You would think that Mayor Jim Gray getting our $75,000 back from Angelou for his cut-and-paste report would make people happy, but we must remember the Axis of Clown that is working against the mayor and for Commerce Lexington.
What did Councilman Stinnett have to say?
Some members of the Urban County Council who also serve on the Economic Development Steering Committee said they were concerned that the city’s refund effectively severs its investment and partnership in the strategic plan making it difficult to rebuild the public’s confidence in the process. “When you agreed to refund the money to the government we lost our ‘skin in the game,’ so to speak. And I hope you understand the difficulty we’re all going to have in getting back the public buy-in,” Council member Kevin Stinnett said, addressing Angelou.
My goodness, “our” skin is certainly at risk now, isn’t it Kevin? And gosh, why would anyone not want to “buy-in” on this beautiful report and it’s recommendation to fluff Commerce Lexington? We should seriously consider giving Angelou our money back, just so folks don’t get the wrong idea, eh?
How about our old pal Doug Martin?
“It’s very crucial that we keep this public-private partnership so that the temptation of politics does not find itself in the middle of economic development in Lexington,” Council member Doug Martin added. “I think that would be a tragic result of this.“
Oh, man. Yes, Doug Martin thinks it would be “tragic” if politics got involved. This is good, good stuff. I’m going to go ahead and put this quote on the fast-track for the Rootie award.
But those two quotes were just kind of transparently funny. Can anyone step up to the plate with some real read meat?
Hey, it’s Lexington’s Darth Vader himself, the Vice Chair of Economic Development for Commerce Lexington, Bill Lear!
Also attending the Monday steering committee meeting was Lexington development attorney and former state representative Bill Lear. “I’ll bet I’ve read more economic development studies than anybody in this room and 90 percent of every one of them is the same. Just like 90 percent of every presentation on a zoning change I’ve made is the same, and 90 percent of every contract written is the same and 99 percent of every Toyota is the same. What makes the difference is what’s on the margin, not the boilerplate.”
Lear urged the group to remain patient and await Angelou’s final report. “I’ve got the memos about who recommended whom for this job and of the five candidates for this that were recommended by the then vice mayor, now mayor, number two on the list was Angelou Economics, number three was somebody that he specifically said had their roots in Angelou Economics and number four had the same pedigree. There is no question but that this is an absolutely top quality firm. It screwed up. I for one am not willing to cast the first stone because I’m sure as hell not without sin.“
Can you wrap your head around that quote? First of all, we should note that Lexington’s “Super Lawyer” just admitted that he phones it in, so he might be a little overpriced at $500 an hour. Secondly, you’re publicly threatening to blackmail the Mayor of Lexington with info that Angelou was his second choice to write the report? Not only does this call into question the $500 an hour price tag, it calls into question your Darth Vader reputation. Serious weak sauce. And this “casting the first stone” stuff? What exactly is the point here? That Angelou should take back his apology to Lexington for the crappy work that he did for us? That he should have kept our money so he didn’t have a Sad? That criticizing his steaming pile of Xerox is somehow beyond the bounds of decency?
This is all about one thing: the threat that this staggering display of incompetence poses to the good ole boys’ little taxpayer funded lobbying arm. Commerce Lexington has been able to get away with this for years, so the entire Angelou affair must be swept under the rug as quietly as possible. Not their recommendation to give Commerce Lexington more taxpayer money, of course, but all of that other unpleasant stuff.
As much as Stinnett, Martin and Lear would like that to happen, you can pretty much put that notion to rest (and the half-assed threats). It is time for the Airing of Grievances.