Just got back from the big Build the Hotel pep rally in the Flag Room at City Hall, where Mayor Tom and friends announced they’ll be doing some signature gathering of their own. Apparently, they are asking people to sign up and show their support for the convention center hotel project.
About 150 people watched as Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, introduced several speakers, which included former TXU chairman and CEO Erle Nye, who is serving as treasurer for the political action committee, and council members Ron Natinsky, Tennell Atkins and Dwaine Caraway, among others. There was plenty of clapping and cheering as each one ended with a “Let’s build the hotel!” Leppert’s political consultant, Carol Reed, was there, and Mari Woodlief, president of Allyn & Company, was also spotted.
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Much like the Trinity River toll road referendum, the message was all about the need for the hotel and how it’s time to get the dirt flying. Leppert said Dallas can take "the philosophical approach" or understand that the reality is, the hotel is necessary and the only way that will happen is if the city owns it. Other speakers labeled the recent mailer by Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel as “misleading.” And why shouldn’t citizens get to vote? Because these are the decisions they voted elected officials to make for them. We’ll have much more later. --Sam Merten