he cast a vote against the budget put together by Councilchair and Mayor-elect Vince Gray. Wells and Barry both seemed to feel that the city’s most vulnerable were being asked to make the greatest sacrifice; others agreed, but suggested a more equitable distribution of the burden will happen in the next round of budget discussions in the coming months.
The Council clearly signaled that the city can expect both more cuts and higher taxes by the time those discussions conclude. Yesterday’s exercise seemed to be a painful effort to demonstrate DC’s resolve to balance the books and avoid a Congress-imposed Control Board (something of a red herring, in my opinion).
An amendment offered to support higher taxes, supported by Wells and others, was defeated by a slim margin. It may nevertheless provide a blueprint for steps the Council will take in the near future.