Where Was Cropp?
Dignitaries galore showed up for the Jan. 3 swearing-in of Mayor Fenty and Council Chairman Vincent Gray. There was outgoing mayor Anthony Williams, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.).
The noticeable absence: Outgoing council chairman Linda Cropp.
People looking for the 15-year council veteran among the sea of more than 1,000 people at the Washington Convention Center had no luck.
So why wasn't she there?
"I wasn't invited," Cropp, who lost to Fenty in the mayor's race, said in a brief interview last week at a farewell event for outgoing council members at the Embassy Suites hotel.
Cropp, Fenty (who was leaving his Ward 4 council seat), Vincent B. Orange Sr. (Ward 5) and Kathy Patterson (Ward 3) were feted. Sharon Ambrose (Ward 6) also was honored, although she did not attend. The event was called, "Honoring a Legacy of Service."
"There really isn't a role for the chair. There is for the mayor," Cropp said, referring to the fact that Williams performed the ceremonial passing of the D.C. seal to Fenty during the ceremony
Both Fenty and Gray prompted the crowd of about 150 people to applaud Cropp's career in politics.
Cropp received a watercolor painting of the John A. Wilson Building. "Thank you so much, Madame Chair," she said, teasing Gray who has been addressed as such by council members who have not broken the habit of addressing Cropp.
The other council members received prints of the same painting. Gray pulled out the stops on the event, which featured samplings of soups, a mashed potato bar, cooks stir frying vegetables and an open bar of premium liquors.
"Brother Gray, you sure know how to throw a party," Orange said. "I probably shouldn't say this, but I was extremely happy to see carpet on the floor."
Orange was referring to the concrete-floor faux pas of Fenty's inaugural ball. Women in stilettos complained of the damage to their feet.
-- Reported by Nikita Stewart
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