Why are people shocked that we are pursuing this venture? When Mayor Leppert campaigned, he talked about the same issues that he's working on now. In his inauguration speech, he talked about the Trinity River project, the Convention Center Hotel, and other issues. Everyone acts surprised, but in fact the Mayor is simply carrying out what he promised.
Is it fun getting beat up on a daily basis? No, it probably isn't. But he's doing what he said he would do. He also has a City Council of whom the majority supports that vision.
Not many people are willing to say it, but these are items that were kicked down the road by the previous administration.
We should've had a Convention Center Hotel years ago, but thankfully it is now being addressed. Some people that are against the hotel believe that hotel jobs are beneath them and dismiss the jobs saying that they "aren't high paying jobs." Don't we have a responsibility to create jobs for all levels of income? Maybe some look down their noses at workers in the service industry, but I value their contributions and hard work.
The economic development committee, which is comprised of 8 council members, has been briefed on the hotel since the Fall of 2007. I'm glad Councilmen Allen and Caraway reminded the audience of this fact yesterday. I don't see how people that can say this issue is being rushed along. At some point, you have to make the big decisions.
The Mayor's inauguration speech also talked about green building, saying that green standards and requirements need to be established if we're going to be a world-class city. And it's on the books.
It's the difference between chasing headlines and following up on what you start. That's what leadership is about.