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Thread: Your Opinion of a Strong Mayor

  1. #601
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    STRONGER MAYOR, STRONGER DALLAS
    Mayor Miller backs campaign for stronger mayor proposal

    Dallas, Texas (January 21, 2005) – The Stronger Mayor, Stronger Dallas Committee a broad-based, grassroots coalition in support of the proposed strong mayor changes to the Dallas City Charter, officially filed as a campaign for the May 7 referendum. “The face of this committee represents the face of Dallas,” said Mayor Laura Miller, a Steering Committee member. “Our grassroots coalition shows broad, diverse support for the stronger mayor proposal and once citizens do their homework, they will also understand that this is the best way to bring accountability, efficiency and ethics to City Hall.”

    The 30-member committee includes business leaders, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, leaders from the gay community and neighborhood activists from every part of Dallas. “Right now, there is no accountability at City,” said Stronger Mayor, Stronger Dallas Steering Committee member Laura Estrada. "For Dallas citizens and taxpayers who are frustrated with City Hall and think our city could be better managed, this is your chance to do something about it – by voting for the stronger mayor proposal on May 7,” Estrada continued.

    Steering Committee:

    Ann Barbier-Mueller
    Gabriel Barbier-Mueller
    Hon. Steve Bartlett
    Bill Blair, Sr.
    Bill Blase
    Julia Soto Cabrera
    Angie Chen Button
    Garry Cox
    Betty Culbreath
    Laura Estrada
    Anne Fay
    Malcolm Gage
    Don Henley
    Kathy Hewitt
    Dr. Sunhee Hong
    Larry Ingram
    David Jones
    Keith Kwoh
    David Laney
    Wendy Lopez
    Hon. Laura Miller
    Regina Montoya
    Edward Okpa
    Boone Pickens
    Lee Posey
    Jaime Ramon
    Rodney Schlosser
    Marc Stanley
    Hon. Charles Terrell, Sr.
    Arnel Trovada
    Edith Tylock
    Kay Wilkinson

  2. #602
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Can you list your source please?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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  4. #604
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ Cool, thanks. Please post them when you get them...if you can.

    And a note to all, please cite sources when posting articles, if possible.

    thanks
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  5. #605
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    That is the full release. Odd ending.

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    Is there a website yet?

  7. #607
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    Is there a website yet?
    I couldn't find one. Don Henley is a pretty cool name to be on there.

  8. #608
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    I'm so torn on this issue. I totally believe that a major change needs to take place at City Hall but is this the right one. And, if this fails we're right back where we started.

  9. #609
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    I'm so torn on this issue. I totally believe that a major change needs to take place at City Hall but is this the right one. And, if this fails we're right back where we started.
    It works for Houston.

  10. #610
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    ^True, and look how much they have accomplished in the past few years. It also works for NYC, Chicago and most large cities.

  11. #611
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    ^True, and look how much they have accomplished in the past few years. It also works for NYC, Chicago and most large cities.
    Very true...however this proposal is not as strong as NYC and Chicago.

  12. #612
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    It works for Houston.
    As someone who lobbies the Houston City Council and Mayor White (and former Mayor Lee Brown) on a regular basis, I would say that's not entirely accurate.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  13. #613
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Hon. Laura Miller

    Hon. Laura Miller -- is that short for Honey Laura Miller?

  14. #614
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    As someone who lobbies the Houston City Council and Mayor White (and former Mayor Lee Brown) on a regular basis, I would say that's not entirely accurate.
    I've got a friend who is a lobbyist for CenterPoint Energy and he told me the comparisons between the workings in Houston and Dallas are laughable.

  15. #615
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    ^ That's a vague statement. Can you be more specific?
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    Don Henley of the Eagles???

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    MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!!!


    It's Your City: In the strong-mayor debate, all voices count

    08:01 PM CST on Sunday, January 23, 2005




    Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.


    JULIO CORTEZ/Special Contributor
    Mayor Laura Miller has assembled a group to support the strong-mayor plan. The battle over how the city of Dallas will be governed in the future took on new form and substance last week. City Council members (who oppose the idea of switching to a strong-mayor system) and Mayor Laura Miller (who supports it) both formed committees to raise money and marshal their respective forces.

