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D.C. Mayor Gray may change parking, taxi rates

Tuesday - 5/17/2011, 2:04pm  ET

Gray512.jpg
(WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)

Ask the Mayor

WTOP's Mark Segraves speaks to D.C. Mayor Vince Gray.

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WASHINGTON -- D.C. Mayor Vince Gray was a guest on Tuesday's "Ask the Mayor" program with Mark Segraves.

The Mayor blasted a recent Washington Post editorial about D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas and Gray, which the paper placed next to a chummy photo of the pair with embattled Sulaimon Brown.

"I think it was way beyond the pale," Gray said, asking, "What did this have to do with the editorial commentary that was being provided?"

Gray went on to say the Post ombudsman should question "what the justification was of running such a photo like that," adding he has no recollection of where the photo was taken.

The mayor also discussed local sports teams and their financial impact on the city.

The Washington Nationals should pay for the extra Metro service to accommodate games at their Southwest stadium, said Gray. The city currently foots the bills, he said, an arrangement he does not believe is required by contract.

And speaking of stadiums, Gray had little comfort to offer D.C. United, which has recently looked to Baltimore to cure their RFK Stadium woes.

"We could not pay for the stadium," he said, estimating a new facility in D.C. would cost as much as $250 million. Facing significant budget shortfalls, Gray added "a soccer stadium is not at the top of the list."

This yielded a surprised response from some on Twitter:

Seriously, I think Mayor Gray just said if Baltimore wants #DCUnited, they could have the team.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet Reply

The mayor also indicated he is open to raising the rate for taxis in D.C., following complaints from some drivers that fares under the meter system are too low.

"We're open to creating a fair rate," Gray said, pointing to some who argue the current price is fair.

In case you missed the program, check out the full audio at right and this live blog:

10:57 a.m., speaking about MPD contract stalemate for police officers:

"There are issues that have to be resolved, obviously, or it wouldn't be going on for three years."

10:55 a.m., speaking about "suspicious" white powder sent to DCPS:

FBI is leading the ongoing investigation. "It really was a model" of federal law enforcement cooperation.

We know of no untoward consequences of this. As far as I know, the powder proved to be nontoxic.

10:51 a.m., speaking about DMV locations:

We've encouraged to do all transactions with the DMV online.

I got an email from someone the other day about completing their registration online in about 5 minutes.

10:46 a.m., speaking about a Walmart in the District:

They haven't asked us for any tax breaks. The site we've heard the most concern about is on Georgia Avenue. We are concerned, too, about Walmart coming in.

We want to be sure we focus on the wages and benefits issued to their workers.

10:44 a.m., speaking about reducing Metro service to combat their budget gap:

We've looked at whether we could provide additional money. I think it would be ill advised to cut the hours.

I think the Nationals should pay for the extra Metro service following games.

We're looking at how to do this differently.

10:42 a.m., speaking about D.C. home rule and statehood following his arrest:

We had a hearing last week at the House Oversight Committee. I thought it was quite constructive.

The focus during the time of my arrest was budget autonomy. This is "everything but" falling into the background.

10:38 a.m., speaking about a federal investigation :

I have not been asked to provide information for a federal investigation. We voluntarily provided emails and my phone records.

10:36 a.m., speaking about his son's role Carlos in hiring:

"None."

Turning over to the media the emails his son sent about hiring was "completely irresponsible."

10:35 a.m., speaking about Sulaimon Brown's demand for a six-figure administration finance position:

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