It’s barely six months into his administration, and the Washington City Paper is already trashing Mayor Tony Williams. Let’s review the parade of horribles, shall we?

1. Failing to disclose a contract with Arthur Andersen prior to taking office. I’ll agree that he should have disclosed it, but what possible justification could there be for demanding that he repay the fees? If it’s a conflict of interest for an ex-public official to take a consulting contract with a company that does business with the government, then half of the city should be out of work.

2. Failing to consult with the D.C. Council. I’m doubtful that it would have led to progress. With the exception of the recent tax cut, the council is best known for its ability to hold endless, self-aggrandizing hearings.

3. The “niggardly” incident. Has there been a week that the City Paper hasn’t mentioned it? For God’s sake, get over it!

4. The University of the District of Columbia move. I’m still waiting to read the article explaining the motives of those who wanted to squash the proposal before it could see the light of day. UDC hasn’t exactly been thriving, and it certainly hasn’t done much for Van Ness.

5. Flip-flopping on issues. Politics needs a few more folks who are willing to listen rather than simply broadcast their own views. Compare Williams with Rudy Guliani in New York, who’s not exactly winning popularity contests. Whom would you prefer as your mayor?

To be sure, the “increasingly churlish press corps” would not sell many papers with stories that the mayor had, among other heady administrative victories, finally procured new garbage trucks. Witness the City Paper’s own teaser, “[L]et’s talk about how your mayoralty ended up in a ditch and where we go from here.” The article revels in trashing the mayor, but fails to deliver on its promised discussion of “where we go from here.”

Why take cheap shots at the guy for not having “big ideas” and not appearing leaderly? We elected Williams as a self-professed nerd who ran on a platform of fixing the little things. He may not be Mr. Smooth (like former Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry), but we got what we asked for, and the city is demonstrably the better for it. Cut the guy just a tiny break for once.

Capitol Hill

via the Internet