Metro Human Relations director defends Chamber trip

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 12:59pm

Metro Human Relations Commission Executive Director Kelvin Jones told The City Paper Tuesday his trip with the Chamber of Commerce contingency to Denver last month was funded by Metro, but added that his purpose for being there was justified.

Jones was asked about the trip by District 30 Councilman Jim Hodge during the department’s budget hearing in front of Council on Monday — a hearing where some took issue with the grilling of the director.

Jones said a component of the trip was a workshop on integrating new populations, with a focus on immigrant and minority communities. He said he’s gone on the Chamber of Commerce trip annually since he was hired by Metro seven years ago.

He also pointed out his difficulty in answering some questions stemmed from the fact he was not given the same budget documents that Council members were referencing.

At-large Councilman Jerry Maynard took issue with the line of questions during the Human Relations Commission budget hearing, but Jones said he thought it was fair.

“Council persons and the citizens have a right to know where their money is being spent and how their money is being spent,” Jones said, but also pointed out the Human Relations Commission has always been at or under budget since he took over five years ago.

Jones also said he would have answers to all the Council members’ questions in the coming days.

District 4 Councilman Michael Craddock, who pressed Jones on the spending of about $6,000 for advertising and other topics, said he wanted to wait for those answers before commenting again.

“This ain’t about Kelvin Jones,” Craddock said. “It’s about the taxpayer’s dollar.”


2 Comments on this post:

By: nvestnbna on 5/13/09 at 6:30

Mr. Jones will, I'm sure, be able to clarify all the council member's questions. This is much to do about nothing. Craddock, is so concerned about $6000 in advertising when all the council is being led around by the nose on the Convention Center- a project costing a mere 100,000 times as much. Exercises like this are just a series of PR smoke screens to divert attention away from a horribly wasteful project. I'm sure there will be plenty more nit picky stunts like this to show how prudent our council is in their deliberations to oversee our city's financial affairs.

By: titansfan09 on 5/13/09 at 9:29

I'm glad to see that Metro has at least one person on the payroll that knows how to operate within their budget. Instead of picking apart his spending, maybe we should be asking for advice on fiscal planning. Were there any relevant questions asked???