When You Go Down to City Hall Today, Just Make Sure You Pay the Parking Lot Box
(Update: Sam and Patrick are at City Hall, where the council has punted on the booting issue for various reasons. Look for a separate item shortly.)
As Sam reported yesterday, despite the Reeds' involvement as lobbyists for the parking-lot owners, the mayor will not recuse himself from today's vote. What ever would ethics-reform-calling-for mayoral candidate Tom Leppert have thought of that?
"Without strong rules, it just creates, in the mind of the electorate, more questions about the process," former Turner Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Tom Leppert said. "You should know where people are coming from and what purpose they're there at City Hall for."Oh, and speaking of Turner Construction, the city council today will vote whether to pay, um, Turner Construction $576,235 for "soil remediation" for the Annette Strauss Artist Square project. (It's Addendum Item No. 14, for those playing along.) Put simply, the money -- which comes from the '03 bond program -- will be spent on dirt. (Update: The mayor cited a conflict of interest before the vote.)
As in: "Because it is an outdoor venue where people will be sitting on the lawn, the decision was made to replace the old dirt with new dirt," says Maria May, the very nice spokesperson for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and the one stuck explaining the expenditure after assistant city attorney Ramón Míguez failed to return Unfair Park's calls yesterday. "It's nothing different than what you'd find in your backyard. It was a conservative decision made because of the nature of the venue."
She's not sure who made the decision or when, but does add that "even with the additional expense of the new dirt, Annette Strauss Artist Square is still under budget."