Author Topic: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum  (Read 1587 times)

Lunican

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Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« on: September 06, 2007, 01:12:23 AM »
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Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum


Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton


By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The chaotic end of the night, when Mayor John Peyton ducked away from audience questions and into a waiting SUV, was a far cry from the organized forum that kicked off 90 minutes beforehand.

Wednesday night, Peyton held a forum at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla to answer some tough questions about his plan for the city’s budget. But it didn't end quite as planned. And First Coast News cameras were rolling for the whole thing.

The Mayor's Office put together the question-and-answer session, and asked reporters from various media outlets to take part as panelists. But after the official panel wrapped up, the mayor's actions turned the focus away from the issues and the forum fell apart.

Under the lights at the Ritz Theatre, Mayor Peyton walked through a presentation of his plan for the city's budget.

Then, it was time for questions from the panel of reporters, and every third or fourth question came from cards submitted by the few dozen folks in the audience.

Peyton's responses ran the gamut. None of them totally dodged the question, but some were straight, candid answers while others didn't quite get to the heart of the issue on the table.

At the end, a handful of folks in the crowd like Ayesha Covington felt their questions or issues hadn't been handled.

"And I appreciate [the reporters] trying to ask the questions, but we have a right to redress our issues with government," Covington said at the base of the stage.

So Peyton said he'd answer any lingering questions before he left.

The first man to step up to the mayor admitted that his question was more of a one-sided speech.

"I'm not asking a question,” the man said, after Peyton tried to interject with an answer to a point the man had raised. “You don't really want answers, do you?” Peyton asked. “I want to say something,” the man responded.

And when Covington stepped up, Peyton tried to duck away from the cameras.

"I'd like to ask you something, Mayor Peyton," Covington said. Peyton gestured for her to follow him back offstage, saying, "Come on, come on."

Flanked by two members of the mayor’s security detail, the pair headed down a hallway toward the theatre’s administrative offices. They turned and stepped into an empty room. Covington asked reporters to come along.

"Come on, let them in,” Covington said to Peyton. She turned to the group of reporters and photographers who had followed them down the hall. “Come on in, come on, come on,” she said.

Peyton’s security officers did not get involved. Instead, Peyton stepped right back out of the room and quickly retraced his steps down the hall. A reporter asked if the journalists could come in. “No, you can't come. Thank you,” Peyton said as he moved down the hallway.

Peyton headed out the back door of the theatre, and into his waiting SUV. The engine turned on, and with the mayor on the passenger’s seat, the vehicle pulled out of the parking lot.

The city has promised to post the video of that forum on its website tomorrow. But the fireworks came after the city's cameras were shut off. To see that video again, you'll have to watch the video story at the top of this page.

The City Council will vote on the budget at the end of the month.

First Coast News

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/topstories/news-article.aspx?storyid=90566

big ben

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2007, 02:20:33 AM »
hmmm.  i can't find their "video story at the top of this page" on their page.

MWisdom

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2007, 08:15:30 AM »
Poor Mayor Peyton, all of a sudden things aren't going so well for him -- first you have the discovery of lucrative contracts going to a close friend (unbeknownst to him, of course) and now this shameful dodging of questions from the very people he is supposed to be watching out for.  What's next?

I have nothing personal against the mayor, he seems like an alright guy.  You don't hear a lot about him unless something is going wrong -- which lately has been a lot.  I just wish he had more of a community presence and displayed more of a go-getter attitude toward the issues that plague the city -- like bringing the urban core back to life, better management of city resources, and increased focus on restoration of historic neighborhoods...

downtownparks

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 08:41:16 AM »
Sounds great to me MW. Are you familiar with the S-line proposal from the MetroJacksonville guys?

copperfiend

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 09:46:59 AM »
This is becoming a joke. Are we really going to put up with 3 more years of this idiot?

downtownparks

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 10:22:45 AM »
Three more years??? He was just inaugurated on July 1st... Thats FOUR more years...

Steve

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 11:27:35 AM »
Good - I'm glad someone asked him the tough questions.  See what happens when he's asked questions without Susie Wiles there.

BTW, where was Susie?

Jason

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 11:28:59 AM »
She was driving the getaway SUV.

big ben

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Re: Mayor Ducks Out Back Door After Budget Forum
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 05:52:44 PM »
well, he did do it with a smile.  i guess that's positive thinking.