Travel Recreation

Opinion | The D.C. Council should stop allowing private entities to take over public parks and buildings

D.C. Council Member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) said in an email to constituents, “Earlier this spring, I expressed to the Deputy Mayor (for Education Paul Kihn) my deep frustration regarding his efforts to explicitly circumvent council review of this lease and that the lease’s language prioritizes Lab’s use of the space over that of residents. The Executive engaged in a similar ploy in 2019 to give a private school prioritized use of the Jelleff Recreation Center fields, leaving Hardy Middle School students to travel across town instead of across the street for sports practices. I also have significant concerns about the legality of the Lab School lease extension, including the Executive’s actions to circumvent Council review. With that in mind, earlier this spring I asked the Attorney General to review the lease’s compliance with District law. Although the AG concluded that the lease was valid, it only passed scrutiny because the Deputy Mayor explicitly drafted the language to exploit gaps in the existing law to avoid council review. Thus, I intend to work with my colleagues to identify and close the loopholes that allowed this lease extension to move forward, but of course that would only apply to future leases.”

Related Articles

Back to top button