    They are the ones with the greatest vested interest in the outcome, and you can be sure they will make their voices heard. They represent the view from City Hall, looking out. Over the next three and a half months the urgent challenge will be for people on the outside, the ones looking in, to make themselves heard amid the clamor.

    That's one place where this newspaper comes in. Our commitment as an editorial board is not only to offer reasoned, persuasive editorials on the May 7 election but to print guest columns expressing a host of perspectives, both for and against.

    The debate is sure to be passionate, but as long as it stays focused on issues rather than personalities, that passion is healthy. Some have suggested that the process will be destructive, re-opening the wounds left by the 14-1 battle of 15 years ago. It need not be so.

    It is valid to argue that giving the mayor more power will diminish the clout of nonwhite voters throughout the city. It is valid to argue otherwise. Similarly, it is valid to contend that the current proposal concentrates too much power in the mayor's office. And it is valid to take the contrary view.

    If the discussion takes place on that plane, the city can only benefit. What is unhelpful is to reduce a complex, substantive issue of governance to slapstick parody and slanderous attacks. The issues are not trivial, and no one gains when they are trivialized.

    We invite you to join us in making this exercise in democracy one we can all be proud of.

  18. #618
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    ^ That's a vague statement. Can you be more specific?
    I agree, I want to know a little more about it too. I have been reading that this perticular proposal would make Dallas THE City with THE strongest form of a strong mayor, that no other City has a system close to what is being proposed.

  19. #619
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    I agree, I want to know a little more about it too. I have been reading that this perticular proposal would make Dallas THE City with THE strongest form of a strong mayor, that no other City has a system close to what is being proposed.
    NOT EVEN CLOSE. The Dallas Mayor would not have veto power over anything unlike NY, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia. I'm surprised that you still have not read the Charter Amendment.

    http://www.citizensforastrongmayor.com/

  20. #620
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Brochure that I Received

    See attachments.

  21. #621
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    I'm surprised that you still have not read the Charter Amendment.
    I'm surprised you still have not answered my question from post "#615."

    Well, do you have an answer, or can we continue to rely on you to make statements that you either can't or refuse to explain?
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  22. #622
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    I'm surprised you still have not answered my question from post "#615."

    Well, do you have an answer, or can we continue to rely on you to make statements that you either can't or refuse to explain?
    Sorry for the oversight...In Houston you do not have to lobby the City Manager, Mayor, City Council, City Appointed Commissioners and all of their staffs at all diferent times. In Dallas you do. For example, he was the lead negotiator for CenterPoint on the transmission center near the convention center hotel in downtown Houston. He said that that was the hardest negotiation they have ever had with the City and that his counterparts at TXU here in Dallas said there would be no way for them to have reached a similar agreement with the Dallas City Council.

    If you don't believe that Dallas and Houston are headed in opposite directions check these numbers out.

    Dallas Downtown Property Tax Base 1990 - $3.924 Billion 2003 - $2.994 Billion

    Houston Downtown Property Tax Base 2000 - $3.951 Billion 2004 - $4.464 Billion
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 25 January 2005 at 06:32 PM.

  23. #623
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    Sorry for the oversight...In Houston you do not have to lobby the City Manager, Mayor, City Council, City Appointed Commissioners and all of their staffs at all different times. In Dallas you do.
    ^ I have a few comments.

    1. Why would anyone ever lobby the City Manager?. . .he/she does not have a vote on the council. I've never felt it necessary to lobby Dallas' City Manager (or Houston's City Controller), and I can't see why anyone ever would.

    2. If you want the vote of The Council. . .then you lobby ALL of the council members, and the Mayor, until you get enough votes. . .However, first you normally should lobby the council members who serve on the committee that regulate your particular issue. Otherwise, your issue won't make it out of that committee so that the full council can vote on it.

    3. Neither Dallas nor Houston have commissioners at the "city" level. Harris County and Dallas County have county commissioners, and these individuals are elected NOT appointed by the Mayor.

    The Mayor of Houston does make appointments (with city council approval) of department heads and advisory board members.

    You might want to check up on the City of Houston's government system. Please go to the following link for some direction:
    http://www.ci.houston.tx.us/abouthouston/citygovt.html

    and for comparison, please go to the following link for the City of Dallas:
    http://www.dallascityhall.com/dallas...ibilities.html
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  24. #624
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    If you don't believe that Dallas and Houston are headed in opposite directions check these numbers out.

    Dallas Downtown Property Tax Base 1990 - $3.924 Billion 2003 - $2.994 Billion

    Houston Downtown Property Tax Base 2000 - $3.951 Billion 2004 - $4.464 Billion

    ^Huh?

    1st of all, compare the respective cities' tax base for the same year;
    2nd of all, are you suggesting that because DT Houston's tax base is higher than DT Dallas' tax base then Dallas residents should vote for the "strong mayor" ballot measure because that will somehow "fix" this issue. If that is what you're suggesting. . .you're really stretching your argument thin);
    3rd, and finally, With all of the oil/energy companies and banks with massive real estate holdings in DT Houston, I would expect for DT Houston's tax base to be higher that DT Dallas'.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  25. #625
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    ^ I have a few comments.

    1. Why would anyone ever lobby the City Manager?. . .he/she does not have a vote on the council. I've never felt it necessary to lobby Dallas' City Manager (or Houston's City Controller), and I can't see why anyone ever would.

    2. If you want the vote of The Council. . .then you lobby ALL of the council members, and the Mayor, until you get enough votes. . .However, first you normally should lobby the council members who serve on the committee that regulate your particular issue. Otherwise, your issue won't make it out of that committee so that the full council can vote on it.

    3. Neither Dallas nor Houston have commissioners at the "city" level. Harris County and Dallas County have county commissioners, and these individuals are elected NOT appointed by the Mayor.

    The Mayor of Houston does make appointments (with city council approval) of department heads and advisory board members.

    You might want to check up on the City of Houston's government system. Please go to the following link for some direction:
    http://www.ci.houston.tx.us/abouthouston/citygovt.html

    and for comparison, please go to the following link for the City of Dallas:
    http://www.dallascityhall.com/dallas...ibilities.html
    1. The City Manager in Dallas runs the show. Exactly my point about the comparison to Houston..no reason to lobby the Controller because he is under the office of the mayor.

    2. In Dallas you really just need to lobby the city council whose district is affected. Dallas has a bad habit of consensus voting. This is a huge problem in Dallas.

    3. I was talking about appointed board commisioners. These must be lobbied as well.

    4. Thanks for the civics lesson.

  26. #626
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    ^Huh?

    1st of all, compare the respective cities' tax base for the same year;
    2nd of all, are you suggesting that because DT Houston's tax base is higher than DT Dallas' tax base then Dallas residents should vote for the "strong mayor" ballot measure because that will somehow "fix" this issue. If that is what you're suggesting. . .you're really stretching your argument thin);
    3rd, and finally, With all of the oil/energy companies and banks with massive real estate holdings in DT Houston, I would expect for DT Houston's tax base to be higher that DT Dallas'.
    1. That's as far back as I could get for Houston. Does it really make a difference? The upswing/downward spiral is incredible.
    2. Is Dallas really headed in the right direction? I believe that's a very strong argument.
    3. Exactly my point..Dallas is struggling to get big companies to move into Downtown and Houston is not. At this juncture a majority of the tax burden in the city of Dallas, is being placed on the residential property owner. If this trend continues, the infrastructure for the City of Dallas will crumble.
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 25 January 2005 at 07:09 PM.

  27. #627
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    1. The City Manager in Dallas runs the show. Exactly my point about the comparison to Houston..no reason to lobby the Controller because he is under the office of the mayor.
    Excuse me if I have missed something here, but your comment makes absolutely no sense to me. But rather than put down your comment, I am asking for more clarification on what you are trying to say. Specifically, what do you mean when you state that "the City Manager in Dallas runs the show?" Are you suggesting that even though the Dallas City Manager has no vote on the council (thus can't participate in setting policy nor appointments) he/she is somehow behind the scenes operating as the puppet master controlling the city council members' votes?

