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As one who actually watches D.C. Council hearings on cable, I can agree that David Catania sometimes needs, as Carol Schwartz was quoted as saying, “to chill out a little.” I also share Mr. Catania’s impatience with D.C. government bureaucrats who either cannot or will not provide the councilmembers with the information they need to perform their oversight duties.

Most of the barbs dished out by Laura Lang (“Bloody Right,” 5/28) and those she quoted are fair commentary on the performance of a councilmember who ran for office promising to shake things up. But how does a sexual innuendo, tossed of by a “friend” in a social setting, enlighten us about Catania’s effectiveness on the council?

Over the course of several years, I have asked for help from the Department of Public Works, my own ward’s councilmember, and then-Mayor Barry’s office on a paving problem on my block of N Street NW. When I got a response, it was a form letter promising that someone would look into my complaint. Often, there was no response at all. When I e-mailed Mr. Catania’s office for the first time a couple of months ago, I got a call from a staffer (Josh Dunkelman) within hours. Mr. Dunkelman remained in touch with me until the problem was fixed.

OK, it was a small problem affecting one city block. But the D.C. government’s infamous failure to address myriad such problems (not to mention the larger ones) is one reason Mr. Catania twice got my vote.

At last, the council is becoming an effective branch of the government. Pains in the ass like David Catania and Sharon Ambrose, under the moderating influence of Chairman Cropp, share a good portion of the credit.

Logan Circle

via the Internet