^ I worry that the opposite effect will occur. I worry that instead of allowing for "better" people, it will only allow for more monied people. Take me for example- I'm pretty sharp, pretty articulate, have a good grasp on this city's government system- and its history- and I'm just a lowley little director of a public improvement district in a blighted neighborhood, trying to effect some positive change for Dallas- oh and when I'm not doing that as my job, I'm doing it for free over in District 7, where I live, with a neighborhood, a coalition of neighborhoods, and a couple of non-profits that I started and rallied a bunch of support for. Right now it's taking tiny baby steps to get launched on these things, but we've got some good vision and some goos ideas and programs on the horizon. What I don't have is a whole bunch of money. I'm far from rich. All I have is ideas and the ability to get people to listen to them. That's a very grassroots, populist sort of thing. I think with the council manager system, there's a better chance for me to run for council- and maybe win- with very little capital and little clout. I worry that if it changes, the "better" kinds of people that will be attracted to the system will be our wealthy entrepeneurs and real estate developers and other businees people with more than handful of non-profits behind them to show for.
And there are a least a few more folks out there like me, who are smart, have good ideas, and instead of complaining or expecting someone else to turn those ideas into action, go out and do it themselves- and consequently volunteer themselves into poverty- and they don't neccessarliy have all the clout and business acumen, and rub shoulders on a daily basis with the rich and powerful in this town. I don't own a business, I run a non-profit so the folks I tend to run with are social workers. The only time I'm around rich people, I'm asking them for money.
I fear that decisions that might get made won't get made with the goal of the common good for the citizens of Dallas, but rather what's "good" for Dallas. Yes, we need to attract more businesses to this city, we need to strengthen our incentives in order to make those steps, but we also have to balance the needs of the average citizen who just wants his trash picked up on time and the neighbors dog to quit barking all night long. I think that with a strong mayor system and the people it will attract won't really worry about those "on the ground" daily issues but rather shifting all the focus over to business, business, business and to hell with that 14 acre wooded tract, and to hell with what the neighbors think about the importance of those trees, we need a new mall here.
Then again, I do live in District 7 and there aren't very many rich people there either.