    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    2. In Dallas you really just need to lobby the city council whose district is affected. Dallas has a bad habit of consensus voting. This is a huge problem in Dallas..
    ^ Again, your comment makes NO sense to me. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I thought that if you need THE COUNCIL to vote on your issue, you lobby ALL council members, because you need a majority vote from the council to prevail.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  28. #628
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    NOT EVEN CLOSE. The Dallas Mayor would not have veto power over anything unlike NY, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia. I'm surprised that you still have not read the Charter Amendment.

    http://www.citizensforastrongmayor.com/
    It looks like there's some veto power in here. Chapter XIX, Section 4(a) appears to give the Mayor standing veto power over the Park Board and the City Council concerning land purchases, contracts and leases. The part about the City Council AND the Mayor's approval has been striked.

    Chapter IV, Section 8, looks like an open-ended description. Basically the Mayor can determine his/her own duties and no one can override that decision.

    In Houston, their Mayor issued an order to require all employees to take drug tests. The employees contested it and had to file suit. Nobody had the power to override that Mayor. So? Well, first of all, what if the Mayor decided to do something ridiculous and the citizens then had to file suit using their own persoanl dollars while the Mayor gets to use their tax dollars to fight them. At least now we have the council who can challenge the Mayor and it's fair because they were- after all- voted into office too.

    It's also sloppy. Look at Section 1 of Chapter III- it defines the city council and includes the Mayor- thus making the Mayor subject to the recall process. Go then to Chapter VII, Section 1 and again refers to the Mayor as part of the city council. But what then does that do to Chapter IV, Section where the Mayor has those "express and implied powers" to, oh I don't know, interfere with the Secretary's duties and threaten to fire the City Secretary when a recall process is intiated on a Mayor? There is no appeal process and no recourse for a City Scretary fired under such circumstances.

    Chapter VIII describes the City Attorney, section 3 describes the duties. This person is hired soley by the Mayor with no input from the Council. What happens when the Mayor's interests conflict with the interests of the city council? Who does the City Attorney work for? Better yet, what happens if the council decides they want to impeach the Mayor and they know that there are at least 10 among them to bring that forward? Who is the lawyer for the City Council? This is a serious oversight.

    Back to Chapter III, Section 15 (Expulsion of a Council member)- Here is an interesting oversight: which "foregoing provisions"? Foregoing means anything above this section, but Section 10 prevents a council member from voting on an item where his financial interests are involved. Because of the words except the Mayor are in front of official misconduct, the Mayor would be protected from any official miscondust.

    Did you read that? Who read that? It's one thing to read the charter but you've got to be at least a little objective and ask questions about it. I don't think anyone who is out there stumping for it has offered any critical analysis. This was not crafted by long hours spent by two smart people who studied over it for hours upon hour. It's sloppy. Go back and re-read it.

  29. #629
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    OK, how about we start over:


    What is wrong with the strong mayor proposal?

    What should be done instead?

    please, answer those, rather than saying its people. Moving people could take ten years. No one has that time to waste like the last ten.

  30. #630
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    This was not crafted by long hours spent by two smart people who studied over it for hours upon hour. It's sloppy. Go back and re-read it.
    The law firm of Carrington Coleman does not have a sloppy reputation. There are no veto powers in this. I appreciate the fact that you have read it however. What you describe as "veto" powers are ethics violations and some would be punishable under the penal code. How do you think this charter is stronger than NYC, Chicago, Philly, or Houston?
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 25 January 2005 at 09:14 PM.

  31. #631
    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    I really think the term "Strong Mayor" is not the right term for this proposal. I think it should be called "City Manager who happens to be the Mayor/Council Government" is the proper term for this proposal.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

  32. #632
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    Excuse me if I have missed something here, but your comment makes absolutely no sense to me. But rather than put down your comment, I am asking for more clarification on what you are trying to say. Specifically, what do you mean when you state that "the City Manager in Dallas runs the show?" Are you suggesting that even though the Dallas City Manager has no vote on the council (thus can't participate in setting policy nor appointments) he/she is somehow behind the scenes operating as the puppet master controlling the city council members' votes?



