Adrian Fenty, Mayor of Washington DC

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How good is Mayor Adrian Fenty?
Mayor of Washington DC, USA

City Mayors invites its readers to assess the performance in office of Adrian Fenty, Mayor of Washington DC. Please rate his overall performance by awarding him marks out of ten. '1' signifies an extremely poor performance, while '10' would rate his performance as outstanding. Please also provide details of what in your opinion are the mayor’s best and worst decisions.

Update 2011: Adrian Fenty is no longer mayor of Washington DC.

Over time, Mayor Monitor will provide a valuable track record of the mayor's successes and failures as well as his popularity among residents and a wider public. The results will be published on the City Mayors website and updated regularly.

Performance index:
August 2010: 3.97 points out of 10
July 2010: 3.90 points out of 10
June 2010: 3.71 points out of 10
May 2010: 3.70 points out of 10
April 2010: 3.73 points out of 10
March 2010: 3.72 points out of 10
February 2010: 3.72 points out of 10
January 2010: 3.76 points out of 10
December 2009: 3.81 points out or 10
November 2009: 4.00 points out of 10
October 2009: 4.04 points out of 10
August 2009: 4.22 points out of 10

July 2009: 4.41 points out of 10
June 2009: 4.16 points out of 10
April 2009: 5.75 points out of 10

Thumbs up:
• Kenneth W W (Washington DC): Mayor Fenty has introduced major impovements to Washington's school system.
• Slim (Washington DC): Clean Schools, Safe Streets, New Business, Great Sports, First Class Gov't Services to name a few.
Worst: Can't think of any
• Carol (USA): The Washington Post says DC residents give higher ratings for their neighborhoods and the quality of key city services than they have at any point in Post polling over the past 20 yrs. In contradiction to below the Post today says residents give positivce marks to the quality of parks and recreation; also gave high marks to Police Dept. He has reduced crime. 8 in 10 say they feel safe in their neighborhood.
• Anon (Washington DC): City services and responsiveness has improved considerably.
WJB (Washington DC): Making education/schools number # 1 on his administration agenda
• LHK (Washington DC): Signing DC recognition of same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions
• Jones (Washington DC): Youth programs; opening swimming pool; focus on DC schools and education programs. Handled Metro crisis well. Good emphasis on crime and working with police and fire departments.
Good presence throughout the city.
AP57, Washington DC: I do applaud the mayor for being responsive and accessible. Making the city attractive to a variety of development. Planting more trees in the city.
Fred, Washington DC: Not being afraid to take on the entrenched and highly disfunctional education bureaucracy.
Anon, Washington DC: It is not easy to pick one thing that Fenty has done well. I could give him some credit for his Shelter First policy, which gives homes to homeless families and individuals, but his overall housing policy is terrible.
• Starclimber9, Washington DC: Mayor Fenty has given the nod to signing the approval of a gay marriage bill, but beyond that, he's an abysmal failure.
• Charles, Washington DC: One of his greatest achievements, as I see it, is addressing slumlords in the District of Columbia and holding them accountable.
His leadership in attempting to create a rational response to the Supreme Court decision overturning DC's gun control law. I am a forty plus year resident of DC and have seen the city through good times and bad. I had high hopes for Adrian Fenty as Mayor but am deeply disappointed and can think of almost nothing else he has done that represents a significant achievment for the city.

