For some reason, the D.C. Republican Committee doesn't like the fact that Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty's name can't be ignored when looking at the new soccer field at Harriet Tubman Elementary School.
"The Administration has essentially created a Fenty Field," Robert J. Kabel, Chairman of the DC Republican Committee, said in a release. "What should have been a celebratory occasion in showing off a new sports field, ended up being more of a PR campaign by the Mayor."
The GOPers are referring to a Monday ribbon-cutting ceremony that Fenty attended. Republicans weren't the only ones to notice the name of a mayor seeking a second term in large letters on the turf of the new field, which cost taxpayers $558,000. The Washington Post also took note:
Political coverage from NBC4.
But the easiest thing to spot on the field, which school officials said replaces an unsafe dirt facility, is Fenty's name.
The middle of the field features a huge city logo that stretches for at least 30 yards. If you're sitting in the bleachers, the name "Mayor Adrian M. Fenty" encompasses much of your view. Closer to the bleachers, at the bottom of the logo, "District of Columbia" is scrawled across the field.
"When did renovating a sports field for DC kids take a back seat to the Mayor's full throttle style of self promotion?" Kabel asked in the release. "If the new field is really for the kids, the Mayor should remove his name from the field immediately."
While Republicans are concerned about the name, others just want to know if they can step on the turf. That question was posed to D.C. officials by the New Columbia Heights blog.
The answer, not surprisingly, was muddled. Did you expect anything less from D.C.?
I've gotten two different answers, that you can use it when it's not school hours and it's not dark, or that you can't use it unless you have a use-agreement with the school system.
Blogger Andrew said the first answer came from the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization. The second answer came from Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's office after an e-mail was sent to Councilman Jim Graham.
So there you go. You may or may not be able to use the new community field, but at least it looks really nice. Unless, of course, you're a Republican.