    ^ Again, your comment makes NO sense to me. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I thought that if you need THE COUNCIL to vote on your issue, you lobby ALL council members, because you need a majority vote from the council to prevail.
    1. Puppet Master is a little too much, but the fact remains that if the city manager or staff does not approve projects before the CC meetings, your chance of getting approval are 0.

    2. On the P&Z issues the City Council votes whatever way the Council Member for that District votes. That is a very bad precedent to set. See the Providence School Rezoning issue for an example.

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    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Beth Ann Blackwood: Do we need a strong mayor? Yes

    Yes: We need more accountability for Dallas' woes


    06:44 PM CST on Tuesday, January 25, 2005


    By BETH ANN BLACKWOOD


    Few would dispute that our city government is dysfunctional. You need only watch a single City Council meeting to see that our current system is broken. The sad truth is that Dallas is a city of "can do" people with a "no can do" government. Our city is unable to effectively make plans for the future or address the problems of today.

    With the highest crime rate in the nation, our people cannot leave a personal item in their car or walk down the street at night. We cannot afford to fix our streets or enforce our codes. We are unable to attract jobs – Dallas' unemployment rate is about 25 percent higher than the surrounding metropolitan area. We have not successfully encouraged meaningful economic development in the southern sector. We are unable to generate sufficient tax base, and, for the first time, homeowners are bearing the brunt, paying more in property tax than commercial property owners.

    How did we get here? We outgrew our form of government. Studies show that council-manager governments such as ours work well in medium-sized cities, but not in large cities. Seven out of the 10 largest cities in the United States have a mayor-council form of government.

    But we don't need a study to know that any system without accountability cannot survive. The charter amendment that will be on the May ballot ensures that the voters can choose who runs our city and can replace them if they don't perform.

    Here's what the amendment does.

    Imposes accountability. The voters will, for the first time, hire and fire the person responsible for running the city – whose job is to reduce the crime rate, fix streets, enforce codes and ensure that people and businesses want to come to Dallas. Currently, the person responsible for running the city, the city manager, is not accountable to the voters, and can only be fired by 11 of the City Council – an impossible feat. The city manager only has to keep five people happy to keep his or her job. Under the new charter, the mayor has to keep the majority of the voters in Dallas happy. You do the math.

    Allows leadership. We elect presidents, senators, governors and representatives based on their visions for the future, and, once in office, they have the opportunity to achieve that vision. We now have 14 mini-managers, a mayor with no authority, and a city manager whose job description does not include the word "leadership."

    Forces consensus. The mayor and council members have to agree on budget priorities, because the mayor can only do what the City Council chooses to fund. They also have to agree on commission and board appointments, because any appointee proposed by the mayor must be approved by a majority of the council.

    Here's what the charter amendment does not do.

    Does not give the mayor unfettered power. The money is controlled by the City Council. The budget is set by the council. The council hires the city auditor and retains the sole power to cause audits. The council can remove the mayor for misconduct upon a two-thirds vote, less than what is now required to fire the city manager. And the voters have the right to recall the mayor.

    Does not allow the mayor to make law. The City Council has the sole authority to pass ordinances and set policy. The mayor has limited power to issue orders relating to administrative matters, such as setting the office hours of city employees, and emergencies such as Sept. 11 for the sole purpose of maintaining security.

    Does not give the mayor unbridled power to fire city employees. The discharge of any employee (with the exception of the city attorney, the city secretary and the police and fire chiefs) must comply with the Civil Service Commission regulations that currently control the hiring and firing of city employees.

    Does not create a "radical" form of government. Mayor-council governments have existed for decades, and the mayor's role under the proposed amendment is not as "strong" as in most of Dallas' peer cities. The proposed government is much like that of Houston, a city that has prospered while Dallas has declined.

    It has been said that our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we want is for things to remain the same but get better. But we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. There is, and there will be, no alternative. It is time for change.

