The phone has been ringing off the hook since the Tribune published an article this morning about Doug and Enzo’s executive assistant’s recent Instagram post (right) calling the Garden District a “poster child for grant money” and “a cancer kid for mo’ money.”
The calls included one from a WFMJ reporter wanting to do a segment on it, but I was not able to meet with her in time, ironically, because I was driving back from Detroit, where I had attended the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference. Representatives from all over the United States were there learning the latest techniques for dealing with this problem, including city officials from Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland. But only the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership staff and I were there representing Warren. Doug and Enzo were too busy to attend.
I emailed the WFMJ reporter this comment:
“This Instagram post is just the most recent example of the cynical tribalism that characterizes government in Warren. I don’t believe that the Mayor’s assistant would have posted such an outrageous comment without the express consent of her boss, or at least the confidence that nothing in her message contradicted his opinions on the topic.
The Mayor says in the Tribune article that her comments do not reflect his views, but more than a week has passed since they appeared and he has not called or emailed me, nor any of the dozens of other volunteers who have worked tirelessly to improve the Garden District, to disavow the comments.
In fact, during the three years we have been volunteering our time and money we have only ever heard from the Mayor when there was a photo opportunity to be had. Our requests for local code enforcement by the city in the Garden District have been ignored.
People following this incident have to ask themselves whether the selfless work of community volunteers would have been slandered in this way were I not running as an Independent candidate against the Mayor in November, and whether this is an appropriate act on the part of a city employee who reports directly to him.”
[Added at 6:22 pm. WFMJ ran this account at 6:00 pm today.]
The answers to those questions is “no” in my opinion, but let’s pretend that you agree with Doug that she has a right to express her opinion, as he said in the article.
Now consider for a moment, what happens when a business person is considering making an investment in Warren. What is the first thing they do?
They call the Mayor’s office to learn more about Warren. And who answers that phone call? Why, it is the author of that Instagram post, the woman who feels that the biggest and most successful neighborhood revitalization effort in the city is actually a “shit hole.”
Is it any wonder Warren continues to atrophy under Doug and Enzo?Comments Off