"Bullcorn!" Mayor Pro Tem Caraway Says He Most Definitely Didn't Meet With Mayor's Consultant About Airport Concessions.
Said he just sat down to read Unfair Park and noticed that item wherein Mayor Tom Lepperts's consultant Willis Johnson says he met with Caraway a few weeks ago to discuss concessions at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Caraway says that most certainly is not what they met about. No sir. No way. No how.
"That was not the nature of the meeting," he tells Unfair Park. At which point he adds that, yes, sure, maybe it came up in conversation. Because stuff comes up when you talk to people. You're talking about this. Then, that. Then, this other thing. All kinds of things.
"But that was not the structure of the meeting," Caraway says. "I can't even recall what was discussed."
He then says he recalls discussing with Johnson at great length the pending wet-dry referendum. Johnson is in fact on the Progress Dallas team (which will announce early tomorrow afternoon that is has gathered well more than the 68,846-plus signatures needed to force a vote). Caraway is "on the dry side," as he put it.
As for his meeting with Johnson about airport concessions, Caraway says emphatically, "that's bullcorn! ... I am not trying to upstage him or anyone else, but I've been meeting with him about this wet-dry stuff."
At which point I asked Caraway where he comes down on the whole issue of re-opening bids at Love Field.
"I'll just tell you this," he says: "They have worked, prior to me coming on the council, for three years on dealing with this stuff at these airports. And the staff said, 'Hey, this is what we recommend.' OK, fine with me. Then the [Transportation and Environment] committee voted 10-0. Freakin' fine with me. And then all of the sudden, three days before the deal goes down, the dam breaks. Who broke it? I don't know."
I tell him: Wasn't it the mayor?
"Well, whoever. I just said the dam breaks. But it's a little strange that everybody's intact for three years and then all of the sudden two days before the deal the dam breaks."
He then returned to the point of his call.
"I don't want to be maligned the wrong way and tied up in something to say I am meeting about something I'm not meeting about," he says. "Unh-unh."
And he can't figure out why Johnson later told me, via e-mail, he met with Caraway about DFW concessions because "he had a board appointee." Council members don't appoint airport board members. Entire city councils appoint members.
Oh. And while I had Caraway on the phone, I asked him where he stands at the moment on a tax increase to cover the $131.1 million city shortfall.
"I'm not in favor of raising taxes one or two cents," he says. "If we're gonna raise 'em we're gonna raise 'em. I don't intend to come back next year and have to raise 'em again."