A few weeks ago, I wondered if Phil LaVelle’s departure from the U-T meant the end of that paper’s authoritative news writing on City Hall.

Doesn’t look like it. Matt Hall came through Sunday with an excellent summation of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ first year in office.

This is my favorite line:

Sanders took ownership of every city problem from the start and repeatedly detailed and decried more disarray. But as months wore on without answers, he sought patience from the same people he earlier asked to hold him accountable.

That’s a great way to put it. And Hall’s story articulates very well what the mayor most significant and important accomplishment has been: to be honest about the city’s enormous financial problem.

I can’t praise the mayor enough for this and we should all be happy that he’s doing this.

And I’ve already expressed my frustration that he didn’t take the next step. But Hall does a good job of bringing the mayor’s challenge, and the complaints about his delayed reaction to it, into sharp focus.

There was a good timeline and lots of interesting quotes in the story (including one where Steve Francis, the healthcare magnate and former political rival to Sanders, criticizes the mayor in the same sentence he says he won’t criticize the mayor).

The story is worth a read if, like me, you missed it getting the confetti and champagne ready for New Years Eve.

SCOTT LEWIS

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