    Beth Ann Blackwood is president of Citizens for a Strong Mayor, which collected the 20,000 signatures required to get the proposed charter amendment on the May 7 ballot. She is a lawyer with the Dallas firm Thomas, Kolodey & Blackwood and a candidate for City Council in District 14. Her e-mail address is bablackwood@ktb-law.com.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...ood.470cf.html

  34. #634
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    1. Puppet Master is a little too much, but the fact remains that if the city manager or staff does not approve projects before the CC meetings, your chance of getting approval are 0.
    ^ Huh? You attempt to come off as though what you are stating is fact, when it is becomming more and more obvious, with every post, that you really have no personal knowledge/and little understanding of these types of things. It just sounds to me like someone is spoon feeding this information to you, but he/she is not giving you everything on the plate.

    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    2. On the P&Z issues the City Council votes whatever way the Council Member for that District votes. That is a very bad precedent to set. See the Providence School Rezoning issue for an example.
    I don't mean for you to take this the wrong way. . .but, Your comments are vague, and contradict reality. Further, your 2nd comment assumes that the only issues that are brought before the council for a vote are those issues that have an effect on 1 council district. Even if this were the case (which could be nothing farther from the truth), considering the contentious nature of the current City Council, do you really think that just because a council member from 1 district wants something (and thus is going to vote for it) that his/her fellow council members are just going to agree to that and “rubber stamp” the vote?
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  35. #635
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    I am sorry that I have upset you so much that you have to resort to personal attacks. I actually do understand the full issue. Obviously you are a member of the Citizens for a Status Quo and believe that things are headed in the right direction.
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 26 January 2005 at 11:29 AM.

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    For people like me that want to understand the FACTS the bickering above is annoying.

    I think this is the central issue for most people: Will a strong mayor make Dallas better? Is the amendment too broad in power... or is it worth it for change?

  37. #637
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    ^ What were the "personal attacks" that you refer to? I thought that I made it quite clear that I am not trying to offend you. However, I am not going to let you mislead or misinform people because you think you know what you're talking about, and your posts relflect that you are misinformed.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

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    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    St-T, I agree. Here's why I believe the "strong mayor" system is best for Dallas.

    Dallas is currently in a decline. Both businesses and residents have left Dallas due to the high crime, high property taxes, and the lack of overall direction. It's time for a change.
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 26 January 2005 at 11:54 AM.

  39. #639
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    ^ and I'm against it for the same reason.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    ^ and I'm against it for the same reason.
    Explain, do you think staying staus-quo will fix Dallas' problems?

  41. #641
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    ^ and I'm against it for the same reason.
    I think he's just against me.

  42. #642
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    Explain, do you think staying staus-quo will fix Dallas' problems?

    ^ Could you show me the post in which I stated/suggested such a thing? Are those your words, or mine?
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  43. #643
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ Guys, let's please be constructive here.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  44. #644
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    I think this is the central issue for most people: Will a strong mayor make Dallas better? Is the amendment too broad in power... or is it worth it for change?
    Under the current system the only power the mayor has is 1 vote on council. The real reason the people that oppose the amendment is because they have a personal problem with Laura Miller. Take Trolleygirl's best friend Sharon Boyd or Avi Adelman for example. They are heading up the group against the "strong mayor" initiative because they have gotten cross with Laura Miller at some point. Avi has even said in numerous communications that he'd be for a strong mayor if it wasn't this mayor. And of course the City Council is against it because they don't want to lose the status quo. Here's a little secret...the City Council and other opponents keep saying "If this amendment passes, the Mayor will have the power to hire and fire our own staffs without our approval." Well, the reality of the situation is that they don't have that power now, the city manager does.

  45. #645
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    1. Puppet Master is a little too much, but the fact remains that if the city manager or staff does not approve projects before the CC meetings, your chance of getting approval are 0.

    2. On the P&Z issues the City Council votes whatever way the Council Member for that District votes. That is a very bad precedent to set. See the Providence School Rezoning issue for an example.
    Both of these statements are not neccessarily true. Look at Schutze's last column (posted above in this thread) about the "Juice". City staff won't lift a finger on a project until said project has been "blessed" with some council member's approval. I have been to countless council meetings and briefings. I'm an appointed commission member. I go to City Hall and talk to staff and work on projects with staff or looby council members or work on projects with council members or go to commission meetings or give briefings to other commissions, and at least twice a week I'm down there at 1500 Marilla St. I have seen P&Z Commissioners deny projects that staff has approved- I have seen council members approve projects that staff has denied. A project does not have to be approved by staff in order for it get on the council's voting agenda. Somebody has to put it on the agenda- either a staffer of a council member.

