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What you said about what we said last week
Is Peter May a force for good—or just local consternation? Aaron Wiener’s cover story outlined the influence this National Park Service employee has over D.C. as a member of the National Capital Planning Commission, the Zoning Commission, the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and the Transportation Planning Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, bodies on which he sometimes brings a semi-urbanist perspective but mostly represents the viewpoint of his federal agency. Some instant takeaways: “You might think your city is badly governed, but at least you don’t have federal randos all up in your business,” @stuffisthings wrote on Twitter. Also on Twitter, Peter Carr Jones wrote that our article portrayed May as “D.C.’s Robert Moses—benevolently powerful yet unelected.”
Readers like Jonathan Parker wondered if May’s involvement in some local issues ought to fall outside the purview of his federal employer. “Trash-can and bike-rack placement, liquor licenses, chicken coops? Why should the Park Service comment on any of that?” Parker tweeted.
Among May’s defenders was a self-described Former Staffer: “One of the best bosses to ever work for because of his commitment to what he does and his natural ability to lead. I second that he was committed, prepared, intelligent, sympathetic, holds integrity, and is very fair-minded even to those who may not be his favorites to work with…the article calls Mr. May a bureaucrat which means ‘an official in a government department, in particular one perceived as being concerned with procedural correctness at the expense of people’s needs.’ This is by no means the definition of Peter May.”
Fretter of the Law
Still looking for an attorney general candidate to vote for? Start with the comments section of last week’s Loose Lips column, about the ambiguity surrounding the newly electable position’s actual responsibilities. “[Karl] Racine and [Lorie] Masters are the only ones qualified for the job. Given Racine’s affiliations with the likes of Harry Thomas Jr., I am voting for Masters,” wrote DCLukas. Reader Justice: “I cannot fault Racine for doing his job. As an attorney, we have all represented people who may not be the ‘best’ or ‘good.’ The bottom line is, it is our job.” And Lev: “[Paul] Zukerberg has the longest legal experience of any of them. Smitty [Edward Smith] has managed huge teams in multiple federal agencies. I don’t see where you’re getting this from. Masters simply isn’t going to win and Racine’s firm is so entangled in businesses that contract with the city that I’m astonished no one’s calling out the conflicts of interest he’s sure to bring to the office. Smitty is the best choice of the five, all things considered.”
Some readers suggested that Zukerberg, a former D.C. Council at-large candidate, deserves the nod because of his successful legal fight to prevent the D.C. Council from delaying the city’s first attorney general election. “Zukerberg is the only reason we get to vote on this at all,” wrote SS. “Wise up folks. Only one of these candidates has already had our back as de facto AG, his name is Zukerberg.”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, a review of the play Marie Antoinette originally said that “designer Misha Kachman has outdone herself.” In fact, Kachman is a man.