If only Natwar M. Gandhi had been more of a train buff.
If so, his financial security might be in better shape right now: In April, Amtrak tried to lure Gandhi, the city’s chief financial officer, with a $250,000 salary plus a $100,000 signing bonus. In order to keep the man widely credited with restoring the District’s fiscal health over the past decade, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty decided to up Gandhi’s salary from $186,000 to $279,000.
Now, in the wake of the quickly expanding property-tax scandal, the bloom has come off Gandhi’s rose for the first time in his 10 years of District service. And his most persistent critic, At-Large Councilmember David Catania, now suggests that the raise needs to be rolled back.
“He should go without this recently approved pay increase,” Catania said in an interview this afternoon. “I think that would be in bad form….I’m at the point where that should be rescinded.”
Gandhi was not immediately available for comment.
On Thursday, the council’s committee on finance and revenue will hold hearings on the scandal. Catania, who has clashed with Gandhi repeatedly, most notably on baseball-stadium financing, says he plans to focus on improving oversight for disbursements across the District government.
“I don’t want to pile on with Nat,” he says. “This is not a time to be engaged in that. This is about how quickly we can put a plan in to restore confidence in this government.”