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Right now, At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson is giving the business to fire chief Dennis Rubin over Fenty administration plans to seriously hike ambulance fees.
In his questioning, Mendelson is suggesting that Rubin’s department attempted to circumvent a law that recently came into effect requiring the D.C. Council to pass judgment on such fee hikes by enacting an emergency rulemaking with an abbreviated comment period. At one point, Mendelson seemed to imply that the law had in fact been broken.
Earlier, Mendelson was similarly critical of representatives of the Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi over revenue projections for the fee hikes. At one point, Mendelson said to Gandhi deputy Angelique Hayes, “I know you’re trying to be diplomatic about it, but the analysis that was used to create the budget has been rejected.”
Responded Hayes, “I wouldn’t say it’s been rejected; it’s been refined.”
CFO reps admitted in their testimony they had a less-than-complete idea of to what extent Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers would pay the hiked fees.
It’s the culmination of yet another testy week between Mendo and the executive branch. Last week, Mendelson was pissed after the mayor’s office failed to send an representatives from the emergency medical services department on a hearing on a bill on EMS issues. He chose to recess the hearing rather than close it, meaning the legislation is effectively held up. Then earlier this week, Mendelson’s office put out a press release decrying a lack of transparency in the Fenty budget.