We've received a lot of feedback thus far regarding yesterday's item in which we revealed Jerry Allen's thoughts concerning Mayor Tom Leppert, the convention center hotel and the Trinity River toll road. The most buzz, and rightfully so, came from the statement he gave us after he was asked about the possibility of the publicly owned hotel losing money.
"That's an element of risk that's out there," he told Unfair Park. "Of course, by that time, I'll be off council. So I cannot be held accountable."
This led to a press release issued last night from Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel, claiming Allen's comments confirm that the city council is not concerned about the taxpayers and reinforce the "arrogance" of Dallas politicians as they proceeded with the hotel.
"No wonder city officials were able to hide the updated feasibility study so easily; no one on the council cared what it said," said Anne Raymond of CATOH. "Dallas politicians are not concerned about the substantial, ongoing financial losses from a taxpayer-owned hotel. They recognize they can always leave politics and taxpayers will forever pay the mortgage payments."
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Apparently, Allen's memory of our conversation is cloudy, as we received a call from his consultant last night claiming the Lake Highlands council member doesn't recall saying such a thing. Allen and I spoke for more than two hours, so I was forced to dig through all that audio to find the quote to prove to him that he did in fact say what he said.
To make my efforts worthwhile, you can hear Allen's quote straight from his mouth after the jump, along with something else people have been asking for: more about his comparison of building the toll road in the levees to landing on the moon. Enjoy.
Allen says the convention center hotel losing money is a risk, but by the time it does, he'll be gone from the city council and can't be held accountable:
Allen makes the connection between putting a toll road in a floodway and landing on the moon. He also talks about breathing the same air as the dinosaurs and discusses whether Industrial is a viable alternative for the location of the road: