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Who ya gonna call?

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Ware also uses his phone to make calls to a city department, a councilmember, or one of his assistant city managers. The pattern of mostly personal phone use remained consistent, even during the tumultuous days last May, when city officials were hammering out details of the municipal budget and business leaders were conducting intensive study of a downtown sports arena.

Cliff Keheley
First Assistant City Manager Cliff Keheley was not a big mobile phone user--he made 186 calls in all of 1994. But when he was on the phone, he was usually taking care of city business.

No frills for this guy, no idle chitter-chatter--save short calls to his wife, usually in the evenings, most likely on his way home from work. He called his son, too, a college student working last summer as a clerk for a local law firm.

But most of the remaining calls were pure business. In fact, it was Keheley, not Ware, who was calling city department heads and assistant city managers and councilmembers during budget time last year.

And in an odd flashback to the episode that eventually ended Keheley's public-service career, Keheley's mobile phone records reveal contact with those working on a secret $50,000 arena study.

At 11:05 a.m. on May 19, Keheley called Austin Industries CEO Bill Solomon, whose consulting subsidiary was working on the secret study, and spoke to him briefly.

At 2:03 p.m. that day, he called John Crawford, chairman of the business group that was publicly studying the prospects for a new arena.

Ware has said that he ordered Keheley to shut down the secret study on May 19, after catching wind of it from Crawford.

Steve Bartlett
At first blush, the mayor's mobile phone records are just plain weird.
Why in the world does the mayor of America's eighth-largest city call the city's convention center on an almost daily basis--218 times in 1994? Is it his passionate concern for the caliber of conventions being booked? Is he checking on the menu for the daily catered luncheons, in hopes of grabbing a free meal? And then there's that unlisted North Dallas phone number that Bartlett called regularly--501 times last year.

Actually, though, it's not really Bartlett making those calls. It's his two drivers--both sworn police officers who have attended U.S. Secret Service seminars.

When Bartlett is out of his city-supplied Chevrolet Caprice, cutting all those ribbons and eating all those breakfasts, his drivers, naturally bored out of their minds, are whiling away the time on one of the mayor's two mobile phones. (Though the drivers' local calls don't cost any extra--remember, the fee is a flat $75 per line--it's unclear why the mayor needs a second phone, since Bartlett and his drivers use it only about once a day.)

The vast majority of the 719 calls to the convention center and that unlisted North Dallas phone number were actually made by officer Larry Conner, one of the mayor's drivers.

Conner's wife works at the convention center. Conner's home is the one with the unlisted phone number. The records surely then prove that there is nobody on a city mobile phone today as smitten with his spouse as officer Conner.

As he rather shyly explains it, "we're newlyweds," and she works days while he works mainly nights. (Maybe with the change of mayor in June we can get this guy home more.)

Who, then, does Bartlett call on his mobile phone?
Well, not that many people--which is surprising considering that, without question, Bartlett is the most deserving recipient of a city-paid mobile phone. As the official goodwill ambassador for the city, Bartlett spends up to 17 hours a day, six to seven days a week, criss-crossing Dallas, making appearances. Eternally energetic, he seems to show up for every tea, breakfast, fish-fry, radio talk-show, mall gathering, ribbon-cutting, and church social in the Metroplex.

But unlike some of his council colleagues--none of whom subject themselves to the amount of pomp and circumstance that Bartlett chooses to endure--the mayor does not chatter idly on his mobile phone at all hours of the day and night.

He does call home quite a bit--140 times last year, or twice as often as the city manager. He bugged his loyal administrative assistant Kristi Sherrill at home 33 times. But he only occasionally calls councilmembers, lending credence to the council's constant complaint that Bartlett isn't solicitous enough of them.

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Laura Miller

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