Many of you have read about the Council Chairman's lease of 2 SUVs (rejecting one and then ordering another and the District getting stuck with the high cost of both). The entire episode has been very distressing to me, as it has been to you, especially in these difficult economic times. Since the matter first hit the media, the Chair has acknowledged his lapse in judgment and is moving to return the vehicle and reimburse the District for certain expenditures. If there is a silver lining in all this it is that the Council, through the Committee on Transportation and Public Works has indicated that it will take a look at the entire matter of employee leasing of vehicles and the proper limits in terms of purpose, cost, and hopefully environmental effects.
School Health Profiles, courtesy of the Healthy Schools Act
As you may know, the Council passed (and funded) the the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, which I co-introduced along with now-Mayor Vincent Gray. The Healthy Schools Act is a comprehensive law that substantially improves nutrition, physical fitness, environmental quality, and health in our public and charter schools. Schools have already begun serving healthier school meals that meet the Healthy Schools Act's heightened nutritional standards. Now, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education has implemented another component of the legislation, the School Health Profiles, which will increase public disclosure and allow parents to make informed decisions about where to enroll their children. Under the program, schools are now required to report information about their nutrition, health, and wellness programs to the District each spring. The first School Health Profiles have been posted online here: DCPS and Charter Schools. I hope you’ll join me in thanking OSSE and the schools for their efforts to improve the health of our children in our public schools.
This week, my Committee held the first of the annual agency FY10 performance oversight hearings. At the hearing, my Committee received testimony from the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Risk Management, the Office of Disability Rights, and the Department of Real Estate Services. These hearings help ensure that our agencies are performing at the highest levels, and encourage them to consider ways to improve during the next fiscal year. If you would like more information about the hearing, click here.
In addition, the Committee is held two hearings yesterday, the first related to Open Meetings legislation and the second related to a public surplus resolution for Justice Park in Ward 1.
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This Friday, February 25: Deadline to Order a Personalized Paver to Support Wilson High
Did you miss the December deadline to place an order for a Wilson personalized paver? Good News! The building contractors for the new Wilson have agreed to a brief window of opportunity to place new paver orders. These personalized pavers will be permanently set around the new entryway at Wilson during the current renovations. This would make a GREAT gift for your favorite past, present, or future Wilson Tiger. Don’t forget to order one for your 2011 Wilson Graduate! For a donation of $100 you can purchase a 4" x 8" paver to commemorate your Wilson student, favorite teacher, club, sport, or group of friends. Proceeds will support the PTSA-led Woodrow Wilson High School $75,000 Capital Campaign celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Wilson. Order forms are available at www.wilsonhs.org (link on lower right hand side of page under “Latest Files”). The deadline for all new orders is Friday, February 25, 2011. Questions? Contact Beth Van Hanswyk at bvanhanswyk[at]yahoo[dot]com.
This Sunday, February 27: Chat with Cheh
Please join me on Sunday, February 27, 11:30-1PM at Cosi (5252 Wisconsin Ave NW) for my regular Chat with Cheh. I would like to hear from you, and I will also have members of my staff present to provide assistance if you are facing a difficulty with a District agency. RSVP on Facebook.
March 3: Winter Constituent Services Fundraiser-POSTPONED
The March 3, 2011 Constituent Services Fundraiser has been postponed. A new date will be announced shortly.
March 8: DC Water Town Hall Meeting
A number of residents have recently asked questions regarding your water, so DC Water General Manager George Hawkins and I are co-hosting a town hall meeting to talk about water projects and other issues. The meeting will be Tuesday, March 8th, 2011, from 6:30-8:00PM at the Windows Lounge on the University of the District of Columbia campus (Building 38, 2nd Floor). Please join us to talk about water rates, drinking water, infrastructure, clean rivers, billing issues, job opportunities and more. You can even RSVP to the meeting via Facebook.
March 13th - Daylight Savings Time Begins: At 2:00 AM turn your clocks and watches ahead to 3:00 AM
April 18th - Tax Deadline this year: you will have until April 18th to file your Federal and District Taxes