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Thread: Your Opinion of a Strong Mayor

  1. #301
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Mbala
    I'd like to know, from those people in favor of a strong-mayor form of government, how do you think Laura Miller's tenure as Mayor, thus far, would have been different had she been working as a strong mayor?
    This proposal isn't about Laura Miller or any particular individual. It's about changing a system that hampers the city's ability to make vital decisions that affect ALL of Dallas. There are too many little tyrants concerned only with their own little fiefdoms. The result is utter chaos and municipal paralysis.

    It's painfully obvious (to most of us) that what we're doing just isn't working.
    It's time to try something different.

  2. #302
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasStar
    It's painfully obvious (to most of us) that what we're doing just isn't working.
    It's time to try something different.
    . . .and it's also painfully obvious (to those of us who have actually read reports on the city government's functionality) that its the people, not the system, that's the problem. I do not want to throw out the baby with the bath water.

    On a side note . . .and this is for anyone who can read this post, on either side of this issue. If, and when, the time does come to vote on this issue, please research, read, and analyize for yourself (which most of us rarely do), instead of letting someone force-feed you their opinion of what's good for Dallas and what's not.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  3. #303
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    when are the RIGHT people going to be in place for the current form to work?

  4. #304
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    when are the RIGHT people going to be in place for the current form to work?
    That's up to the voters. You see, what this boils down to is people saying:

    "because I don't like who you voted for in your council district, and because I perceive your councilmember to be one of the people getting in the way of what I want to see done in the city, and because I can't vote your councilmember out of office, I'll support what I view to be the quick-fix solution - I'll vote to take most of your councilmember's power away and give it to the mayor"

    I personally think that we should keep the same system with the following changes:

    1. Consolidate the 14 council districts into 10.
    2. Create 4 At-Large-Council Seats.
    3. Give mayor veto power.
    4. Keep city manager, however add a performance review committee (maybe comprised of 3 district council members, 3 at-large council members, and the mayor);
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  5. #305
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Then in a sense, you're saying the system doesn't work? Those are big changes.

    I may be young, but the DCC has been this way all of my life. I was the nerdy kid that looked forward to seeing the news everyday. Odd that the right people haven't been in place for over 25 years of my time.

  6. #306
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    Odd that the right people haven't been in place for over 25 years of my time.
    Ya, when was the last time a council member was praised for doing such a good job?

    The only way to get the right council representation would come through real time accountability. Serving on the Dallas City Council has become more of a flashy resume entry than anything else. Perhaps the mayor's power should come through an actionable review of each council member to district residents. If the mayor says Councilperson XX is not doing the job elected to do, then the mayor assumes partial responsibility for that district until the council person shapes up or a new one is elected.

    I dont think most voters will learn enough about city governemnt to make an informed decision, and if the strong mayor issue makes an election, the proponent with the slickest, most convincing advertising will win. This is the kind of decision the public makes without regard to facts.

  7. #307
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    I think if you put your ear to the ground you can hear the founding fathers spinning in their graves.

    I'm perpetually baffled at how easily people can be led off cliffs by a "strong leader," even in this country. With our history, Americans should know better. I mean, from the Revolutionary War even to the last war with Iraq we've fought lots of wars versus anti-democratic dictators, but then at home we're only too willing to throw up our hands when democracy gets tough and say to some "leader," "you solve all our problems." Especially when it looks like it's a minority group that's causing all the problems. It's so easy to blame a minority, centralize power, ignore or crush the minority, and get on with business. And then next day you're invading Poland. Oops.

  8. #308
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    Then in a sense, you're saying the system doesn't work? Those are big changes.

    I may be young, but the DCC has been this way all of my life. I was the nerdy kid that looked forward to seeing the news everyday. Odd that the right people haven't been in place for over 25 years of my time.
    All this time Dallas has refused to grapple with its demographics and change its unequal distribution of power and resources. These are very difficult issues and no one yet has even been able to start a rational discussion about them. But does that mean we need to go back to ignoring these problems? That's basically what the strong mayor plan is all about. It's a declaration that Dallas' citizens can't work together and the city has to revert to rule by the (white) rich and powerful, for the (white) rich and powerful, for there to be progress, as defined by the (white) rich and powerful. Personally, I wouldn't give up so easily because the long term benefits of having a unified citizenry would be tremendous, especially compared to any superficial (in that they couldn't address Dallas' fundamental problems with equality) changes the strong mayor could make. Dallas will never be a great city without having ALL its citizens equal and united.

