D.C. lease still not done yet

The new final version of the Washington Nationals stadium lease turns out to have been not so final after all. D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams now says he’ll revise the lease to deal with objections from city CFO Natwar Gandhi, who’d previously said of the revised deal, “I cannot take it to Wall Street.” Asked if the new revisions would satisfy him, Gandhi replied: “I think so. I’ll wait to see the final paperwork.” Effusive guy, that Natwar.

The D.C. city council, meanwhile, met with Williams yesterday for a briefing on the 600-page lease documents, and it doesn’t sound like it went all that well. Councilmembers expressed concerns about giving the Nats 42.5% of the proceeds from the sale of development rights and calling that a concession – “We’re not going to take that,” said councilmember Marion Berry, “we bought the land” – and over the mayor’s failure to provide documentation on how he’d limit cost overruns. The Washington Times reports that “none of the eight members who oppose the deal gave any indication yesterday of having changed their minds,” and notes that “when the doors to [council chair Linda] Cropp’s conference room occasionally opened, members could be heard yelling at the mayor’s negotiating team and the mediator, former Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer.”

It’s looking more and more likely that vote will be postponed from February 7, if only to give Williams more time to figure out how to improve his public presentation skills.

LATE NOTE: Sounds like the mayor’s getting cranky about the whole situation: “You know the mayor’s stupid and this was an awful deal, it’s still awful and everybody’s bad, I don’t have any desire whatsoever to continue that game,” he told D.C.’s NBC4. “I think it’s now time to have a vote. I do not have any intention whatsoever this time of withdrawing the legislation. I think we just need to have a vote. And if you want baseball, this is what we have.”

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