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Goldwater’s ouster sought

Sports commission president’s performance doesn’t

justify $275,000 annual salary, council critics say

(Published June 2, 2003)


Staff Writer

Five members of D.C. City Council have asked the Sports and Entertainment Commission Board of Directors to end Bobby Goldwater’s tenure as the commission’s president and executive director when his contract expires in early November.

In a May 16 letter to board Chairman John L. Richardson, the council members complained that Goldwater’s "performance shows a pattern of failed events, fiscal mismanagement, and highly questionable activities by the Commission under his leadership." The letter was signed by council members Jack Evans, D-Ward 2; Adrian Fenty, D-Ward 4; Jim Graham, D-Ward 1; Phil Mendelson, D-At Large; and Kathy Patterson, D-Ward 3.

Goldwater has been a controversial figure since he was hired by the commission board in November 2000, largely due to his $275,000 annual salary that makes him the highest paid among about 34,000 D.C. government employees.

Reached by telephone, Goldwater declined comment on the letter but said he has "started a conversation" with the commission’s board about his contract. In a written statement, Chairman Richardson said the board plans to work "with all members of the Council, including the members who signed the May 16 letter, so that all of us can fully and fairly consider and evaluate what the Commission has done and what we have accomplished during Mr. Goldwater’s tenure."

In their letter, the council members noted that Goldwater’s annual compensation "is $75,000 higher than the next highest paid city employee ... far higher than that of any elected official, and even $100,000 higher than the proposed salary for [police] Chief [Charles H.] Ramsey, who is charged with protecting the safety and security of the District of Columbia."

Among reasons cited in the letter for ousting Goldwater:

The council members’ letter said they "fully support the city’s efforts to expand hosting of national and international events" but have lost faith in Goldwater’s ability to achieve "the level of success that this city deserves."

Councilman Harold Brazil, D-At Large, who chairs the committee with oversight of the commission, said in a written statement issued May 29 that he supports the renewal of Goldwater’s contract.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator