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Thread: Your Opinion of a Strong Mayor

  1. #401
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Over 30,000 signatures in 38 days qualifies as grassroots in my book.

  2. #402
    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    You have to be poor to qualify for grassroots status.
    Dallas uber alles

  3. #403
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    I'm poor and I signed the petition.

  4. #404
    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    You have access to a computer. You can't be that poor.
    Dallas uber alles

  5. #405
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Dallas public Library computers are free.

  6. #406
    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    Just a hunch, but I doubt you're in the library.
    Dallas uber alles

  7. #407
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    You don't have to be poor, but picking up the phone and calling five of your wealthiest friends to bankroll a PR firm which hires professional petitioners for a sum of $180,000 isn't exactly "grassroots".

    What Avi is doing is grassroots. I've been involved in many, many grassroots campaigns in my life. It involves walking and canvassing.

    At some point in a campaign- especially from someone running for Dallas city council- there comes a time when you have to go out on the street and start knocking on some actual doors.

  8. #408
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    yeah..you're right..but I'm still poor

  9. #409
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Avi is lining his own pockets..

    Any campaign takes money, that's just a fact of life. What is so wrong about people giving the peeople a chance to vote on how the government should be structured? Evidently these people followed every rule and now we (voters in Dallas) get a chance to cast a vote. I really don't see why everyone is so opposed to this.

    And what is with this "grassroots" stuff? The only person I have seen mention "grassroots" is Veletta Lilly.
    Last edited by columbiasooner; 28 December 2004 at 11:58 AM.

  10. #410
    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    You don't have to be poor, but picking up the phone and calling five of your wealthiest friends to bankroll a PR firm which hires professional petitioners for a sum of $180,000 isn't exactly "grassroots".
    That's what I was getting at.

    How is Avi lining his own pockets?
    Dallas uber alles

  11. #411
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Haha, something Avi said, looks like an anti-Dallas smear campiagn.

  12. #412
    Supertall Skyscraper Member texman's Avatar
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    I think this thread should be closed until another news story comes out. I swear its just become TG and some other person having a standoff of opinions. And its been the same opnion like 8 times.
    "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

  13. #413
    Eulogize the FW Streetcar Haretip's Avatar
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    To quote someone (or at least paraphrase), "Methinks the lady doth protest too much".

    What's wrong with talking about the strong mayor proposal? Do you have a hidden agenda that you are trying to protect so that you wish to squelch discussion?

    Perhaps you are visiting this site too often. The last news article relative to this story was posted this morning. I don't always get to surf through here on an hourly basis, so it would be nice if we could leave discussion open for more than eight hours. I know this site moves fast, but geez.


    For the record and the discourse, I am for a strong(er) mayor, but I do not think it is a good idea to completely get rid of the city manager. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

  14. #414
    Supertall Skyscraper Member texman's Avatar
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    Gah, I was just kidding.
    "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

  15. #415
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    columbiasooner could you go over to the "who are we" thread and post. ( link: http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/showthread.php?t=293 )

    By any chance are you in any way connected with mrs. blackwood and her grassroots effort?

  16. #416
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haretip
    To quote someone (or at least paraphrase), "Methinks the lady doth protest too much".

    What's wrong with talking about the strong mayor proposal? Do you have a hidden agenda that you are trying to protect so that you wish to squelch discussion?

    Perhaps you are visiting this site too often. The last news article relative to this story was posted this morning. I don't always get to surf through here on an hourly basis, so it would be nice if we could leave discussion open for more than eight hours. I know this site moves fast, but geez.


    For the record and the discourse, I am for a strong(er) mayor, but I do not think it is a good idea to completely get rid of the city manager. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
    Hey, maybe you need to keep up, slow poke!

    And I never said anything about squelching discussion. I'm simply debating my points. Of course, if you'd like to discuss it in more clear detail, you can always CALL ME and sit on the phone and not say anything for five whole minutes!


  17. #417
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    today's editorial

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...ood.95063.html

    The $$$ in $trong Mayor: We got the names; now, let's talk about the idea

    06:15 PM CST on Tuesday, December 28, 2004




    Beth Ann Blackwood's first smart move was latching on to an issue – turning Dallas' mayor from a figurehead into a chief executive – that has popular appeal. Her second smart move was ending the cat-and-mouse game about who is bankrolling her strong-mayor drive. Her silence was counterproductive.

