Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deborah Coody Chides the Media

After committing $75,000 in city funds to hire an out-of-state consultant to come up with some economic development strategy to redeem his administration's lack of any effective plan, The Coodies were not at all pleased with the press coverage for their big campaign event yesterday. We don't know what Deborah Coody, the Mayor's wife and campaign adviser, said to Dan's publicly paid publicity pimp about the lack of fanfare, but she was forced to handle the situation herself when the Northwest Arkansas Times puffery did not meet her expectations.

"Unfortunately, the press chose not to announce this event," said the disappointed Mrs. Coody in an email that was forwarded by a reader to the Iconoclast. Don't blame us for the lack of ballyhoo and the poor attendance. More than a month ago, we announced the Campaign Kick-Off celebration of the $150,000 no bid contract with Dan's chosen out-of-state consultant, Eva Klein and Associates, "coming to Fayetteville to ask us some questions that they can't answer." Why your usually reliable stenographer Greg Harton did not hype it to your satisfaction was a surprise to us as well.

Mrs. Coody's email went out to undisclosed recipients from a private Gmail account, not from the official city account, a couple of hours before the campaign event began. "It is very important for the public to attend and to give your input," she said. How many of "the public" were able to quickly rearrange their schedules and skip dinner to attend the 6:00 event at the Town Center is unknown. It must not have been too many, because today's Page One Above the Fold Story on the big event did not mention the crowd size.

What was revealing in the Times article today is the disclosure of why The Coodies and their administration say they want to finally have an economic development plan for the city. Dr. Susan Thomas, Ph.D. said the city realized the current sales and property tax revenue would not be enough to sustain the level of spending that the Mayor continued to propose, so something finally had to be done to avoid having to deplete the city's reserves just to make payroll. "We needed to grow the tax base," she explained. Finally developing a plan after eight years in office, Coody's plan is designed primarily to generate more taxes. If you mistakenly thought it was about increasing the number of good paying jobs for local residents or helping local businesses prosper, you were mistaken.

If you missed the Campaign Kick-Off last night, you still have a chance to help the consultants do their job. Dr. Thomas says the consultants will finish collecting data from the key businessmen today and use that to come up with an outline of ideas for those people to use at a brainstorming session from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm on Friday at the Town Center. It is open to the public, so just skip work and come on down.

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