Saturday, April 30, 2011

ZAP! #50: Are You Ready?

ZAP! #50...May 1, 2011

The countdown begins Monday. EARLY VOTING STARTS!

Before going to the polls and casting your ballot, just reflect on what this election is about. And understand that the only thing the staff of the CCR agrees with incumbent mayor Gears on is: We really do not want to forget the past!

Especially, the past we do not want to forget is what the incumbent mayor has been responsible for:

  • Voted twice within a three month period to increase Water and Sewer rates 10%.
  • Voted consistently to fund, bail-out or purchase property with inflated values from Delbert McDougal in the Heritage District.
  • Allowed “unknown city employees” to waive $4 million in questionable Entertainment Center expenses that were discovered during a financial review. Voters have not seen or heard any progress on the status of a re-examination of this issue.
  • Voted against the zoning case for the Kroger grocery store on MacArthur based on statements by Irving ISD personnel which may have been made in violation of the Open Meetings Act.
  • Recruited, hired and raised the city manager’s salary and benefits to where they now exceed the salary of the president of the United States.
  • Increased the tax rate on property owners during a period when home appraisal values decreased significantly.
  • Continued to support, promote and push forward the $250 million Voodoo Financed Entertainment Center with little regard for the possible impact on taxpayers when the center’s revenue projections do not materialize.
  • Allowed the city administration to implement several ordinances that financially harmed small businesses in the city.
  • Turned a blind eye to wealthy “benefactors” who stand to gain financially from the Entertainment Center project by corrupting the political system with their obscene and grossly large donations to incumbent candidates running for office, and the firemen’s union PAC. (ref. to BS #21 on 4-18-11)
  • Allowed the firemen’s union PAC (paid by the same wealthy “benefactors” noted above) to walk neighborhoods soliciting votes for the incumbent mayor with campaign materials that were blatantly false, sleazy and used as a diversion from his own shabby record.
  • Lowered the status of the office of the mayor to: gutter politics, character assassination, and fabricated facts and figures.
  • Was shown to have made differing statements to different groups when discussing the same subject matter...the Entertainment Center project.

Why would Irving voters even want three more years of this inept style of leadership? With a track record this dismal, one can understand why the incumbent mayor did not want to address real issues during the campaign. Instead, he chose to denigrate his opponent, open the doors for a wealthy boogle of weasels to buy city hall, viewed taxpayers as pesky interferers, and pompously addressed those disagreeing with him in a condescending manner. Maybe he should ask for a refund from his pricey Ft. Worth consultant if he was steered to campaign in this manner!

In order to get Irving back on track where citizens are listened to, financial integrity is restored, city government is re-opened to the citizens, and ego-driven projects are shelved requires a leader with honesty, integrity and good moral character. And the only person in the mayor’s race this year that can score A+ on each of these items is Joe Putnam.

And if you want truth in advertising, then read Putnam’s campaign ads and compare his ads with the untruthful drivel the incumbent mayor has used his entire campaign. Maybe the incumbent mayor actually believes that if you tell a lie enough times, then individuals will start to believe that it is the truth. How sad!

If there was ever a critical election in Irving when voter participation was paramount, this is the one. Incumbents have knocked the wheels off of good government at city hall and turned the city treasury into their personal piggy bank for developers, con artist and snake oil salesmen. And along the way, the firemen’s union PAC has dipped its toes in this primordial ooze of scandalous tactics to support incumbents who have created all the problems that are shortchanging Irving citizens.

Voters should give the incumbent mayor a dose of his own medicine...a one-way ticket to political retirement. And the firemen’s union PAC should stick to a genuinely good cause -- collecting for "Jerry’s Kids” -- not collecting funds from a boogle of weasels to campaign for character-flawed candidates.

………………...Mark Holbrook