Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BS #18: Shining the Light

BlogSpasm #18...April 5, 2011

Many of the CCR readers may not be familiar with the Rambler. If you recall, BS #16 centered around an ad that (current) mayor Gears ran this past weekend. We took exception to the ads use of the term "slumlord lawyer" when referencing former mayor Putnam. Well, it seems there was more wrong with the ad than first imagined. The following letter was written by Putnam and should appear in the Rambler as a response to the dishonest appeal to voters by Gears.

It seems that (current) mayor Gears is more interested in making personal attacks then he is attempting to defend his actual record for the past few years. Perhaps, his high priced Ft. Worth consultant doesn't really understand the political mood that is running through the community. From the perspective of the CCR staff, Irving voters are more interested in the real issues facing our city than enduring sleazy personal attacks by incumbents.




Dear Voters:

In the April 2, 2011 edition of the Rambler, Herbert Gears published a full page political advertisement in which he made some personal accusations against me.

Let’s review the truth of the statements of Gears.

Allegation: That I am a lawyer for slumlord apartment owners.

Truth: I do not represent any apartment owners and did not represent any apartment owners from 1999 - 2005.

Allegation: That as Mayor I prevented enforcement action against apartment clients.

Truth: Not only did I not represent any apartment owners during my term as Mayor, but never did I attempt to influence any code enforcement action against any apartments.

Allegation: I sat idle as Irving experienced an influx of illegal immigrants.

Truth: No Mayor can prevent a person from moving into a city. The immigrant population of Irving has continued to increase since the election of Gears. And remember, he himself was a member of the City Council from 1998 to 2004.

Allegation: I neglected to focus on public safety.

Truth: From 2002-2005, when I was Mayor, the Police Department budget increased by $2,216,298. From 2009-2010, under Gears, the Police Department budget has decreased by $2,810,599.

Allegation: 1,000 substandard apartment units have been demolished, so far.

Truth: These are the same 1,000 units he campaigned on in 2008. All of the units removed through the McDougal project were purchased by the City, at a cost of $15 million to taxpayers. Presently there are no category four apartment complexes in Irving, which means none are currently substandard.

Almost all of the apartment property purchased by McDougal is proposed for new apartment development, at a higher density. Plus, additional apartments are proposed on Irving Blvd. And, there are 3,648 more apartment units in Irving today than when Gears took office, according to census data.

Allegation: Apartment demolition and the CAP program are the reason the crime rate has decreased.

Truth: Crime is down nationally. In the city of Dallas the crime rate fell 34.8% from 2000 and 60.5% from 1990.

During my tenure as Mayor there were 111,644 Code Enforcement inspections from 2000 - 2004. 282 substandard structures were demolished through Building and Standards proceedings. During my term there was a 40% increase in home values and 2,872 single family homes were built.

During the Gears’ term the tax rate has increased from $.5479 to $.5761. Water rates, sanitation rates and drainage fees have all been increased. A tax on residential electric use has been proposed.

The false and malicious political attack by Gears in the April 2 Rambler is nothing more than a desperate and dishonest attempt by Gears to divert attention from the real issues facing Irving, like the Entertainment Center, Delbert McDougal and City Management, and to rescue his troubled bid for re-election.

There is a difference between me and Herbert Gears. He will say or promise anything to get elected. I won’t. I will tell the truth about issues. He will not. He has little regard for the truth.

Gears knows that the only way he can win is by attacking me. His false personal attacks against me demonstrate a total lack of political integrity. Voters should know these attacks for what they are.

................Mark Holbrook