Indo-American Who Restored Washington Finances Quits

WASHINGTON – Natwar (‘ Nat’ ) American Governor Nikki HaleyGandhi, an Indian-American money managerwho turned around the finances of WashingtonDC, arguably the world’s most powerfulcity but also a profligate one till he took over,resigned as its chief financial officer on Fridayciting personal reasons.
Gandhi, 72, served two five-year terms asWashington DC’s CFO and had just received athird five-year term amid praise for guiding thecity from being broke during the 1990s to a$417 million surplus and $1.5 billion in budgetreserves at last count. But buffeted by scandalsin tax collection and leakages despite high regardfor his personal probity, Gandhi quit afterserving less than a year of his third term.
The local media also hinted at a buddingromance for the grandfatherly poet-manager— he has several books of verse in Gujarati— who was widowed in 2011.”Though I look forward to the next chapterin my life, this was not an easy decision ,”Gandhi wrote in his resignation letter on Fridayto mayor Vincent Gray.
The great city’s finances were anything butgreat when Gandhi took over in 2001. WashingtonDC had spent itself into a half billiondollar deficit by the mid-1990 s, leading Congressto take control of the city till 2001. Inpart, this was because of the porous nature ofthe city.
It could not collect taxes from morethan half of its workforce and almost half ofits real estate owners, including the WhiteHouse, the World Bank, and scores of embassies.
Each day, some half million wealthysuburbanites pour into the city from the suburbsin Maryland and Virginia, but they pay notaxes although they use city’s public services ,leaving the city’s poorer residents to foot thebill.