    The donors she revealed this week – international wheeler-dealer Harold Simmons, real estate mogul Vance Miller, retired publishing executive Will Jarrett, retired manufacturing executive Ray Wallace and investor Albert Huddleston – are, predictably, rich, white and, in some cases, residents of the Park Cities. That may make them targets – if the strong-mayor opponents' strategy is to focus the debate on personalities rather than facts and ideas.

    Therefore, Ms. Blackwood's next smart move should be to recruit backers who are neither rich, white nor from the Park Cities. Some of them should hail from the southern sector. That's not too much to ask: Polling by this newspaper found widespread support for the concept of an executive mayor.

    Opponents of the strong-mayor plan, meanwhile, would be wise to recognize that residents all over Dallas share the perception that City Hall is broken. Voters may be persuaded by arguments that this plan – which would delete the office of city manager from the city charter – is not the right fix. But they'll tune out in a hurry if the message is: "Dallas is doing great; this proposal is just a naked power grab by the old guard."

    There's nothing nefarious about Ms. Blackwood's backers donating to a concept they believe in. Those who are still active in business have few if any dealings with City Hall; their financial interests are national or global, rather than local. Nobody is looking to build a tax-financed sports arena.

    This debate should be about what is good for the city of Dallas and its residents. There are strong, legitimate arguments both for and against making the mayor the chief executive. That's what both sides should be talking about. That's what will get people to the polls. And, in the end, dollars don't vote; people do.

  18. #418
    Mile-High Skyscraper Member rantanamo's Avatar
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    Lol

  19. #419
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    Nah..I'm just your average mid 30's guy that keeps an eye on local news and sports. I did sign the petition though.

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by columbiasooner
    Nah..I'm just your average mid 30's guy that keeps an eye on local news and sports. I did sign the petition though.
    I was just curious.
    It looks like you do a good job of keeping up with local politics and politicians.

  21. #421
    High-Rise Member columbiasooner's Avatar
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    I am especially interested in this issue. I have to deal with the code enforcement people down at city hall and it is very frustrating. Plus, I like this board because people, like TG, are thoughtful in what they post.

  22. #422
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    What's your deal with code enforcement? Perhas I can offer some assistance. I deal with code enforcement every day, in both the neighborhood at home as well at work.

    PS- Always, always, always be nice to city employees and they will be good to you- they deal with such jerks on a daily basis, I have found that if you're patient and cheerful on the phone they respond to your problems with a more helpful attitude.

  23. #423
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    PS- Always, always, always be nice to city employees and they will be good to you- they deal with such jerks on a daily basis, I have found that if you're patient and cheerful on the phone they respond to your problems with a more helpful attitude.
    Hey, that's right!


    I can see not much changed on this thread while I was on vacation. I hope the anti-strong mayor folks can muster enough money to spread the arguments for keeping the city manager. I emailed the regional person at ICMA in charge of providing information about the city management form of government in these situations to get some idea about what actions they're going to take. It'll be interesting to see her response.

  24. #424
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Oh and I've discovered that little niceties like Thank You cards and cookies also help when city employees go out of their way to help you.

    And all you have to do is be nice and ask questions. I was at the Police Headquarters earlier today picking up a police report and the lady behind the counter was your "typical city employee"- not smiling, doesn't look you in the eye, curt and to-the-point- you know the "attitude" I'm talking about. Oh and a Monday to boot. Well, I didn't have any change and they want exact change, but I did bring along a check, thinking it was going to cost at least a few bucks. *It cost twenty cents.* I rollled my eyes and asked, "you'll take a check, rihgt?" She nodded, I asked for a pen and began writing, she interupted, "that's twenty cents!" I smiled and chuckled and said, "I don't have change- I didn't think it would be that cheap, besides every time I come down here I'm usually spending at least $10! Who knew that a city service would actually cost twenty little cents??" That's when she smiled and became cheerful and said "Happy New Year, have a great day", and all the rest of that happy jazz.

    Most people, you just have to treat like people, and I have found that most citizens who "have" to go to city hall to "deal" with code issues, or whatever it is that they're dealing with, are already in a bad mood, already think they pay too much taxes, already think they're right but "you can't fight city hall", and already feel inconvenienced for whatever reason. And they have to stand in line. And they have "to deal with idiots". But if you're that idiot behind the counter at city hall having to take your crap because you're the one who put your bulky trash out too late and got a ticket (or whatever the case may be), think how that person might feel. I would hate to be a city emplyee because I would have to deal with a bunch of freaking morons all day long. And for crap pay with shrinking benefits and higher premiums.

    As much as I bitch and complain about city employees not living in the city of Dallas, I can certainly understand why they choose not to. I don't like it, but I can empathize.

  25. #425
    Supertall Skyscraper Member texman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    As much as I bitch and complain about city employees not living in the city of Dallas, I can certainly understand why they choose not to. I don't like it, but I can empathize.
    Sorta like cops who don't live in the city where they serve, just gets at people, like their not loyal or somthing.
    "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

  26. #426
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Miller backs strong-mayor vote
    Mayor considers own fund-raising effort

    10:11 PM CST on Monday, January 3, 2005


    By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News


    After weeks of maybes and probablys, Mayor Laura Miller said Monday that she would support a May referendum on whether to do away with Dallas' city manager form of government in favor of a more powerful, executive-style mayor.

    Ms. Miller may be more than a silent backer: She said she's considering forming her own strong-mayor campaign and fund-raising effort.

    "I'm thinking about all of that," she said. "That's what I'm working on now over the next few weeks."

    The mayor has long supported mayor empowerment in principle, floating her own proposal before the City Council late last year.

    After Ms. Miller's council colleagues rebuffed her, Dallas lawyer Beth Ann Blackwood submitted more than 30,000 residents' signatures on behalf of an even more sweeping strong-mayor ballot petition. City Secretary Shirley Acy certified Ms. Blackwood's petition on Dec. 23.

    "There aren't a whole lot of alternatives. This – nothing else – is what's going to be on the ballot," Ms. Miller said. "But I think the issue is that people are hungry for change. People are ready for a strong-mayor form of government. And how much worse could it be? We don't even deliver effective city services."

    Interviewed separately, Ms. Blackwood and Ms. Miller said they have not spoken to each other about the strong-mayor referendum and have no immediate plans to do so.

    Ms. Blackwood said Monday that she was unaware of the mayor's support or her potential interest in a parallel support campaign. Ms. Blackwood has begun her own $180,000-and-counting effort, with former Dallas Times Herald editor Will Jarrett, real estate executive Vance Miller and Dallas financier Harold Simmons each contributing $36,000.

    "I'm pleased to see the mayor is for more accountability at City Hall. I really had no idea what she was going to do," Ms. Blackwood said. "I don't know if the personality of Laura Miller is going to make a significant difference on this issue one way or another. This effort transcends whoever is mayor at a given time."

    Council member James Fantroy, who supports retaining the council-manager form of government, pledged to launch an anti-strong-mayor campaign.

    Using his own money, Mr. Fantroy said he plans to purchase 100 billboards worth of advertising space and set up phone banks in hopes of thwarting the strong-mayor effort.

    "If you're going to try to take power from me, I have the right to use my resources to fight this," Mr. Fantroy said. "This is one of the most critical elections in the history of Dallas elections, and the good Lord has blessed me monetarily. I came from a church that said, 'Give back,' and I'm going to give back. She's got a fight on her hands."

    Asked if she's worried about alienating supporters who happen to oppose a strong-mayor form of government, Ms. Miller said that's doubtful.

    Neighborhood activist Avi Adelman is unconvinced.

    "Apparently then, she's forgot the people who elected her who wanted change, but not by coup d'etat. We don't want a dictatorship," said Mr. Adelman, who operates the Web site strongarmmayor.com. "You're going to see a very unusual mixing of people who don't usually work together coming together to oppose this."

