Thursday, November 17, 2011

ZAP! #71: Ain't Misbehaving

ZAP! #71...November 17, 2011

Sometimes, the CCR just has to respond (without being defensive) to “fan mail” regarding our postings. Such is the case with the Elevator Rumblings #22 posting and Dallas Morning News article* regarding the feline frenzy at the November 16th city council work session between Mayor VanDuyne and Councilwoman Rose Cannaday.

Before reading the CCRs comments concerning the “fan mail” received about these items, the sender’s comments will be reflected first. This is our feeble attempt to prevent any bias as you wade through the CCRs position.

Sorry Mike but I never use the word “ain’t.” Don’t you think this was interesting especially since the agenda was changed to hear the speaker on Ethics. We had a room full of people who flew in from all over the country to speak on this issue. Whether you like it or not, we have a contract with the LCG and we need to move the agenda on the EV until we can determine if we can build it or not. But until then we have a fiduciary obligation to let the contract play out. We may not be able to build the EV at all. Who knows until we test the bond market.

Also I deeply resent the continued implications that some of us have been bought off. That is an insult to my integrity and set of values that I live my life by. You may get your jollies by writing this stuff and there’s not much I can do about that, but I certainly don’t put you in the category of an ethical, unbiased writer? It’s been only a short time ago that you were lambasting the mayor and her political sugar daddy. Or the $28,000 turned in for travel payment with no receipts. Or the mysterious trips taken on tax payer dollar. But I realize it is the fickle fate of the writer to pick and choose his victims. The facts be damn.


We’ll make this simple without any rambling rhetoric. (snicker) Heaven knows, we hear enough of that from the council. To assist in your review, you can score your thoughts with a Y/N (circle either one, but don’t send your results). The points that the CCR would have you considered if re-reading the materials are:

1. Apparently, the reporter for the Dallas Morning News does not hear well (not true) as he quoted Cannaday speaking to individuals in the council work session audience (where he was sitting) utilizing the “ain’t” word. This had nothing to do with ER #22 and was not even mentioned in the posting. Yes/No

2. Under the former mayor, the agenda was often changed, items added/deleted and presentations inserted into the mix. There was not a revolt or cat fight within the council when this occurred. Y/N

3. The Wednesday Entertainment Center agenda item should have allowed the out-of-town presenters to be considered early-on in the work session as a common courtesy. While the CCR would have supported this measure, it was not a factor mentioned in ER #22. Y/N

4. ER #22 reflected that the council’s decision was to go forward (led by Cannaday) with the highest risk option ($170+ million) for the Entertainment Center, and that this scenario was not endorsed by the city manager or the city’s bonding/financial advisors. (And staff of the CCR would not pretend to be as versed in these financial and bond matters to the degree that these consultants might be.) Y/N

5. ER #22 did not accuse any member of the council of being bought off. However, a review of the council’s past votes on the Entertainment Center project does reflect that the LCG (Billy Bob, et al) has consistently received favorable votes and treatment. And yes, these individuals have been the largest, by any measure, contributors to council campaigns. You decide if this is influential to council members voting on the Entertainment Center project. Y/N

6. ER #22 did not reflect what others (current Mayor) might have received...with regards to political contributions that were unrelated to the Entertainment Center or personal campaign record keeping. These “fan mail” comments were not germane to the issue at hand and ring hollow when defending a weak position. (‘Well, so and so did…’ reads almost like a schoolyard tattler.) Y/N

7. ER #22 clearly reflected the potential of tax payers being on the hook for Entertainment Center bond expenses if the revenue projections for the project do not materialize. Considering how often and the degree that the projected revenue has been adjusted, this should be the paramount concern by the council for the economic times the country and city is experiencing. Additionally, the high risk scenario double pledges other city revenue sources related to this project. Y/N

8. Readers (fan mail writers) may not agree with the CCRs word choice or style, but they should not make up their own facts or spin issues without addressing the point(s) covered in a CCR posting. Certainly, the CCR has not claimed to be “fair and balanced.” After all, these musings are OPINIONS...sometimes sprinkled with genuine facts. The CCR doesn’t write fairy tales. And the CCR does welcome fan mail...even though we don’t respond to all that is received. Y/N

9. This “fan mail” regarding the writings doesn’t advance the decision of the council to pursue the high risk option or the unfavorable recommendations of city staff and paid city consultants. This omission does little to reassure tax payers that their interest are being considered. More consideration seems to be given to the developer than those who might actually end up footing the payers. Y/N

10. Finally, the only “jollies” the CCR receives from writing these missives are when inert citizens become aware of what is occurring in their community and finally decide to become active and voice their opinions. Of course, when they do speak out, they risk the chance that some elected officials might dismiss them as being “mean spirited,” “Crankie,” ill informed, “can’t see the big picture,” or maybe even crazy. Y/N

Perhaps, if all the ordinary, tax paying citizens just drank the highly spiked Kool-Aid poured by the chamber of commerce, Billy Bob, David Dean, J. Ralph Ellis, Heinz Simon, Delbert McDougal and the city manager, there would be a sense of peaceful bliss in beautiful downtown Irving McDougalville. After all, ain’t these the folks who are actually running the city?

Who knows, this could even lead to a new city edict where everyone would wear the same type of uniform and march to only one drum beat!

……….Mark Holbrook

* DMN article link: