UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 28, 2009

ATTENUATED TENURE SWEEPSTAKES

We welcome any challenge to this record at the local, state or national level

Dorothy Brizill, DC Watch - Last week was not a good one for the Department of Parks and Recreation. On Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m., DPR Director Clark Ray was summoned to the Wilson Building by City Administrator Dan Tangherlini and fired. On Monday morning, Mayor Fenty held a press conference to announce the appointment of Ximena Hartstock, an Arlington, Virginia, resident who is Deputy Chief of Teaching and Learning at DC Public Schools, as Acting Director of DPR. Hartstock becomes the seventh director of DPR in nine years, following Robert Newman, Neil Albert, Neal Stanley, Kimberly Flowers, Wanda Durdin, and Clark Ray. Her appointment comes just weeks before the start of the busy summer recreation season.

Because Hartstock would not be able to assume her position at DPR for a week, Sean Conley, Clark Ray's former driver at DPR, was quietly named by Mayor Fenty to be the Acting Director for the week of April 19. On Friday, Conley made his one and only executive decision as interim director: he fired and/or RIFed fourteen key DPR employees, including the heads of the aquatic division, the sports division, the risk management division, and the partnership office, who were targeted for dismissal by Tangherlini.

It is widely believed that Hartstock was chosen because she will implement the Fenty administration plan to privatize many of DPR's programs to fire city employees who run those programs and replace them with contractors who will be given non-competitively bid contracts. . .

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