The Dallas City Council’s executive session is over, and Mayor Mike Rawlings just spoke to the press briefly about his report on City Hall’s dealings with Uber.
“I did not hear of or discover any potential illegal or unethical activity or behavior that should be investigated further,” he said. However, “several bad judgments were made throughout this process.”
The mayor believes city staff members demonstrated a lack of understanding of a changing transportation market in Dallas, which led to an unclear legal strategy on how to deal with the changes.
“The small group of city individuals believed they alone could solve this problem. That judgment was naïve,” he said.
When it came to interim city manager A.C. Gonzalez putting the proposed ordinance change on the council’s consent agenda without the need for public discussion, Rawlings was “highly disappointed.” (Gonzalez has apologized already.)
But Rawlings also placed blame on the city attorney’s office, where Uber’s operation was judged to be illegal. This led to the city’s use of vice cops against the car-service app’s operations, though Dallas Police Chief David Brown expressed his opinion at the time that it wasn’t an effective way of dealing with the issue.
Rawlings concluded by emphasizing that all city staff members were acting in what they believed was the best interests of the city, merely demonstrating poor judgment in their actions.
“We love new business in Dallas, and we want to attract all kinds of new business,” Rawlings said.
As for the future of services like Uber, the city council’s transportation committee will take up the matter of any need for ordinance changes.
Now we’ll need to see what the full Uber report says.