  9. #309
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    What strong leader is leading anyone off a cliff?, and what about Dallas (once again) is so special that what works in other places can't work there?

  10. #310
    Supertall Skyscraper Member texman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    What strong leader is leading anyone off a cliff?, and what about Dallas (once again) is so special that what works in other places can't work there?
    I think he means like that one houston mayor (bill somthing maybe?..) who had to much power so he killed all the rail proposels for the city. I assume thats "leading people off a cliff"
    "And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."-"Farewell to Penn Station," New York Times Editorial, October 30, 1963

  11. #311
    Supertall Skyscraper Member texman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    All this time Dallas has refused to grapple with its demographics and change its unequal distribution of power and resources. These are very difficult issues and no one yet has even been able to start a rational discussion about them. But does that mean we need to go back to ignoring these problems? That's basically what the strong mayor plan is all about. It's a declaration that Dallas' citizens can't work together and the city has to revert to rule by the (white) rich and powerful, for the (white) rich and powerful, for there to be progress, as defined by the (white) rich and powerful. Personally, I wouldn't give up so easily because the long term benefits of having a unified citizenry would be tremendous, especially compared to any superficial (in that they couldn't address Dallas' fundamental problems with equality) changes the strong mayor could make. Dallas will never be a great city without having ALL its citizens equal and united.
    Please tell me your not bringing race into this..?
    "And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."-"Farewell to Penn Station," New York Times Editorial, October 30, 1963

  12. #312
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    All this time Dallas has refused to grapple with its demographics and change its unequal distribution of power and resources. These are very difficult issues and no one yet has even been able to start a rational discussion about them. But does that mean we need to go back to ignoring these problems? That's basically what the strong mayor plan is all about. It's a declaration that Dallas' citizens can't work together and the city has to revert to rule by the (white) rich and powerful, for the (white) rich and powerful, for there to be progress, as defined by the (white) rich and powerful. Personally, I wouldn't give up so easily because the long term benefits of having a unified citizenry would be tremendous, especially compared to any superficial (in that they couldn't address Dallas' fundamental problems with equality) changes the strong mayor could make. Dallas will never be a great city without having ALL its citizens equal and united.
    Dallas will never be a great city on the path its on now. Its not about race. Citizens nowhere can work together. That has been proven throughout history. However, that doesn't mean their representatives can't work together to find solutions. It has not turned out that way, and with the lack of REAL progress that Dallas has shown, it may never. Changes of some kind must be sought out. Those who have a problem with this need to talk to the DCC and ask them what changes they will make to move the city forward. Dallas is behind, way behind and its not going to catch up. Ask them if they will take responsibility for being so far behind. Let's be specific here. For Dallas, Texas something is not working.

  13. #313
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    I am bringing race into it. How can you read the study about how Dallas has spent its infrastructure money and left all those Federal grants behind and not conclude that racism plays a significant role?

    There isn't much question about why Dallas isn't working. There is a large part of the community that has been historically overlooked and now that they finally have a voice they're yelling and disrupting things until their needs get addressed.Telling them once again that they need to put up and shut up is not going to help Dallas. Dallas will never be great on its current path, that's true. But it won't be great on the old path either. It won't be great with a retro movement back to business the way it was. It's a question of whether or not Dallas will finally face the situation it created through years of neglect, or try to hide from it again. And hiding is going to just keep getting harder.

  14. #314
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    That overlook has come under the power of the current system. The practice has been racist, will not disagree with that at all. But again, that neglect is under the power of the current system.

    What about a new system would be hiding? A case can be made that the current system has hidden South Dallas for years. If Kirk had more power, do you think South Dallas would be as ignored?

    I'm not for the all powerful Oz type leadership, but something much stronger than what is going on now. The fact that things have gotten this far should be a wake up to everyone. Many say they don't want it, yet the discussion for change beats on.
    Last edited by rantanamo; 16 December 2004 at 03:59 PM.

  15. #315
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    So let the voters decide. That's all we're really asking.

    Why the champions of the status quo seem to fear that so much kinda baffles me.
    If the citizens of Dallas want to give the Stong Mayor form of government a chance to right this ship then they need to get a chance to go to the polls and say so.