    E-mail dlevinthal@dallasnews.com

    ______________________________

    ^Now it's about to get down and dirty! :coolcigar :guns: :coolcigar
    Last edited by Mballar; 05 January 2005 at 11:38 PM.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  27. #427
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Mayor considers own fund-raising effort

    09:05 PM CST on Monday, January 3, 2005


    By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

    Interviewed separately, Ms. Blackwood and Ms. Miller said they have not spoken to each other about the strong-mayor referendum and have no immediate plans to do so.

    "If you're going to try to take power from me, I have the right to use my resources to fight this," Mr. Fantroy said.
    These two sentences represent the essence of what is wrong with Dallas city government. The problem is not the form of govt, rather the motives of office holders.

  28. #428
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    ^ Though I am for the strong mayor system, tamtagon has hit the nail on the head!
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  29. #429
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    When it comes down to it in reality there is a small group of people who can make things happen. It is the group of people that can stay united while they divide everybody else.

    Unity can provide momentum.

    It is eventually going to turn into a racial thing no matter what. It is alot easier to buy 1 person instead of 15 if you know what I mean.

  30. #430
    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    Isn't Phoenix is the largest municipality in the country with a weak mayor system?

    Are they considering the change to a strong mayor system?

  31. #431
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Again, we don't have a "weak mayor system" because there is no such thing. We have a council manager system, that seemed to work just fine with some strong mayors, up until the time Laura Miller was elected as Mayor.

    Yes, this is probably going to be the fun five months of the decade- at least for local political junkies like me.

    Anyone up for some phone-banking? Guess I'll have to start knocking on some doors.....again.

  32. #432
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    THE NUMERIC CASE FOR STRONG MAYOR

    The Strong Mayor proposition will improve government by reducing the effects of the PEK Factor. The PEK Factor, of course, is the Propensity to Elect Knuckleheads. With the current system the public has the opportunity to put knuckleheads in 15 roughly equivalent spots. Each knucklehead voted into office has a PEK effect equal to approximately .067.

    But let's say ,for example, that Strong Mayor increases that office holder's influence by a factor of 4. Then the influence of the other's are correspondingly reduced (as astutely noted by Mr. Fantroy). The measure would reduce their PEK factor to a much less damaging .049. So the even though the electorate may put the same percentage of knuckleheads in office in any given election, the cumulative harm to city will be drastically reduced over time.

    Obviously, putting a knucklehead in the Mayor position would be bad thing. Still, for a variety of reasons, the chances of that happening are far less than for the other 14 positions. Simply playing the percentages, Strong Mayor makes perfect sense.

    Numbers don't lie, but people do.

  33. #433
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    ^GREAT! Next I guess you'll be proposing that voters take a test to determine their knowledge on local government issues before they can vote.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  34. #434
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Who invented the PEK Factor anyway? Talk Radio?

  35. #435
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    I honestly do not think it will make any diffrence if there is or if there isn't a strong mayor type of government.

  36. #436
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    Who invented the PEK Factor anyway? Talk Radio?
    Talk radio, big Eastern Think Tank, or some guy killling time on his lunch hour.

  37. #437
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Phoenix has actually been recognized recently both nationally and internationally for its efficient and innovative government.

    Here're a couple of interesting links for you guys:

    http://web.utk.edu/~dfolz/cmormayor.pdf
    http://www.governing.com/articles/10assess.htm

  38. #438
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    \/ Lettttsssss Get Ready To Rrrrrumble. . . :guns: :guns: :guns: :guns:
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    Lipscomb likens Miller to Nazis Ex-council member blasts strong-mayor effort as a power grab

    08:36 PM CST on Wednesday, January 5, 2005


    By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News


    Linking Adolf Hitler and Dallas Mayor Laura Miller in the same breath, former City Council member Al Lipscomb on Wednesday compared efforts to expand mayoral powers to Nazi power grabs and the Jewish Holocaust.

    "Even the Holocaust started somewhere," Mr. Lipscomb told the council, lurching over the public comments lectern, his eyes trained on Ms. Miller as he wagged his finger at her. "Hitler – he was one man obsessed with the need of more power. A power-crazed brute.

    "The mayor's office of Dallas is not for you alone, Ms. Miller, and your cronies. Shame, shame, shame!"