Thumbs down:
• Alex (Washington DC): When Mayor Fenty denied to meet with the late Dr. Dorothy Height twice, this angered a lot of blacks in Washington and around the nation. Fenty showed disrespect to Ms. Height by refusing to meet with her and they he had the audacity to show up at her funeral. Fenty has shown little interest on the issue of mental health in the District of Columbia. He care about building dog parks and bike lanes for wealthy white yuppies moving into the District.
• LaCaiRaine (Washington DC): Mayor Fenty is bordering on the worst fiscal mayor in DC history; He has divided my city along race and class. We are truly the city of the haves and the have-nots have no place here. When you totally discount the labor/bargaining units of the people, build $400,000.00 dog parks and close rec centers, libraries and school, you cannot possible think that you are doing what is best for the residents.
• Carol O (USA): Since Washington D.C. is our nation's capitol, how the city is run is important to all of us. My heart is saddened that this mayor's behavior can change with the wind. Fenty bestowed an honor on an took it away again from a good person who devoted 10 yrs. of service w/o pay to a non-profit org, regardless of his own opinion of the org's purpose - it's one that gives assist. to a grp. of citizens who chose to abandon living a gay lifestyle.
• Carol (USA): I lived in DC many years ago and was born there however from what I read Mayor Fenty offended DC by approval of gays, closing parks and schools for blacks, does not listen to the people, closed day care centers for poor kids and laid off people from jobs without investigation. Fenty lost points by refusing to give previously allotted National tickets to DC Council members and a secretive trip to Dubai and his failure to attend memorial services for victims of Metro's deadly crash in June 2009. He should have built more rec centers. City Council considers Fenty as being arrogant.
• Larry F (Washington DC): Always using mayoral proclamations to get his way and gut city agencies
• T H (Washington DC): I'm proud to say I did not vote for Fenty. There was something about him I didn't like and I likened him to an ambulance chaser, but with the media of course. I'm sure there are plenty of people who made an educated decision to vote for him, but I'm also certain he was banking on people voting on a familiar face having been so visible on TV and around the city. I feel he is not nor ever was for the people. I didn't agree with his closing down the Parks & Recreation childcare system, which had been in place for many years AND not funded by the city. He simply does not care to listen to his constituents now that he's walked all over their backs to get to where he is! What is it? "The Mayor is speaking..."
• Rosabel (Washington DC): Mayor Fenty's dictatorial ways, disregarding the DC City Council, aided by his AG.
• C L (Washington DC): Mayor Fenty is an elected official who does not value the opinions or input of his constituents.
• Anon (Washington DC): For excessive police presence in the Trinidad area, ignoring individual freedom; this is an American city's version of a war zone.
• Democracy in DC (Washington DC): We need democracy back in the city, both at the federal level and local level. Fenty has managed to reduce the little democracy we have with his authoritarian rule. The city will be better off without him. I am ready to do whatever I can to help vote him out of office.
• Angelo (Washington DC): I believe the entire way in which this mayor conducts business, his arrogance, the questionable deals with friends, the way in which he treats the council, treats the media and, ultimately, the voting taxpayers, is a mistake he seems to make over and over again.
• BDE (Washington DC): Privatization of all public services, especially education and giving public land to developers
• SMH (Washington DC): Hiring Peter Nickles, Michelle Rhee, and Neil Albert would probably top my list of worst decisions/
• Jerome B (Washington DC): Bringing Michele Rhee to DC to lead our school system with a year and a half of teaching experience! She is unqualified, and not qualified to be a superintendent.
• CJS (Washington DC): The mayor's autocratic & dictatorial style of governance.
• D G (Washngton DC): Where do I start? For the sake of time I will just say that he does not stand for anything that he ran his campaign on. What I dislike the most about Fenty is that he feels like he does not have to answer to anyone- including the very same people that put him in office.
WJB (Washngton DC): Hiring Chancellor Rhee and imposing a reduction in force (RIF) on DCPS workers while hiring new out of state workers.
• Corlis H (Washington DC): How dare you close down federally funded day care centers for poor and needy children and try to privitize them?! How is that supposed to improve anything? Stop selling this city off to outsiders!
• Trecie (Washington DC): Fenty thinks he can do whatever he wants and not answer to anyone. He caters to white people. He hired Michelle Rhee who has no experience or credentials to run a school system. I have talked to many people who voted for him, and they have said that they will not vote for him again.
• LHK (Washington DC): He does have a sense of aloofness when it comes to communicating with the council from time-to-time, but considering past leadership in this city (rhymes with Carry-on Scary) I really can't complain!
• MC (Washington DC): His decision to close day care facilities at DPR centers, eventhough these facilities are not funded by the DC government or DPR. He wants to privitize the day care centers. He doesn't care about the families that these facilities are helping. He doesn't care about the personnel working for the facilities.
• DN DC (Washington DC): There are numerous mistakes that the mayor has made to date. However, I will try to limit my responses to the general. He lacks the ability to create a vision for our city; one that can be shared and perceived by the citizens of the District of Columbia. He has failed to create any strong, new road relationships with the city council; he has dismantled key community support organizations and services and community centers that would otherwise provide our youth with growth and opportunity. I was deeply embarrassed and appalled with his ill leadership skills during the recent Metro train crash. We need a change. And he can expect the citizens of the District to show him what we mean at the polls of the next election. Extremely dispointing. I didn't vote for him when he ran. He has proven my thoughts of his abilities to the letter.
