During Thursday night's mayoral debate Democratic hopeful Lance Randall said he was shocked (shocked!) to learn that city officials (the fools!) budgeted for the Macon Centreplex to break even this year.
After all, the Centreplex — which is just a catch-all name for the city's convention center, coliseum and auditorium — lost about $800,000 last year.
Outrageous, right? Except it's not true. The 2008 city budget predicts a $1,063,000 transfer from the general fund to prop up Centreplex operations. To put it another way: A deficit of more than $1 million.
Said Council Appropriations Chairman Henry Ficklin (who also happens to be running for mayor): "I don't know what report Mr. Randall was looking at."
We asked Randall about that, and he repeatedly refused to point out exactly where, in a stack of documents he held up for the Thursday night debate crowd, he was getting his information. Kelvin Jones, with Randall's campaign, would only suggest we look at the city budget.
I don't know what the hell Randall was talking about, but he sure got quiet when I asked him about it. And Jones - he got in my face like no one ever has. I mean, Mayor Ellis has wagged a finger in my face once or twice, but Jones put two fingers in my face. Double-barreled action. He also called me a "lazy journalist" because I wanted Randall to show me just where he was getting his information.
Of course, I might have set Jones off by suggesting that his candidate was being less than truthful during the debate. And I might have been a little sarcastic, when I asked if that was lazy with one z or two.