As we noted yesterday, Mayor Tom was at Urban Market last night to talk with neighborhood folks about his big plans about downtown. More on that forthcoming this afternoon, but for now I’ll share with our Friends the chat I had with him after he spoke.
Based on what Schutze reported Tuesday on Unfair Park about his relationship with Willis Johnson and what was written in this week’s story in the paper version of Unfair Park, I grabbed the mayor to ask a few questions. I don’t usually like to give a transcript of conversations, but with Leppert, somehow it seems appropriate. It's after the jump.
Unfair Park: What is your relationship like with Willis Johnson when it comes to minority contracts?
Mayor Tom Leppert: Willis is a friend. I’ve known him, and he was involved in the campaign. What else do you want?
Unfair Park: Well, when it comes to minority contracts in the city, how involved is he?
Mayor Tom Leppert: Umm …
Unfair Park: Is he somebody you consult with?
Mayor Tom Leppert: Sure. I ask him because he knows the community. I ask a lot of people, and he’s one of a lot of them. I meet on a regular basis with the Black Chamber, the Hispanic Chamber, the Hispanic contractors, I know the guy who heads up the Black contractors. I’ll just go through a list of a lot of people.”
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Unfair Park: Is he a paid consultant?
Mayor Tom Leppert: He is not a paid consultant. Nope.
Unfair Park: What about the idea that he’s kinda the trigger guy for any and all minority contracts? What would you say in response to that?
Mayor Tom Leppert: If you look at my schedule, and you look at what I did, and anybody does, they would laugh in your face. It’s that simple. You look at the groups that I met with and the range of the groups. My office is accessible. I said it was going to be. It continues to be. Period. --Sam Merten