Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mayor Begins Weekly Press Conferences

Following the local and national headlines surrounding a $24,995 Lincoln Navigator leased in December 2004 for his wife with city-taxpayer funds, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced last week that he would begin holding weekly press conferences in an effort to create an atmosphere where he and the media could directly communicate with each another.

Kilpatrick rested much of the blame surrounding the hype of the Navigator incident on the poor communication his staff had with the media and has initiated the weekly press meetings to help combat that in the future.

When first questioned, Kilpatrick denied that the Navigator was leased for his wife. However, after vehement prodding and questioning by several local reporters - including Steve Wilson of Detroit's WXYZ Channel 7, who was shoved into a wall by one of Kilpatrick's bodyguards - Kilpatrick eventually admitted that the luxury SUV had been purchased for the police department to drive the Mayor's wife and three sons around. Although there is nothing that specifically prevents the Mayor from purchasing a vehicle for his family with taxpayer funds (who made that rule up?), the Detroit public was admittedly upset that the Mayor had purchased such an expensive car in the wake of Detroit's massive financial crisis.