Going South: Mallory on Holiday
A TV news show Thursday afternoon reported the forum as an upcoming event that evening. Mallory’s spokesman quickly issued an oddly worded press release informing media that the event, in fact, was canceled.
“The cancellation has been previously announced, but not necessarily widely announced,” said the statement by Jason Barron, Mallory’s communications director.
That’s because the announcement was made Tuesday during Mallory’s weekly press briefing, which has been sparsely attended in recent weeks. The City Hall session mostly involves Mallory listing what appointments he had in the previous week, and TV news crews, as well as some print reporters, have stopped regularly attending.
Just why the neighborhood forum on housing issues was canceled, however, remained a mystery for a short time. Later Thursday, CityBeat was contacted by two Cincinnatians who were on the same airline flight to Fort Lauderdale as Mallory and a friend. Amused by inadvertently traveling with the mayor, they snapped photographs of him in the Fort Lauderdale airport, using their cell phone’s camera. Barron later confirmed the forum was canceled because of conflicting vacation plans.
“The mayor took some time off, but I don’t know where he went,” Barron said. “He hasn’t taken anytime off in about a year because of the campaign and everything.”
Mallory’s office contacted housing agencies and told them the forum had been canceled, Barron said. But some residents didn’t know and showed up at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine. Barron and another staffer were present to tell them about the cancellation and take some input on housing issues.
Barron said Mallory’s cancellation isn’t newsworthy.
“I really would hope the mayor wouldn’t be blamed for going on vacation,” he said.
Some residents, though, noted the forum had been planned at least four weeks earlier. Mallory should have either scheduled his flight for another day or provided earlier notice of the cancellation, they said.
Located about 45 minutes north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is perhaps best known as the locale for the 1960 cult classic film, Where the Boys Are, based on the popular Connie Francis song.
— Kevin Osborne