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Evaluating Mayor Williams
(Published December 4, 2000)

With the halfway mark approaching in Mayor Anthony A. Williamsí four-year term, itís time to start looking at whatís been accomplished and how much further the mayor and his people have to go before they can fulfill many of the promises they have made to D.C. residents.

We expressed concern two years ago that the mayor came into office with the public expecting too much from him. His campaign raised the publicís hopes mighty high that Tony Williams would be Mr. Fixit. Clearly, the extreme disappointment that many D.C. residents now feel toward Mayor Williamsí performance stems from his inability to walk on water.

Unfortunately, one of the mayorís most often repeated promises as a candidate was that he would get city workers answering the telephones promptly and courteously within the first six months of his term. Frequent callers to city offices know the mayorís administration has still come up short on eliminating this problem, which from an outsiderís perspective seemed to have an easy fix.

But not many of our cityís tremendous social and economic troubles have a quick fix. We canít simply will them away by telling people to think happy thoughts about what a wonderful city we live in.

In many ways, what has perhaps been the mayorís greatest success in his first two years ó creating a more positive image for the nationís capital ó may also be his greatest failing to date. D.C. residents who must consistently deal with their government know that much of that positive image is still a mirage.

We hope the mayorís first two years have given him a quick education in how to make substantive changes for the better in the two years to come.

 

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