    We can debate it ad nauseum, but it can all be decided on one bright spring day in May. End of story.
    We can then move on to the next burning controversy.

  16. #316
    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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    We had 10/4 before it was thrown out and 14/1 instituted.

    Apparently race is the biggest issue here, besides the fiefdoms and political careers. But Dallas has elected a black mayor, we just elected Lupe, and we've had black and hispanic school chiefs, police chiefs, city managers, etc. If the population of Dallas is majority-minority then what is the problem?

  17. #317
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakewooder
    We had 10/4 before it was thrown out and 14/1 instituted.

    Apparently race is the biggest issue here, besides the fiefdoms and political careers. But Dallas has elected a black mayor, we just elected Lupe, and we've had black and hispanic school chiefs, police chiefs, city managers, etc. If the population of Dallas is majority-minority then what is the problem?
    Lots of generalized wording here, but all in good faith....

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasnt Dallas' black mayor a lawyer from North Dallas? If anything, his 'blackness' lulled Dallas' minority populations while mayoral management continued to favor affluent North Dallas. The problem is that none of the council members representing the minority districts have the wherewithal to force a good plan for the whole population. Minority district voters continue to elect nothing more than a veto vote of governance which has traditionally favored affluent white neighborhoods. The council members coming from the affluent white districts may have the best possible plan EVER to generate a CBD which collectively represents the dominant economic driver of North Texas, but these plans only address standard of living issues/funding which protects the status quo: rich white north, poor everywhere else.

    I think Dallas has the best format for a city government, and I think the city is decades ahead of most other big cities in the country. Rules of behavior and accountability for council members is missing link; and the mayor should be empowered to take corrective actions against diliquent council members. The city doesnt need a new form of government.

    Beyond that, the city needs a business-to-municipality "committee" providing directives for swift navigation of local laws/regualtions to aid development, but all things considered, I'm glad the city is so whacked-out slow with this. The cornerstone mission of such an organization must be to improve the standard of living within the city. Any city department - especially if it's a semi-private organization - charged to search/recruit/promote 'deals' which invigorate business activity within the city and redevelop blited neighborhoods must operate within a system specifically designed to reduce the negative aspects of gentrification.

  18. #318
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    ok, maybe you guys have convinced me that the format is ok, but I wouldn't pretend that Dallas has found something great. Dallas is behind, and we know it. Results are the bottom line. Dallas does not produce results, and that is not a linear falling behind. It will only be worsened with time. Being super slow is fine if you aren't competing with anyone, but if you are, it renders you as losing out on business to your suburbs, your suburbs outgrowing you, becoming the nation's big city crime leader. Slowing down and doing things right is a good thing, but when has Dallas even gotten that?

    Now that I'm away again, I can really see how Dallas can be attractive and unattractive. I can really see how bogged down it gets a lot of the time. It scares me for the future, because things won't change. The same leaders will be elected. The same distrust will continue. Get it together Dallas.

  19. #319
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Why do people try to turn every issue in this city into race or money?
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  20. #320
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    I am bringing race into it. How can you read the study about how Dallas has spent its infrastructure money and left all those Federal grants behind and not conclude that racism plays a significant role?
    I love “Where Bond Money Goes” Map. According to it, Far North Dallas (white people other Map) is just as much if not more neglected as South Dallas when it comes to city funds. Northeast Dallas also appears to be under funded too! (White people see other map) But wait, take a closer look at this map and if you know Dallas well, you will see there is a big flaw!!! Yeah, South Dallas is probably not as well funded as North Dallas, but this map is very misleading. Can you see what wrong with it?

    Two maps from DMN.
    Map 1 Where Bond Money Goes
    Map 2 Dallas along ethnic lines
    Last edited by LakeHighlands; 17 December 2004 at 12:56 PM.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  21. #321
    High-Rise Member dallastophoenix's Avatar
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    the concentration levels are diff't for the diff't races... is that it?

    also, i noticed lots of bond money going towards west dallas - a predominantly black/hispanic area...

  22. #322
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    That overlook has come under the power of the current system. The practice has been racist, will not disagree with that at all. But again, that neglect is under the power of the current system.

    What about a new system would be hiding? A case can be made that the current system has hidden South Dallas for years. If Kirk had more power, do you think South Dallas would be as ignored?

