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Mayor's citywide summit draws praise, criticism

Sunday - 2/12/2012, 4:01pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A town hall-style summit for District of Columbia residents has been praised for engaging the public but criticized for its $600,000 price tag and rigid structure.

Mayor Vincent Gray hosted the summit Saturday at the Washington Convention Center. About 1,700 residents attended.

At the start of the event, facilitators told participants that electronic devices and tweeting were prohibited, prompting a brief outcry. The decision was later reversed. Some participants also say they found the event too structured.

City officials say private donations covered $50,000 of the $600,000 cost. The executive director of the D.C. Republican Committee called the event a waste of money.

Participant David Camero says it was "nice of the mayor" to hold the summit and said he appreciated the opportunity to hear ideas about the city's future.

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