Mayor: What, Me Worry?

Fenty not concerned about snow cost, budget gap or poll drop

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington

    With another major storm about to drop a foot or more of snow on the Washington region, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty seems unconcerned about the fact that the city’s snow removal costs are well over budget.

    He also doesn't seem concerned about recent poll numbers suggesting he's not very popular in his own town.

    Connecting With The Mayor: 2/04/10

    [DC] Connecting With The Mayor: 2/04/10
    District Mayor Adrian Fenty talks about snow removal ahead of this weekend's big snow, his falling poll numbers and raising money for his campaign. (Published Thursday, Feb 4, 2010)

    On News4 Today’s “Connecting with the Mayor” segment, Fenty was asked about recent Washington Post polls that show his approval rating among voters has gone down 30 points since 2008 -- now, only 42 percent approve -- and that African Americans have flipped from a 68 percent approval rating after his first year in office to a 65 percent disapproval rating this year.

    “I haven’t had a chance to read it. I will,” Fenty said about the poll  “What I try to do is stay engaged with residents daily. I don’t wait for polls to come out.”

    He said that the people he talks with are concerned about school reform and public safety and the District’s growing population and solid bond rating.

    “We’ve got a lot of work to do," Fenty said. "That’s the job of a big city mayor.“

    As for the snow removal costs being over budget, the city normally budgets about $6 million for snow removal.

    “Even though we’re not talking about chump change…even if you…doubled or tripled that, in a $10 billion budget, with sound managing practices, you can make adjustments to find that much," Fenty said. "You’ll find savings in other places and you can move money around, and we will.”

    However, he also acknowledged that the District is on a pace to overspend its total budget by anywhere from $100 million to $300 million.

    “What we have to do is curtail some spending, and we’ve already done that,” Fenty said.

    “We’ve just talked to our agency directors about curtailing a $100 million in spending," he added. "Those are like open positions and things that we probably won’t fill this year.”

    “The bottom line is we’ll get the snow plowed," Fenty said. "The budget will be balanced without any question. It’ll be the 14th straight year that we do so.”