    I'm not for the all powerful Oz type leadership, but something much stronger than what is going on now. The fact that things have gotten this far should be a wake up to everyone. Many say they don't want it, yet the discussion for change beats on.
    The question is which form has the better chance to heal the divisiveness in the future. The current system hasn't worked too well to date because of having bad leadership and poor city management, but because the council-manager system is designed to take advantage of objective administrative standards and political neutrality, it has the best chance at taking on divisive issues. The strong mayor system on the other hand, will just make the minorities and a lot of other people even more mad and even less willling to cooperate. As usual, force is not the best long-term solution.

  23. #323
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasStar
    So let the voters decide. That's all we're really asking.

    Why the champions of the status quo seem to fear that so much kinda baffles me.
    If the citizens of Dallas want to give the Stong Mayor form of government a chance to right this ship then they need to get a chance to go to the polls and say so.

    We can debate it ad nauseum, but it can all be decided on one bright spring day in May. End of story.
    We can then move on to the next burning controversy.
    It's a sham, that's what ticks me off. Some rich people decided they want to create an election issue and then use their money, slick advertising, and local voter ignorance about the issue to get their way. Why does this sound familiar...

    Oh yeah, Jerry Jones and the new Cowboys stadium. Didn't we all think that was a sham too? Seems like awfully similar circumstances.

  24. #324
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    I love “Where Bond Money Goes” Map. According to it, Far North Dallas (white people other Map) is just as much if not more neglected as South Dallas when it comes to city funds.
    Far north Dallas also has a lot newer infrastructure than south Dallas.

  25. #325
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    The problem with “Where the Bond Money Goes” Map.

    The “Where the bond money goes” map fails to take into account density. It takes Census tracts and dollar amount spent per person.

    Preston Hollow shows up all dark $200.01 or more spent per person. Where there are 2-4 people per acre sometimes less because many lots are over an acre, it is going to look like a lot of money spent per person. Other parts of the city that show up light have a lot more people per acre than Preston Hollow. Yeah, some areas are truly under funded, but to say Dallas today is not funding the city equally is misleading.

    There is also a huge section of West Dallas that has very little in common with the typical North Dallas but part of the Northern Sector. If it was taken out the dollar amount would be close to equal.

    South Dallas looks the way it does because of decades of neglect, not because the city is not doing enough today. The city should also still keep up with Far North Dallas. Just because it is newer does not mean the city should let it go until it gets really bad then try and fix it. ***Preventive Maintenance***** something that Dallas really needs to learn! Dallas has a record of not fixing or maintaining things until things get really bad.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  26. #326
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    We have been deferring maintenance for years and years. We have not done any preventive anything in this city, buch less infrastructure maintenance.

    I understand your concern with the numbers being somewhat skewed on the bond money maps, but it's also pretty close to the truth. Okay, so maybe when we scrutinize the numbers a little more closely we might find that instead of 35% more in the northern half of the city, Dallas only spent 16% more. So what? The point is that the southern sector has been neglected for decades- not years, but decades. And these reports are really just confirming what everybody already knows, without really having to split hairs.

    Now we're looking at ways to grow our city and we're going, "ooops, we should have looked at that area a little more closely." Also, it's cheaper to do than anywhere else. Commercial properties in Pleasant Grove are $10-$12 p/sq/ft.

    I think southern sector redevelopment will be our legacy as a great city that can transform into great things when we all work together. At least the newsaper is finally catching on and being the cheerleader for redevleopment efforts. It's really hard trying to do community development out here with a bizarre patchwork of so many other organizations, all trying to do the same thing, one block at a time. It also underscores the need for better, more organized and cohesive cooperation through a focused, city-led effort. We're not there yet because there are so many distractions, but we're getting closer. I've been saying for a long time that north Dallas homeoweners need to take an active interest in the southern Sector because that's the sucking sound of your tax dollars. It's refreshing to see all of us begin to unite to sort of form this critical mass needed for such dramatic change to occur. We're not just talking about a neighborhood or a few here- we're talking about half of the whole city. That's a big deal!

  27. #327
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    from the frontburner...

