| Schutze |

Waiting By the Telephone

We are never, ever going to stop ragging on the CueCat -- and probably Tom Leppert.

Well, it’s been a week now, and I still haven’t heard back from our new mayor, Tom Leppert, on his promised responses to my e-mailed questions about the Trinity River. I did finally hear from Becky Mayad, his spokesperson, who said she had reminded him and that was about all she could do.

Leppert asked me to e-mail him my questions, because, apparently, he was not able to answer them on his feet during a telephone conversation last week. Mayad later promised me Leppert would reply to the e-mail before my deadline last week, which of course is long since past. Why I am bothering the good Friends of Unfair Park about this? Because it’s the first inkling of a reading that I am beginning to get on the new mayor.

During the campaign, he told us a lot about how he had been the CEO of the world’s largest construction company and was a guy who could walk in and feel at home in any boardroom in the world. All true, but you know, really, he wasn’t a construction guy. I think he admitted that readily enough. But more to the point: He’s not really a management guy. He’s really a McKinsey & Company guy.

They’re those super consultants. That was Chelsea Clinton’s first job. I think she had about the typical amount of entrepreneurial street experience for a McKinsey associate.

I know about them because they’re the geniuses who thought up “convergence” as the grand new strategy for media companies. Idea was you would save money by having your newspaper reporters double as TV reporters and your TV ad sales people double as print ad sales people, etc. Nobody told them that the TV people have to be real good looking. Oops, missed that detail when I was doing my consulting degree at Vassar!

Pretty much a flop wherever it has been tried, convergence was adopted as religion at Belo Corp, where it became their most spectacular failure since the CueCat.

I challenged Leppert on specific claims he has been making about the Trinity Project and federal money. Becky Mayad told me he hadn’t gotten back to me because he forgot.

I told her I did not believe that. I said I think he isn’t getting back to me because he doesn’t know the answers to the questions I have put to him.

I’ve dealt with a lot of mayors in this city. So far, they all had the balls to deal with tough questions. Even the women. In fact, especially the women.

I am sitting here wondering about this one. --Jim Schutze

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