Before he mysteriously disappeared today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty had been scheduled to participate in a “Community Dialogue” on “critical issues of importance to the community” this evening at a meeting of the Ward 3 Democrats.

So with Hizzoner reportedly out of town today, what’s the status of that meet-and-greet? “He canceled last Thursday afternoon,” says Ward 3 Dems chair Tom Smith. Mayoral aides, he says, did not offer him an explanation for Fenty’s absence.

Incidentally, Fenty had been booked for last month’s Ward 3 Dems meeting, but he bailed on that one, too: “That turned out to be the week he went to Dubai,” Smith says.

Afterward, when mayoral aides offered to rebook the mayor for today, Smith assented, even though that required going through a relatively onerous scheduling process. But don’t count on a third time: “They have asked to reschedule,” Smith says, “and I told them, ‘What is the point of rescheduling if he’s not available to show up?'” He says the mayor is welcome to attend a future Ward 3 Dems meeting, but the group won’t be announcing or promoting the appearance.

If you find this conflict strange, it should be noted that Fenty, though a Democrat, has never enjoyed a close relationship with local Democratic party organs. In the absence of an explanation for this today’s disappearance, Smith says his fellow Dems’ minds have wandered. “Most of us believe that it’s because he doesn’t want to be subject to questions about the Tenley Library or the D.C. budget,” he says. “In other words, there’s a lot of us who are pissed.”