    WARNING TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
    City Council members are understandably concerned about the growing momentum for a "strong mayor" system in Dallas. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they just can't seem to see that they are doing a lousy job. Their latest move has been to discourage the City Secretary from certifying the 20,000 signatures necessary to put the Strong Mayor initiative on the ballot in May, even though the Citizens for a Strong Mayor turned in 30,000 signatures (just in case this sort of shenanigans popped up). According to the City Charter, the City Secretary has 30 days from submission to certify the names and get the Charter Amendment process moving. The names were submitted Nov. 23.

    So, the deadline is in three days. On Friday, Citizens for a Strong Mayor sent a very pointed letter to City Attorney Madeleine Johnson threatening legal action if the process was delayed. Let's hope it won't be. But the interference of council members is just another glaring example of why things don't work at City Hall.

    Reid Slaughter · 11:04 AM
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  28. #328
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    from the frontburner...


    RE: WARNING
    You know what I love even more, Reid? Did you see this story about the verification of the signatures? Part of the problem is checking the signatures against voter registration data. Apparently very time consuming. So Beth Ann Blackwood, the woman responsible for the petition, offered to help:

    Ms. Blackwood said that on Dec. 7, her attorney called the city secretary's office to offer the city a computer disk with the names, addresses, birthdays and voter registration numbers of everyone who signed her petition. She said her attorney never heard back from city officials.
    Dallas: the city that works.

    Tim Rogers · 11:20 AM


    Here is the story in reference - http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/re...ter.227bb.html
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  29. #329
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    from the frontburner...


    RE: WARNING
    You know what I love even more, Reid? Did you see this story about the verification of the signatures? Part of the problem is checking the signatures against voter registration data. Apparently very time consuming. So Beth Ann Blackwood, the woman responsible for the petition, offered to help:

    Ms. Blackwood said that on Dec. 7, her attorney called the city secretary's office to offer the city a computer disk with the names, addresses, birthdays and voter registration numbers of everyone who signed her petition. She said her attorney never heard back from city officials.
    Dallas: the city that works.

    Tim Rogers · 11:20 AM
    Well of course they didn't use it! I mean, is the City Secretary just going to take their word for it on the voter registration numbers? I sure wouldn't. If some person wanting me to sign a petition asked me what my number was, I wouldn't know. So either the petition people look the number up themselves later, or they make one up. That's why you need a third party to check their numbers against the actual voter roles.

  30. #330
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    Well of course they didn't use it! I mean, is the City Secretary just going to take their word for it on the voter registration numbers? I sure wouldn't. If some person wanting me to sign a petition asked me what my number was, I wouldn't know. So either the petition people look the number up themselves later, or they make one up. That's why you need a third party to check their numbers against the actual voter roles.
    I was going to say.....I don't know my voter registration number either. And since I don't carry it around with me everywhere I go- I wouldn't be able to whip it out while sipping lattes at the Border's in Uptown- then someone else, like the person asking me to sign the petition, would have to verify it. That seems a little fishy- the City Secretary's office has been doing petition verification for quite a few years now, so Beth Ann Who?'s group can do it better, faster and more effieciently?

  31. #331
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ Shouldn't the City's Secretary's office be able to do it on time like they would for any other petition? What is the problem here. It should be handled the way everything is handled. period.

    According to the City Charter, the City Secretary has 30 days from submission to certify the names and get the Charter Amendment process moving. Right? So what is the problem again?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  32. #332
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    ^ Shouldn't the City's Secretary's office be able to do it on time like they would for any other petition? What is the problem here. It should be handled the way everything is handled. period.

    According to the City Charter, the City Secretary has 30 days from submission to certify the names and get the Charter Amendment process moving. Right? So what is the problem again?
    So did the City Secretary's office say that they could not verify the signatures before the deadline? Why is Beth Ann Who? needlessly interfering with that office's work by sending "helpful" letters from her attorney? She submitted her petition on Nov. 23 and two weeks later on Dec. 7 sent that letter. What was the point of that?

  33. #333
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    I think Mrs. Blackwood is going to run for Mayor. Why go thru all the trouble to give the Mayor more power, if you do not want to be the mayor your self?

    Trolleygirl, I think you should go protest her petition, or you could just beat her up.

