During an online radio program on Friday, Jeffrey Jones, the city’s current mayor, responded to some of the attacks levied against his administration by David Gilmore, an activist and mayoral candidate.
Gilmore, who attempted to snatch the job of Community Development director, was rebuffed by Jones back in 2010, when Lanisha Makle, a neophyte, was appointed the director of that department. Since then, said Jones, the activist has been a little bitter towards his administration. “From that day on it became an issue,” said Jones on the Ron Kelly Show, an online podcast, during the interview.
“I applied under him; I applied under Torres; I applied under Marty Barnes,” said Gilmore when asked whether he applied for the director’s job when Jones came to power. Gilmore said he had declared this long time ago that, indeed, he applied for a position when the new administration came in; however, like the last two administrations prior to Jones he was overlooked. Jones said Gilmore mentioned this fact to him previously. “From what I understand, he talked to former mayor Marty Barnes and Joey Torres and asked them for directorship of CD and he was denied,” said Jones earlier today.
Gilmore maintains that he has applied for these jobs before, and that’s precedent that he did not take the rebuff as a form of slight from Jones. “Sure I didn’t like it,” said Gilmore. “Who would like it when you’re overlooked for someone who can’t perform the job?” The activist has made a name for himself by being critical of the department and its director.
A May 2nd, 2013 letter sent to the city from the Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency that provides funding for affordable housing, shows that the city forfeited $1.5 million because it was unable to spend it on projects. The agency slashed funding for three grants: a HOME grant that was issued in 2012 — $871,341 was cut; another grant that was issued in 2011 was reduced by $131,813; and a third grant from way-back 2006 was slashed by $487,745. “Where is the proof that money went back to HUD?” asked the mayor, denying that the city lost $1.5 million, during the radio interview. “That never happened,” said Jones.
“It’s a deflection on the real facts,” said Gilmore. “He hired someone with no experience whatsoever.” Makle, who is media shy, is often criticized by Jones’ opponents and portrayed in somewhat negative light in newspapers, mainly due to her inexperience. “What was his real intention if he wasn’t trying to better the city?” asked Gilmore. “That’s why he’s in the position he’s in today.”
Jones asserted that he did not know Gilmore when he was campaigning for the city’s highest office. “He was nowhere around when I was campaigning, I didn’t know him from a hole in the ground,” said Jones. “He came after all was done. I told him I already had somebody.”