Tom Leppert on Oakley’s Crime Plan and Leadership

On the DMN blog today, Tom Leppert did a 1-hour Q & A chat. Here’s his answer on Oakley’s crime plan:

First of all, the mayor does not have the power to tear down apartments. Ed Oakley’s plan is really just providing tax payer funded incentives and benefits to developers.

Also, we need to understand that tearing down the apartments does not get the criminals off of our streets – it just relocates them.

on leadership…


Having sat down in face-to-face meetings yesterday with both you and your opponent, I was struck by the different ways you answered a question of mine. I asked what ideas you had heard on the campaign trail from your opponents that you might act on if you won. You gave several examples of ideas from others that you’d like to see put in place. But your opponent more or less dodged this question, saying that all the ideas ARE in place and we just need the right person to implement them. He thinks he’s the right person, given his city hall experience. He seemed to imply to me that tossing new ideas onto the table might distract from what we’re currently working on…How do you respond?

Answer by Leppert:

I hope everyone notices how fast the world changes today … anyone who assumes that you can use old ideas … not changing, not adapting, not seeking new and better ways to adapt to the changes … has simply not been in leadership positions that demand changes, flexibility, creativity and an ability to constantly change to meet the changes that take place minute by minute …. that is really what leadership is all about

More importantly, this also says that the style of leadership will not seek to involve others … others from different backgrounds, different perspectives, and ones that may not have been a part of the process when the “plan” was first developed

We will encounter challenges and problems in the next four years that none of us can see today … that’s simply the nature of the world … if we do not respond and adapt … lead … we are destined to fall behind cities that have the leadership that do

Leppert also addressed the $6 million lawsuit from the US Navy, a question that I previously raised on this blog:

This is an example of leadership that I am proud of. There was no indictment. The situations on the billings occurred before I joined the company (even the Dallas Observer recognizes this). As soon as I became aware of the situation I ordered a complete investigation by an outside law firm. I then had them take the results and sit down with the government to right the billings.

Everyone involved recgonized that this was exactly the way to handle the situation. If I am mayor I will always do the right thing – and this was the right thing to do.


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