Tom Sherwood, not one to broadcast falsehoods on Twitter, says he’s confirmed that Terry Bellamy is the mayor’s pick to head the District Department of Transportation, as we speculated yesterday. Transportation reporters Kytja Weir and Adam Tuss say they’re hearing the same thing. I’ll be at the press conference to see what Vince Gray says about why.
UPDATE, 2:53 p.m. – A pretty perfunctory press conference—-Bellamy promised to continue with the progress of his predecessor, calling D.C. an “incubator” for innovative transportation projects—but a couple points. One: City Administrator Allen Lew, who oversaw the search process, says they interviewed six candidates from across the country and still settled on Gabe Klein’s deputy. Two: Reassuringly, the selection of Bellamy would seem to disregard the administration’s transition report, which harshly criticized Klein’s management (many of its allegations turned out to be untrue). Lew told me it wasn’t a repudiation of the report and that the selection team had been impressed with Bellamy’s interim leadership—-but at least he’s not taking it as a total indictment of DDOT’s approach under Klein. And three: From his brief turn at the mic, Bellamy is a less than inspiring public speaker. Charisma would be a useful characteristic in the head of an agency that involves so many aspects of peoples’ lives, and requires selling innovative programs (streetcars, bike sharing) to a sometimes skeptical public. But some people lead quietly, so we’ll see how Bellamy does.