As a former staff member to the D.C. Council’s Committee on Public Works when it was headed by Nadine Winter in the mid-’80s, I respectfully suggest that Loose Lips might have considered adding to the “Best Scheme to Get Rich Off Part-Time Work” (LL, 12/24/99) a subcategory for “Best Scheme to Demoralize the Work Force.” Why? Because of Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ penchant for paying new executive branch senior personnel substantially higher salaries and providing retirement benefits exceeding what both the rank and file and councilmembers are allowed.

Respectfully: Although the councilmember jobs are rated as “part-time,” probably even senior law firm personnel would not consider putting in the same hours for the “public servant” salaries the District pays.

Also, although both Mendelson and Ambrose earned their Eagle Scout badges for forgoing a $10,000 raise, it seems to me that Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman demonstrated better acumen about how the real world works by demanding a pay raise for herself without any visible increase in duties or responsibilities while denying the roughly 400 RIFed custodial personnel and others, like myself, the severance pay specified in the 1998 D.C. Appropriations Act.

With situations like this condoned by the control board on the basis that they wish to “return control to District officials” and congressional officials placing restrictions on the D.C. budget that would be considered unconstitutional by any other state, the federal government has its own need for brokering peace with the District—as serious as its other international disputes.

Foggy Bottom