• Anon (Washington DC): To sum it up, the mayor's rhetoric does not meet his actions. He contends that he reduces goverment bloat while expanding the ranks of management at exorbitant salaries. He underreported the number of casualties in the metro accident and did a poor job at communicating details to the media.
• Daniel P: Washington DC): Make decision on His own. Not taking important issues to the public. Having no loyalty to the DC Councils in letting them know he is going out of town.
• Jones (Washoington DC): Fights with City Council come across as childish.
DC pot holes and street repairs have gotten worse.
• Straw70 (Washington DC): While I would not call it his worst mistake, Mayor Fenty has alienated a lot of constituency groups that got him into office. For example, the Black LGBT community voted overwhelmingly for Fenty, but he has not ever attended the DC Black Pride Festival, which brings $100,000+ to DC every Memorial Day Weekend. He also has missed some opportunities to speak about statehood when he's been given national exposure. This is not good!
• RMH, Washington DC: The mayor is pandering to certain members or groups in the District of Columbia leading the voting public down a road to nowhere. One such example is funding the streetcar initiative by first purchasing the streetcar before building the infrastructure. Thereby paying millions of dollars for the storage of the streetcars overseas while the District figure out how to fund this new program. This is all the while the existing public transit system is facing tremendous cuts and downsizing. The public transit system has had to relinquish operations of the District Department of Transportation Circulator bus in order make ends meets, but the District is contemplating another mode of transportation. What about funding the existing mode? What about securing the funding for existing buses before venturing outside to delve into areas untested and unknown, especially without significant know-how within the District Department of Transportation.
• Anon, Washington DC: Despite having run as a populist during his campaign, Fenty has proven to be anything but. He has turned his back on the most vulnerable and has sided with the developers and big business time and time again.
AP57, Washington DC: Not having a better working relationship with the city council. Not working to provide more affordable housing. The affluent have definitely moved back into the city in large numbers but at the expense of those who are less affluent. Bringing in Ms. Rhee and allowing her to publicly blame all the teachers/admin. staff for the state of the DCPS.
• MSB, Washongton DC: 1. Chancellor Rhee; 2. Budget/office/agency cuts; 3. Choosing to not establish communication with the City Council; 4. Mandating the HPV shots. I can go on...
• Fred, Washington DC: A pattern of petty arrogance that appears to be getting worse as he consolidates his power. A couple of examples - withholding baseball tickets from city council members and retaliating against the city recreation official who tried to enforce the age requirements against the mayor's children in a sports league.
• Anon, Washington DC: Fenty's mistakes are too numerous to count. It is clear that he does not know how to think clearly and rationally. His first poor decision was to appoint Michelle Rhee chancellor of the schools. While she may be well intentioned and idealistic, she has no idea how to run a huge bureaucracy. Instead of trying to win supporters, she constantly creates fights for no reason, as though no one but her wants to improve public schools. The same can be said of the Mayor. His refusal to let city workers testify at city council hearings and his unwillingness to share baseball tickets with the city council are evidence of this. He will fire city workers at the drop of a hat without doing investigations. Evidence of this can be seen in the Banita Jacks case when a number of social workers were laid off without a full investigation.
• DCone, Washington DC: Arbitrarily firing city workers in knee jerk reaction to unfavorable press reports.
• Starclimber9, Washington DC: He's way too dictatorial and oblivious to the opinions of anyone else. It's either his way or the highway. And if you cross him, look out. He'll find a way to make you pay. His radical style of picking fights with different agencies and even with the city council has alienated many people. In order to get on his good side, you not only have to be polite and courteous, you'd have to roll out the red carpet and give him absolute butt kissing service and then you might gain his approval.
• Charles, Washington DC: Two of Fenty's worse mistakes is closing down and privatizing the D.C. Department of Mental Health and his wanting to add an additional tax on our Pepco monthly bills.
• Corliss H: I never voted for him. He's closing recreation centers, boys and girls clubs, schools in black communities and for what?! He has no agenda just ulterior motives.
His worst mistake is leading with a dictatorial, top down approach to almost all decisions. He seems convinced that he and his very small coterie of advisors and city officials have no responsibility to make themselves available for dialogue with the citizens of DC. Indeed, he seems intolerant of those who disagree with him, indifferent to the concerns of citizens or officials who bring unwelcome complexity to discussions and he appears to view any attempts at holding his government accountable to DC taxpayers as interference in his divine right to rule. Most of my friends, neighbors and colleagues jokingly refer to our city government as "the tyranny of the left." The title is all the more telling because we are liberal democrats who are completely in sympathy with Fenty's stated goals for the city but find his methods and lack of respect for democratic process and consultation deplorable. While he may intend improvement in the city his methods are leading to yet another more insular group who regard this city as their personal business to be managed according to their own preferences and views.

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