  34. #334
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    So did the City Secretary's office say that they could not verify the signatures before the deadline? Why is Beth Ann Who? needlessly interfering with that office's work by sending "helpful" letters from her attorney? She submitted her petition on Nov. 23 and two weeks later on Dec. 7 sent that letter. What was the point of that?
    Probably to prove a point....that city hall drag's it's feet at almost every level.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  35. #335
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Probably to prove a point....that city hall drag's it's feet at almost every level.
    Well if that actually was the case, with that level of maturity I wouldn't expect Mrs. Blackwell to be much of an improvement for the council if she was elected.

  36. #336
    High-Rise Member dallastophoenix's Avatar
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    i don't think it has anything to do w/ a level of maturity... it's a distrust in a "system" that likely works as well as every other crappy system at city hall.

  37. #337
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warlock55
    Well if that actually was the case, with that level of maturity I wouldn't expect Mrs. Blackwell to be much of an improvement for the council if she was elected.
    I agree, but can you vouch for the maturity of our current leaders?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  38. #338
    High-Rise Member F4shionablecHa0s's Avatar
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    I really haven't kept up with the seven pages of discussion in this forum, but I think we can all agree on one thing: The current system at city hall fails on almost every level. Changes desperately need to be made, and I think that the strong mayor system would be a worthwhile change to make. The mayor is the only city official that is elected by a majority of the entire city. The majority of Dallas wants Laura Miller in office and agree's with Laura Miller's stance on things. So, why shouldn't she get the power to govern?

    No one is really at the helm at city hall. Nothing gets done because no one has leadership. The mayor is the perfect person to provide the city with the leadership it needs.

  39. #339
    High-Rise Member dallastophoenix's Avatar
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    i have a question about the strong mayor position: if it only takes a 3/4 majority of the city council to get rid of the mayor thru this new system - how long do you think it will take the current (worthless) city council to get rid of miller??

  40. #340
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dallastophoenix
    i have a question about the strong mayor position: if it only takes a 3/4 majority of the city council to get rid of the mayor thru this new system - how long do you think it will take the current (worthless) city council to get rid of miller??
    Because that would be 11 out of 14 council members. I don't belive that there are- or will be in June- 11 council members willing to recall the Mayor.

  41. #341
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F4shionablecHa0s
    I really haven't kept up with the seven pages of discussion in this forum, but I think we can all agree on one thing: The current system at city hall fails on almost every level. Changes desperately need to be made, and I think that the strong mayor system would be a worthwhile change to make. The mayor is the only city official that is elected by a majority of the entire city. The majority of Dallas wants Laura Miller in office and agree's with Laura Miller's stance on things. So, why shouldn't she get the power to govern?

    No one is really at the helm at city hall. Nothing gets done because no one has leadership. The mayor is the perfect person to provide the city with the leadership it needs.
    I guess I'll just have to keep repeating this until I'm blue in the face.......

    The City Manager is a professional executive. The Mayor is a former journalist. Some council members are lawyers, some are real estate developers, some are doctors, some are houswives, some are business owener, some, well some we don't eally know what they are. They all have their own area of expertise. As does our profressional CEO, otherwise known as the City Manager. Council people are ublic servants, politicians. Thy shouls have the skills and ability to listen to people, to try and help communities fix what's broken. They should know how to ask the right questions, and the right people to ask them to. They should also be leaders. They should hold their hire (the City Manager) resposible for managing the company (I liken it to a board of directors of a non-profit). They should also not mico-manage. The reason it seemed so impossible for Ted to do his job is because this is one of the worst councils in our history. They are ego maniacs and they like to micr-manage people. They exibit poor leadership qualities. And unfortunately for our Mayor, she also lacks leadership. Think about it- how many people has she ever had to manage in her lifetime? What has she ever accomplished in her life thatshow leadership? Again, I ask, why weren't the same bunch of citizens screaming and petitioning about a so called strong mayor back when Kirk was here? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the system wasn't really broken, but instead we had beter leaders? Now suddenly, in three years, everyone- Wick Allison, Jim Schutze, the Downtown lobbyists, everyone who has been mum about a charter change until Miller gets elected- are suddenly saying things don't work. Why now? What's happend to Dallas in three years?

    Hey, all you strong mayor supporters out there, I want to know where you were three years ago? And before. where were you four or five years ago? Are you really listening to sound logic and looking at history on this, or are you just following along? Whay didn't you want a strong mayor in 1999? Or 2000? Or 2001, before Ron Kirk resigned to chase ofter Senate dreams? Why now? And why such a hue and cry over it?

