Sunday, June 24, 2012

CCR 06-24-12: Ranking Reek

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”
     D Magazine has published their annual ranking of 63 North Texas suburbs.  The ranking criteria centers on, among other considerations: population (218,850); median age (55); violent crime rates (2.4/1k); non-violent crime rates (35.8/1k); per cent of school kids passing the TAKS test (69%)*; and even the average home sales price ($185,324).
     Sadly, the CCR staff must report that Irving has again slipped in the rankings.  The city went from being 55/63 to 58/63.  What’s going on here?  How could this be possible?  How could Irving possibly be ranked lower that Heath, Ovilla, Cedar Hill, Mesquite or Grand Prairie just to name a few non-stellar cities?  How could it be possible that there are only a total of five cities ranked lower than Irving in the North Texas area!  
     Of course, some will contend that the ratings are biased.  Others will state that D Magazine wants Irving to appear to be Dallas’ ugly step-child.  (It’s that old refrain of Irving stealing the Dallas Cowboys many moons ago.)  However, if all was as grand as the Doddering ½Dozen has been preaching the last few years, then Irving should be nearer the top of the listing.
      Knowing that the Doddering ½Dozen, who have been in charge and running the city up until this past election, will be at a loss for words to explain this dismal ranking, staff of the CCR has compiled a list of talking points for the group to espouse while awaiting their next Kool-Aid fix from ex-mayor Gears, Billy Bob, Bobby Page, David Dean, the fireman’s PAC, or Irving chamber of commerce shills.  
      To place the blame someplace other than on their collective actions while sitting on the council, here is what one might hear the Doddering ½Dozen intone:
  • The Lubbock Mafia took a hit when McDougal’s Heritage Crossing gravy train was whacked off the tracks.
  • The city manager will initiate the new 8-Omega program to replace 6-Sigma to re-blur the lines of responsibility and accountability while again reorganizing to hide rampant spending of funds on questionable projects.
  • Funding of another $1.6 million for the Irving chamber of commerce to secure two additional Cowboys Stadium suites did not materialize to produce the anticipated ‘economic development’ momentum desired.
  • Several more million dollars in consultant fees should have been paid to obtain additional non-documentable and dubious reports from the plethora of consultants hired by the city.
  • The fantasy and fluffy financial plan of the $250 million Entertainment Center wouldn’t provide enough junk bonds for the city’s portfolio.
  • The city manager didn’t identify and commit enough staff resources and funds to submit additional entries for ‘awards‘ that have little bearing on actual operations, transparency and accountability in the city.  
  • The citizens are solely responsible for this low ranking due to their lack of not flushing toilets and watering their lawns due to the three Water and Sewer rate increases that were passed in one twelve month period.
      Yes, there are many good things going on in the city.  However, it is rather depressing to listen to the pablum constantly spewed by the Doddering ½Dozen when it doesn’t seem to match with what an independent, nonjudgemental analysis presents. 
     Do you think all the Kool-Aid sipping by these folks actually altered or short circuited their brain synapses?  Maybe now that the election cycle is over and the leadership on the council has changed, Kool-Aid will be banned, citizens will be heard and the remaining Doddering ½Dozen will submit to detox for Irving’s overall benefit and improvement.
*  Note:  Of the 63 cities listed, only seven cities ranked lower than the Irving ISDs 69% in the number of students passing the TAKS test: DeSoto (65%); Duncanville, Seagoville, Hutchins, Cockrell Hill and Wilmer = 67%; and Glen Heights (68%)  Maybe this is why the Floundering Four (Hufstetler, Christian, V. Jones, and Craig) board members quietly and unceremoniously awarded the Super a 1.5% salary increase for next year.  A later CCR report will explore the rationale and spin the Flounder Four will require to placate school district tax payers for this performance criteria.