Barry Absent, Cheh Tardy at Landmark Council Meeting

By: Harry Jaffe

When DC Mayor Adrian Fenty came to the city council this morning to introduce his landmark legislation to take over the city’s public schools, two council members were missing in action.

Ward 8 council member Marion Barry was absent. A visit to his office elicited this comment from his chief of staff: “Mr. Barry has a cold.” Further investigation found that Barry has been hospitalized with pneumonia.

New Ward 3 council member Mary Cheh was merely marked tardy. The hearing began at 9:30. Cheh showed up at 10:15, after her colleagues delivered their remarks and after Fenty gave his opening speech.

Cheh’s aide told me she was teaching a class at George Washington University Law School. She will be teaching the class through April, when she begins a sabbatical.

Until that time, her council work will be part-time.