    On a project that I'm working on, I went to an assistant city manager a few weeks ago and asked for her support (and money). She gave me some advice- she siad "go back to the drawing board and good luck. It's a good project but you need council to support this, so I would suggest doing this first." Well, I already had some council support but had not begun doing the rounds. The fact is, she would not approve a project that council had not supported first. And I was also asking for money so I had to have some council support- if no council member had directed her to find funds from x dept or z dept. or whatever, she wasn't going to lift a finger to show me how to get the $. (although she did give me the advice that I needed to find the $ and that was all encoded speech and crap, so you also have to be smart to understand how to get $ from the City).

    The issue of the residentail teardowns is an interesting one. One particular P&Z Commissioner is set to approve an incredibly contentious issue that his council member has made public statements against. It will go to council and it will be a big deal there.

    As far as council members not going agaisnt a project that is supported by the council member whose district it's in, I agree that I hate it ssems (at the council meeting level) as if nobody wants to rock the boat and go along to get along so nobody's stepping on toes, and nobody's looking out for the city as a whole, etc. But behind the scenes there is true consensus. I was in Chaney's office on Monday looking for approval on a project. I had already planned to meet next week with T-Reese, Fantroy, Hill, Griffith, Finkleman and Lill. This project slices through four council districts and so I had planned to meet with those counicil members first. Since it originated in Chaney's district, we had to make sure he supported it so that he could also lobby his collegues. I told him that I was going to also meet with Fantroy, Hill and T-Reese.

    He said, "I want you meet with Finkleman too because I want support from my North Dallas collegues, I want to make sure that they're on board too."

    The irony is that Finkleman chairs the HEHS Committee and she has been very supportive of this project from the get-go. But he wanted to make sure that I met with her as well. So, it's not that they are just going along to get along, but council really wants support from each other. So by the time you hear it in council meetings, it seems like they are just trying to not create wakes, when what they are really doing is expresing their concerns- publicly- about an issue that they don't neccesarily agree with but know they are going to support.

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    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Great points TG. I know you are very active down at City Hall and commend you on a great job. I know this is a bit off-topic, but I do wish the City Council members would get a little more interested in projects out of district, even if they are not huge.
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 26 January 2005 at 12:59 PM.

  47. #647
    Smile... :) mikedsjr's Avatar
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    Why are they going to get interested in projects out of their districts? There is absolutely NOTHING that forces their hands. They don't abide by the charter anyway, from all I have heard, because the City Manager wouldn't do their jobs.

    Let the Mayor be the "city manager" and you have the system on ballot. Now you have what is on ballet. This isn't Mayor Daley power we are talking about where he runs even the Illinois state governmnet and thus the reason for recent state laws. The Dallas mayor is still what they are but with the City manager job too.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

  48. #648
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    From DMagazine's Frontburner:

    WHICH IS IT?
    The News op-ed page could use a referee. This morning attorney Anglea Hunt writes on the anti-strong-mayor side that the amendment gives the mayor power to fire all 13,000 city employees. Pro-strong-mayor advocate Beth Ann Blackwood says it doesn't. That should have been easy enough for an editor to check. (I did. It doesn't.)

    Wick Allison

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    I haven't decided my stance on the issue but the more I learn the facts I'm leaning towards a strong mayor. At least that way I feel that I have some voice if they suck.

  50. #650
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    Great points TG. I know you are very active down at City Hall and commend you on a great job. I know this is a bit off-topic, but I do wish the City Council members would get a little more interested in projects out of district, even if they are not huge.
    They are. Look at Gary Griffith-he's been champining the revitalization of Fair Park. Committees tend to cross council lines- the Public Safety Committee for example is very active in DISD projects and Safe Neighborhoods, especially in southeast Dallas and Pleasant Grove. Elba Garcia Chairs that Committee.

    But still, they have to dance with the ones that brung 'em.

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