Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser lost it Tuesday as the Democratic D.C. Council voted to drastically alter her controversial homeless shelter plan, cursing out Council Chairman Phil Mendelson over threatening her 2018 deadline to close D.C. General Hospital.
“You’re a fucking liar!” Bowser shouted at Mendelson down a hallway, according to WAMU. “You know it can’t close in 2018!”
In a move spearheaded by Mendelson, the Council approved an initial plan to close D.C. General Hospital, however they largely gutted Bowser’s agenda by using public land for the shelters to potentially save the city millions. It rejected language in the mayor’s plan which ceding city control of shelter properties to developers through lucrative leases, many of which benefited Bowser’s campaign donors. (RELATED: DC Mayor’s Donors Stand To Profit From Hotly Contested Shelter Plan)
Mendelson argues his new plan will drastically reduce the cost of Bowser’s $800 million proposal, potentially saving the District roughly $165 million. The new plan proposes five shelters on public sites, and gives the mayor power to buy the remaining two sites, possibly through eminent domain.
Mendelson criticized the Bowser administration, saying she refused to work with legislators and provided little information or clarity. He says the Council’s new plan will speed up construction times and make the goal of closing the dilapidated D.C. General homeless shelter by 2018 more attainable, reports The Washington Post.
“There has been a lot of misinformation and obstruction,” Mendelson said at Tuesday’s Council hearing. “These problems all would have been avoided if there had been more collaboration.”
Bowser’s anger boiled over at Mendelson’s claim using public land will speed up the timeline of closing D.C. General, which they all agree needs to be closed. Bowser says the Council’s plan, which goes through the regular zoning process unlike Bowser’s plan, will destroy her timeline.
“There are some things that have to be clarified by the Council,” Bowser told WAMU. “I heard them saying in their earlier session that their actions would not delay the closure of D.C. General, and we’re not so sure about that.”
Tuesday’s vote approved the initial reading of the amended legislation. A date for a final vote on the alternate shelter proposal is not yet scheduled.
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