Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mayor Jones, What About Reality?

Today Mayor Dwight Jones has the gall to say he has no regrets. Instead of admitting to any mistakes, in an interview he stubbornly speaks about honor and respect.
STYLE Weekly: So you don't feel like -- I don't want to use the word bungled, but -- do you feel like you could have handled it better?

Jones: Absolutely not. In fact, I feel very good about the fact that we have a vision on the table for the city of Richmond. And that's my job -- to present a citywide vision.

Not unlike a stumbling alcoholic insisting he has no drinking problem, Jones’ inability to grasp reality is betraying him. Like a punch drunk, he doesn't seem to know he's losing the fight, badly. It's time to throw in the towel. Click here to read the entire oddball interview in STYLE Weekly.

Now Mayor Dwight Jones has withdrawn his so-called “revitalization” proposal. Rather than admit defeat, he apparently still hopes to resubmit it at some unspecified date in the future. Meanwhile, I have a question for Hizzoner about one of his moves that looks to me like it backfired:

What about the propriety of that LovingRVA ad campaign?

Hey, I’m not saying it was illegal for Mayor Jones' Shockoe Stadium team to order up a public relations campaign designed to grease the wheels of a bandwagon to create a windfall for private companies. Still, given where we stand now, that failed propaganda push looks bad.

Yes, I’ve read that the Alliance Group designed it and Venture Richmond was behind it. However, since Venture Richmond gets some good portion of its funding from the City of Richmond, now I hope City Council will ask for an investigation into how the LovingRVA public relations campaign came about. If Venture Richmond paid any part of the bill, doesn't that really mean John Q. Public's money was involved? And, I especially want the designers of the campaign to say exactly who it was aimed at convincing ... convincing of what?

Was its point to sell something to the general public? Members of City Council? Was it meant to provide cover for the lack of firmed up details? In any event, it now seems the tacky LovingRVA campaign was mostly a flop.

OK, I’m not saying anybody ought to go to jail for creating bad ads. Or, in Louis Salomonsky's case, back to jail. Nonetheless, wouldn’t it be better now for all concerned if Mayor Jones could assure Richmonders that private money -- in this case, meaning no money from Venture Richmond -- has been raised and used to cover the entire cost of the LovingRVA campaign?

In the digital age the echoes of bad advertising never really go away. So, we citizens would at least like to know we didn't have to pay for it.   

-- The art, which mocks the actual LovingRVA logo, was done by F.T. Rea

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