    One shocked council member insisted that only Mr. Lipscomb should be ashamed – of himself.

    "I find it appalling for a former Dallas City Council member to come in here and compare the Holocaust to something that's going on at City Hall. I find it appalling, Mr. Lipscomb!" council member Mitchell Rasansky shouted.

    Several of Mr. Rasansky's relatives died during the Holocaust.

    "I was disappointed. But people have the right to say what they want to say," Ms. Miller said afterward of Mr. Lipscomb, who serves as council member James Fantroy's appointee to the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board. "Most people are going to keep this on a very good, sound, intellectual debate level."

    The exchange during the council's twice-monthly briefing session, some council members said, foreshadows the tenor of debates to come before May's citywide referendum on scrapping Dallas' current manager-council form of government in favor of a government run by a more powerful, executive-style mayor.

    Dallas lawyer and prospective City Council candidate Beth Ann Blackwood triggered the May vote after submitting a petition Dec. 23 with more than 30,000 residents' signatures to the city secretary's office.

    Mr. Fantroy, a staunch supporter of the current governmental system, insists that the debate transcends race.

    But for black leaders who fought for decades to represent their neighborhoods at the City Council level through single-member council districts – Dallas used to elect its council members citywide – the strong-mayor effort is an attempt to suppress the rights and voices of a racial population, Mr. Fantroy said.

    "It's no different than what Hitler did," Mr. Fantroy said.

    Council member Maxine Thornton-Reese agreed that Mr. Lipscomb's Nazi/strong mayor comparison is valid.

    "There is a relationship. You need to study it," Dr. Thornton-Reese said.

    Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, who supports the manager-council system, admonished Mr. Lipscomb, Mr. Fantroy and Dr. Thornton-Reese for likening the mayor to Nazis.

    "It does not fit in with this discussion, "Mr. Hill said. "Those comments, although heartfelt, should not be part of the discussions of the Beth Ann Blackwood petition. You can't get caught up in Nazism or Hitler."

    Council members twice during Wednesday's meeting extended Mr. Lipscomb's three-minute speaking allotment. When he asked for a further extension, Ms. Miller cut him off.

    "Why are you trying to ..., !" Mr. Lipscomb yelled at the mayor.

    "Mr. Lipscomb!" Ms. Miller shouted back, motioning for him to sit down. He grudgingly obliged.

    Mr. Lipscomb and Mr. Rasansky are actually allies of sorts: Mr. Rasansky said Wednesday that he would oppose the strong-mayor effort and begin organizing efforts to defeat it.

    He noted his decision with irony.

    "That's the only bad part about it, being in bed with somebody like Mr. Lipscomb," Mr. Rasansky said, bowing his head and shaking it.

    E-mail dlevinthal@dallasnews.com
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  39. #439
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    "I have listened to them with a horrible attention, with a hideous fascination. For it was like watching a man energetically sawing from the tree the branch he is sitting on." - G K Chesterton

  40. #440
    LH Copycat Columbus Civil's Avatar
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    Maybe one day we'll have a Strong Mayor Museum in the West End.
    Dallas uber alles

  41. #441
    dallacentric drumguy8800's Avatar
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    I think broadcast city hall meetings would get higher ratings than the Benefactor..

  42. #442
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Am I the only one that is annoyed that this city charter issue is twisted into a race issue? I empathsize with the concerns but really don't see the relevance of bringing it into the picture here.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

  43. #443
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gc
    Am I the only one that is annoyed that this city charter issue is twisted into a race issue? I empathsize with the concerns but really don't see the relevance of bringing it into the picture here.
    That's politics for you.

  44. #444
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Yes it's annoying and I knew that it would be turned into a recial issue. I warned my council rep to not allow that to happen in our district because that issue will turn voters off. So far, Chaney has stayed above the racial fray. I hope he can keep it up.

  45. #445
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    Yes it's annoying and I knew that it would be turned into a recial issue. I warned my council rep to not allow that to happen in our district because that issue will turn voters off. So far, Chaney has stayed above the racial fray. I hope he can keep it up.
    It is always a racial issue.
    I think it is stupid to bring it up, but I think it necessary to talk about it. It is also important to understand the differences in races and cultures. If we are always afraid to talk about race because somebody’s feelings are going to be hurt then the same issue will keep coming up and up. Dallas is very diverse, and needs diverse representation for its people.

