Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh released a set of joke budget items in a memo Monday. Hatchet File Photo
Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh has a few ideas for the city’s budget before it sees a vote Tuesday.
Among Cheh’s proposals, released in a spoof memo Monday, is a $12 million rat sanctuary, named after herself, that would allow rodents to “live together in peace and without fear of being exterminated.”
She also called for a tracking system that would force individuals to wear “District-loyalty” ankle bracelets and a resident relocation fund that would subsidize disgruntled residents’ moves outside the city.
The council member floated ideas like adding Starbucks to government buildings in a similar spoof memo in 2010.
Man vs. drunken college students
This week the story behind the blog drunkengeorgetownstudents.com was everywhere. The Washington Post interviewed the man behind the website, which features photos of people partying in his neighborhood near Georgetown University. Burleith resident Stephen R. Brown told the Post Tuesday “If the university would let me have a night’s sleep, I might take it down,” referring to his blog. The 62-year-old also told the Post he hoped negative publicity about Georgetown would hurt the university. Luckily for GW students, there’s no GW version of the website.
Soda tax proposed
On Wednesday D.C. Council member Mary Cheh proposed a new tax on soda products sold in the District. Cheh, who represents Ward 3, wants a 1-cent tax per ounce on soda and other beverages to help fund the Healthy Schools Act, legislation that has already been approved by the D.C. Council and goes up for a final vote May 4. DCist has more details on the soda tax that will be voted on May 25.
Metro prepares for another fare increase
On Thursday, Metro’s Board of Directors met to discuss a fare increase coming this summer to make up for the $189 million operating budget deficit it faces. Plans are expected to be finalized by mid-May which include a 15 percent increase in Metrorail fares, a 20 percent increase in Metrobus fares, as well as an increase for MetroAccess service, The Washington Post reported. Ways to reduce service or increase fares from a revised budget proposed in April were addressed at the meeting. One proposal was to close the rail system at 2 a.m. on weekends, an hour earlier than it currently does. Board member and D.C. Council member Jim Graham called for that plan to be eliminated. Other board members also opposed a proposal for a $4 flat rate fee on late-night weekend Metrorail rides.