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Wilder's "Future" in Council's Hands

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In the wake of Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's declaration that new schools are no longer part of his City of the Future, an ordinance passed in May spells out exactly who has ultimate authority in the fracas: City Council.

The ordinance, introduced by Wilder himself, gives Council final say before any of the planned $300 million in City of the Future funds are spent.

"The intent," the ordinance states, "is to ensure that … no expenditure for any individual school or other public facility or infrastructure that is a component part of the 'City of the Future' initiative is made prior to approval of such component part by the Council." In other words, City Council must approve all projects.

Last week, Wilder announced the first $150 million in financing for the yet-to-be-determined City of the Future projects was in place. He also announced he would identify the "first block of projects" to receive funding in early January.

But he designed his own stopgap: City Council.

"No expenditure," the unanimously approved ordinance states, "as part of the 'City of the Future' initiative shall be made unless and until the Council has approved by ordinance the specific facility to be constructed or renovated." S



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