    As far as the strong mayor, it will more than likely pass. Why because it has a lot white supporters and white people vote. Minority will oppose and argue and complain about it but very rarely will they take the time and vote.

  46. #446
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    I don't know, I think it's got a good chance of failing. There are a lot of white people opposed to it.

  47. #447
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    The problem I see is that if a white man was to say this, they would be demonized by the minorities. If people want to talk about race and cultural issues, then that's one thing. Be up front about it. Don't be afraid to say, "This is going to hurt the black people or minorities". Don't skirt around it like race is not at the core of what you think.

    I'm sure that Al didn't mean to say what came out of his mouth. He is a passionate man who cares deeply for his people and wants to make sure they are not trampled on by this system. I think his pride is far greater than it should be.

    Just like Proverbs 9:7-8 says
    He who gives teaching to a man of pride gets shame for himself; he who says sharp words to a sinner gets a bad name. Do not say sharp words to a man of pride, or he will have hate for you; make them clear to a wise man, and you will be dear to him.
    I don't think Al is a wise man. He's a man of pride. But that is my opinion.
    Listen to the Dividing Line, Pirate Christian Radio, CARM, White Horse Inn and RTS University the most nowadays.....

  48. #448
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    Here is where we must understand other races or cultures.

    I do not know much about Al, other than he is an African American but I am just going to say he is black to keep it simple.

    What crosses thru these people minds, in my opinion is that there is going to be a strong white mayor. But what if we ended up with a strong black or Hispanic, or Asian or other type of mayor?

    I myself usually look at the bad side of things; very rarely do I pay attention the good stuff. I am more worried about how things are going to affect me in a bad way other than in a good way.

    The way to do it or the way I would do it is my forming relationships with people of different races and getting their point of view.

    For example I am Hispanic so I would try and get different points of view from other people and find the ones that agree with my point of view. I would get a white, black, & Hispanic both male and female. If somebody tries to argue that you are racist then you simply let a person of that person's race and gender argue your point. It would seem stupid to call one of your own a racist against your own race.

  49. #449
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedsjr
    The problem I see is that if a white man was to say this, they would be demonized by the minorities. If people want to talk about race and cultural issues, then that's one thing. Be up front about it. Don't be afraid to say, "This is going to hurt the black people or minorities". Don't skirt around it like race is not at the core of what you think.

    I'm sure that Al didn't mean to say what came out of his mouth. He is a passionate man who cares deeply for his people and wants to make sure they are not trampled on by this system. I think his pride is far greater than it should be.

    Just like Proverbs 9:7-8 says


    I don't think Al is a wise man. He's a man of pride. But that is my opinion.
    So, in other words, don't talk to fools because they are stupid.

  50. #450
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsantiago
    Here is where we must understand other races or cultures.

    I do not know much about Al, other than he is an African American but I am just going to say he is black to keep it simple.

    What crosses thru these people minds, in my opinion is that there is going to be a strong white mayor. But what if we ended up with a strong black or Hispanic, or Asian or other type of mayor?

    I myself usually look at the bad side of things; very rarely do I pay attention the good stuff. I am more worried about how things are going to affect me in a bad way other than in a good way.

    The way to do it or the way I would do it is my forming relationships with people of different races and getting their point of view.

    For example I am Hispanic so I would try and get different points of view from other people and find the ones that agree with my point of view. I would get a white, black, & Hispanic both male and female. If somebody tries to argue that you are racist then you simply let a person of that person's race and gender argue your point. It would seem stupid to call one of your own a racist against your own race.
    If you dilute the power of the council reps- reducing then to tree stumps- making it more difficult for council reps to effectively produce some good for their constituents, making it useless to form coalitions and to actually work in concert with other members, then it will be extremely difficult for the minority council reps to have enough clout, if you will, to run for Mayor. You have to accomplish something as a council representative. Council Rep Laura Miller did. She was a fiscal watchdog. She called waste when she saw it- i.e., the Trinity ROAD project- and she responded to people all over the city who had become frustrated with inaction from their own council representatives. So she was a populist council rep. and ran as a populist mayor.

