Council president shouldn’t play ignorant of bond facts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dear Editor:

All city council members, staff, citizens and mayor have been invited to several bond meetings and public hearings. City council President Mr. George Evans and some of my other colleagues on the city council sat in on all of those meetings together. Some refused to attend the meetings. We were briefed by the bond attorney that was approved by the city council during at least three detailed meetings. We were briefed by the investment bankers that were approved b y the city council during at least three detailed meetings. We were briefed by staff on all proposed projects during at least two detailed meetings. We had at least seven open meetings, and we will have more open meetings. I can only speak for myself, but after these briefings and after doing my homework, I have gained an understanding of the proposed bond transaction, and I have trust in the professionals who are advising us. Therefore, I am not sure why Mr. Evans keeps going on the radio and sayhing that he does not understand what is going on or that he has all these unanswered questions.

As I recall, Mayor Perkins attended all the same meetings we attended. Now it is really strange that Mayor Perkins can go on the radio and answer questions with information shared with us during all those meetings about the proposed bond, but Mr. Evans keeps saying that he does not understand what is going on, and he has all these unanswered questions.

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As I recall, during each meeting, we were given the opportunity to ask any additional questions we had. As I recall, each meeting ended with no one having additional questions, including Mr. Evans. So now, I am confused, but not about the proposed bond. I am confused about whether my colleague can understand what is being said to him or whether he is just trying to confuse the public for the purpose of trying to kill the deal?

I want to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that he does not understand. I remind my colleague that Mayor Perkins has stated over and over, if we have additional questions, please let him know so that we can get the answers we need. Mr. Evans has relationships with the bond attorney and the investment bankers. He can ask them the questions. I am certain that the mayor and the professionals we have engaged to walk us through this transaction are willing to continue explaining this transaction to him and anyone else who really wants to know.

I just hop my colleague is not playing ignorant for the purpose of destroying one of the best opportunities that has come our way in a long time. But again, it is a political environment.

Johnnie Leashore

Councilman Ward 6