On Monday, the Director of the General Services Administration resigned in the wake of a spending scandal that involved clowns, a mentalist, and Vegas. President Obama quickly named her successor: Dan Tangherlini.
Tangherlini should be familiar to District residents. Under Mayor Williams, he had a successful run as head of DDOT. This success led to an appointment as acting head of WMATA. Before WMATA got around to making him the permanent head, Mayor-elect Fenty hired him away as City Administrator. He made the jump to federal service in 2009 when Obama appointed him to a high ranking position in the Treasury Department, where he’s been ever since.
Lydia DePillis has already speculated that this change will be good for DC given Tangherlini’s familiarity with the city and that the GSA manages a portfolio of so many federal properties in DC. And that benefit might be felt quickly and significantly right here in Georgetown.
As you may recall, the GSA is in the process of selling the West Heating Plant. The Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park would like to see the south portion of that property (which now contains gas tanks and other industrial equipment) converted into a park. This was contemplated in the original Georgetown Waterfront Park plan adopted by the National Park Service. Ideally this park would encompass not just the south half of the lot but the shoreline that wraps around the property and provides a great view of the confluence of the canal and Rock Creek.
Those in favor of the park idea would like to see GSA put an condition of the sale of the property that a park be created and maintained. But GSA’s position up to this point has not been too encouraging. Representatives of GSA have stated that they plan to essentially put the property up for sale online and be done with it. When still working for DC, Tangherlini was very supportive of the Georgetown Waterfront Park. Georgetowners hoping for a new park along Rock Creek are hoping that that support will continue in his new role.