    Under a strong-mayor government, the people who would run for Mayor would be be rich (likekly white) people.

    I eliminates the chance of Average Joe ever running for that office. Sadly, there are more Average Joe minorities in the City and on the council. Those minorities (and any council rep) will be less effective in serving the needs of their constituents. (Granted, I just said that some of them ignored their constituents, but not all of them) It will also dilute community- neighborhood- power. Right now, I have a lot of pull at City Hall, I'm effective at geeting the needs of my community taken care of. We've all worked very hard to gain the trust and good graces of our staffers and our officials. I serve on a couple of commissions, which means I can walk into the DISD building any time I want and get whatever I need. I can get appointments with city managers and department heads any time I need to talk with someone. I can pick up the phone and call them directly. I've had people ask me, "how did you get this number? It's not published."

    Last month, Sanitation had a mix-up with Code and they didn't pick up our bulky trash on time, so code was writing tickets to everyone in the neighborhood. I called our supervisor and told him that it's mighty odd that the neighborhood has cleaned up bulky trash and now suddenly people have citations. We work together on code issues. So he dismissed all the tickets, even though Sanitation swore up and down that they picked up on time. I actually get accountability from the staffers. I get stolen trash cans replaced the next day after I call. I can get brush and garbage picked up off the curbs after a clean up- even when it's not bulky trash time- because we leverage our own willingness to be good partners with the city. At times, we distribute information to our residents on behalf of the City. Last month, I had the Assiatant Director of Streets meet me in the neighborhood so I could pass off a sign topper to him that had been stolen when the street sign was knocked down. He told me that it would go up in a day and it was. How many department heads actually get into a car and drive down to your neighborhood to meet you for some piddly-ass sign topper??? The Fire Chief came out three years ago and talked to us about this crazy new thing that we invented- the 311 Fax Sheet- and they wanted to get more information from us because they got in idea from us to create the web-based system. Based on our little dinky faxes, the Fire Cheif got an idea for something city-wide! (the Fire Dept. manages the 911 and 311 system)

    It has taken three years to get to this point. And it's worth it. And we are an effective neighborhood- I have been invited to speak at dozens of other neighborhoods about what we do that's so innovative. We're smart, talented, we're friends with each other, we come up with good ideas and we get stuff done. And the City loves it. Because we do things for ourselves, so when we really need something, when I've got 20 angry senior citizens calling me about bulky trash citations, then we're able to get to the top people at the city who can handle our situation, rather than being frustrated or not knowing. These poor people called our code officer who never returns phone calls to Joe Citizen. I can imagine the frustration and the anger from these people if we (PLAN) were not here, or were unable to get to top of the heap when we need to.


    And I'm sure someone will argue that with a strong Mayor, there would not be a need for citizens and neighborhoods to be as active as we are. But that's just not true. There are still 1.2 million people in Dallas. We will still have to compete for the attention of someone at City Hall. We will staill have a staff at City Hall. The Mayor, no matter how much power he or she has, can't be mico-managing my damn sign-toppers! There will always be a need for communities to be active and willing partners with its municipality. And I believe that the willingness and effectiveness of communities to have impact will diminish significantly with a strong-mayor. And I've said this before, if the council can't appoint their own people to boards and commissions, then it means the Mayor would have to micro-manage that as well. Don't you think that might lead to a little cronyism? I don't want to have to suck up to the Mayor to get on a commission. But people will. As it is, Chaney recognizes me for all the great work that I'm doing. I can write mean things about him on dallasarena.com, I can demand accountability from him, I don't have to suck up to him. I just have to do a good job. He doesn't have to like me, just the things that I do, because it makes his district a little better and people recognize that. It's politics.

    It will be interesteng to see how the Dallas Homeowner's League weighs in on the issue. I have a feeling that the DHL- if they choose to publicly endorse a system (they might not for political reasons)- will not be in favor of the strong-mayor.
    Last edited by trolleygirl; 06 January 2005 at 02:12 PM.

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