    Maybe we just need to wait out our Mayor, and one more (2007) council election. This has been a humbling couple of years from Dallas, and it should get better from year. I hope we've learned something, but strong mayor system isn't the answer.

  42. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    I guess I'll just have to keep repeating this until I'm blue in the face.......

    The City Manager is a professional executive. The Mayor is a former journalist. Some council members are lawyers, some are real estate developers, some are doctors, some are houswives, some are business owener, some, well some we don't eally know what they are. They all have their own area of expertise. As does our profressional CEO, otherwise known as the City Manager. Council people are ublic servants, politicians. Thy shouls have the skills and ability to listen to people, to try and help communities fix what's broken. They should know how to ask the right questions, and the right people to ask them to. They should also be leaders. They should hold their hire (the City Manager) resposible for managing the company (I liken it to a board of directors of a non-profit). They should also not mico-manage. The reason it seemed so impossible for Ted to do his job is because this is one of the worst councils in our history. They are ego maniacs and they like to micr-manage people. They exibit poor leadership qualities. And unfortunately for our Mayor, she also lacks leadership. Think about it- how many people has she ever had to manage in her lifetime? What has she ever accomplished in her life thatshow leadership? Again, I ask, why weren't the same bunch of citizens screaming and petitioning about a so called strong mayor back when Kirk was here? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the system wasn't really broken, but instead we had beter leaders? Now suddenly, in three years, everyone- Wick Allison, Jim Schutze, the Downtown lobbyists, everyone who has been mum about a charter change until Miller gets elected- are suddenly saying things don't work. Why now? What's happend to Dallas in three years?

    Hey, all you strong mayor supporters out there, I want to know where you were three years ago? And before. where were you four or five years ago? Are you really listening to sound logic and looking at history on this, or are you just following along? Whay didn't you want a strong mayor in 1999? Or 2000? Or 2001, before Ron Kirk resigned to chase ofter Senate dreams? Why now? And why such a hue and cry over it?

    Maybe we just need to wait out our Mayor, and one more (2007) council election. This has been a humbling couple of years from Dallas, and it should get better from year. I hope we've learned something, but strong mayor system isn't the answer.

    all you have to do is run for mayor and fix it

  43. #343
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Word tg.

    It's a good thing people have more faith in our national governmental system than they do our local ones, otherwise the U.S. wouldn't have made it past George Washington.

  44. #344
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    ^You overdramatize it

    The federal way has it right. Checks and balances. That's why people like it. There's a balance of things getting done and not getting done. Dallas just has a checking system.

    As for the where were people comment, a lot of the people here were probably very young or not here. Like it or not, the landscape of the city/county/region there is changing. A lot of outside perspective might see a lot of crap that people who have been in Dallas just see as a way of life. They see the city is behind other similar cities and.....BINGO BANGO. It is personally easier for me to see the faults now that I don't live there anymore.

  45. #345
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ lol.....TG...no offense here...but you are starting to sound like a council member defending his/her cush job. Why is it that you and warlock are both so anti strong mayor? Why won't either of you even consider that this may be a good thing?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  46. #346
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rantanamo
    ^You overdramatize it

    The federal way has it right. Checks and balances. That's why people like it. There's a balance of things getting done and not getting done. Dallas just has a checking system.

    As for the where were people comment, a lot of the people here were probably very young or not here. Like it or not, the landscape of the city/county/region there is changing. A lot of outside perspective might see a lot of crap that people who have been in Dallas just see as a way of life. They see the city is behind other similar cities and.....BINGO BANGO. It is personally easier for me to see the faults now that I don't live there anymore.
    And that's the main reason for keeping a council manager form here, because it's the best option for checks and balances. Right now, the Fed the State Lege, these guys have to learn to be partisan and get bills passed with people on both sides of the aisles. That's good governing. People who can't do that filibuster or redraw districts (bully), or go to the Supreme Court because they want all the control- so they won't have to do the very thing that they are not good at- get along with others. Is it perfect? Not, but it's the best system that we've got.Is the council manager system perfect? No but I think it's the best system that we have here. We are growing in Dallas, we are increasing in immigrant populations, there is a growing diveristy in this city- if we can't learn to get along with one another in this city in order to get the things done for Dallas right, then we may as well declare Marshall Law in Dallas see where the chips fall. But that's not really the best thing to do, now is it?

