View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 29, 1998
        President Clinton Appoints Members of District of Columbia
       Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority

President Clinton today announced the formation of a second District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority. The President announced the temporary appointment of three members from the first board who have agreed to continue to serve in a transitional role for a period of 90 days, and his intent to appoint two new full-term members of the board.

The President announced that current members Andrew Brimmer, Constance Berry Newman, and Stephen Harlan will serve for the transition period. Mr. Brimmer will retain his role as Chair for this period.

The President also announced his intent to appoint as two new full-term members of the board Alice M. Rivlin, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, and Washington attorney Robert Watkins. Ms. Rivlin will assume the role of Chair after Mr. Brimmer's departure. During the transition period, the President will name other new full-term members.

The 90-day transition period provides the opportunity for those who have served for the past three years to share their expertise with the incoming board members on matters relating to the finances, management and governance of the city. This period of overlap will meet the shared goal of the Administration and the Congress of providing continuity for the second board. In addition, this 90-day period permits members of the first board, who developed the city's recently submitted budget to continue working on budget issues in consultation with the Congress.

"This is the right way and the best way to provide for an orderly transition," said President Clinton. "This transition period will fully provide the incoming board members with continuity that will allow them to meet the challenges of the board's second term, namely maintaining the city's fiscal health and returning decision making power to the elected officials of the District of Columbia."

"As their terms near an end, I want to express my appreciation for the District's first board, which met a difficult challenge by helping to set the city on the road to financial health," said President Clinton. "Board members Joyce Ladner and Ed Singletary, along with their colleagues from the first board, have made an enormous contribution to the District," said the President.

"I am delighted that during this transition period, the District of Columbia can draw on the talents of those who have already served ably, and those who are willing to join this board, to contribute to the mission of helping the city fulfill its true potential," said President Clinton.

Alice M. Rivlin, in addition to her role at the Federal Reserve, is a former director of the Office of Management and Budget and the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office. She has also been a Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Assistant Secretary for Planing and Evaluation at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. She has written numerous books, including Reviving the American Dream (1992) and has contributed frequently to newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Robert P. Watkins is a former Federal prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. A practicing lawyer in Washington, D.C. for more than thirty years, Mr. Watkins is now a partner at the Washington law firm, Williams & Connolly.

The District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority was formed in April 1995 in order to assist the District in eliminating budget deficits, managing problems more efficiently and effectively, and ensuring the long-term viability of the Nation's capital. By statute, the board will return decisionmaking power to the city's elected officials after a series of four consecutive balanced budgets.