    I'm sorry but I come from a community development background. I've learned that there are no bottom-lines in life. And people change and some deserve second chances and that forgiveness is a difficult virtue to master. There are two ways to effect change- you can either get along with people or you can choose not to. If you choose to go it alone and alienate people because you don't understand the art of communication, then it's a hard road. If you choose to go the other way, to communicate, to understand people's differences, to figure out what's behind people's anger or frustration in order to come to a place where you understand all that, you can then begin to start making change. And only until that occurs. And that kind of change is lasting, it's permanent because it's based on something valuable and real. I'm going to use a an example- look at GW Bush and how he takes the hard line approach. Half the country and most of the rest of the world think that he's a bully and he's loosing this war. Now, remember during the campaign how everyone ganged up on John Kerry and laughed at him and made fun of him because he used the word "sensitive"? He was talking about developing relations with other countries that last because it's based on something real and valuable. Negotiation is a fine art. Not many people can do it.

    And based on my experience, I've learned that the best forum for individuals and groups of individuals to come to agreement on issues is if there's a balance- a fairness- of power. So it's not a me-vs-you or an us-vs-them situation- it's everyone in the boat for a common goal. We all have a common goal but if all the power is put to one individual and everyone else's issues, opinions, or ideas are rendered meaningless, then it's like putting another brick in the wall. Bottom-lines will be created and when that happens there's no room left for negotioan. We don't want to get to that point in Dallas' governance (because we're all people and so any form of government will act like the human beings that form it's body), and I feel as is we are dangling precariously close to that point with this current strong mayor distraction.

  47. #347
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    ^I really appreciate your attitude about things. I sincerely hope you guys do whatever is best for the city. If I'm ever able to return I don't wanna see the same things from when I left. Something has to change to get from there. Whether that's form or people, get it done.

  48. #348
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Word again, tg. The council-manager was designed to take advantage of political neutrality so that people could start from that base of objective city administration and make policy decisions equally beneficial for the entire city. Now granted, the people in the current system have done a terrible job of that, but that's because they're trying their hardest to buck the system and turn everything into a local district, partisan fight.

    I don't have anything against the strong mayor system per se, but I agree with tg that it's the wrong system for Dallas because the switch to it, and the concentrated power resulting from it, is going to do nothing but increase partisanship and make it even less likely that all the different groups will work together for the common good, because many are going to feel mad and feel that they've been taken advantage of again. Partisanship is the huge problem of the council, and the best way to start fighting that is bring in a GOOD city manager who can say to the council, "this is how the city is going to be run, now spend your time figuring out policy for the entire city and stop meddling with administration." I think the council and the mayor are a great example of how badly things can wrong when the policy makers get too involved with day-to-day operations, and bring politics into that. Dallas needs consensus that only objective administration and political neutrality can provide the foundation for.


    And to answer gc's question...well, not to sound snooty or anything because I'm honestly curious about this, but how many of the strong mayor supporters have spent significant time working in or with local government? I don't want to get too simplistic here, but I know both tg and I have spent years working in that capacity. Of course I can't say whether our concern stems from that, or whether similar views on human nature and society got us into that position in the first place. What do you think tg?

    Btw, if anyone says something along the lines of,"well, it takes a government outsider to see the problem," I ask you why the heck government is the only profession in which a person trained for it is judged less capable than someone with no experience?

  49. #349
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    The mayor only needs to be strong enough to hold the council members accountable.

  50. #350
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ I have not worked with/in local government. I have only read books, local papers, and case studies. I realize that regardless of the system we have in Dallas that effective communication, teamwork, coalition/relationship building, trust, and integrity are tantamount.

    My thoughts on the strong mayor have two main points.

    1) We need a system that makes someone/anyone acccountable for their decisions or non-decisions...and blah blah blah.

    Our current mayor and council members are weak on all fronts. They are all divisive, immature, short sighted, tactless, close minded, uneducated, racist (some..not all), lazy, argumentative, unethical (some...not all), and just plain bad for the city. How do these people get into government you ask? Because nobody else wants to be a part of a system wtih these types of colleagues in this type of system. It is always a stalemate. And voters don't care about these folks.

    2) So, I think that having a "strong mayor" form of government will encourage and demand a better breed of potential councilmembers and mayoral candidates.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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