Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ER #51: Chamber Antics

City Hall Elevator Rumblings  #51

Rider #1:  Boy, did I have a good chuckle the other day.  I enjoy reading fiction, but when comedy is part of the writing -- like an Evanovich tome -- the pleasure is even greater.  And was I in stitches.

Rider #2:  What were you reading that brought on this comical hysteria?

Rider #1:  Would you believe the two-page resolution that an Irving chamber of commerce committee passed in support of the city council extending the contract of city manager Gonzalez?  Not only was the resolution hilarious, but chamber president Wallace (a member of Gonzalez’s Lubbock Mafia crew) even had a punch line included by stating that when renewing the contract there should be “appropriate adjustments reflecting inflation.”  (Snicker, snicker)   The city manager already has a $450,000 salary and benefit package!  Wouldn’t that be like rewarding a Pit Bulldog with a doggy treat after he has mauled a Chihuahua.

Rider #2:  Do you think Wallace was serving Kool-Aid for those sitting around his conference table hammering out this political puffery?  Seriously, isn’t Gonzalez responsible for: the $51 million Lubbock Mafia project McDougal Heritage District fiasco charged back to tax payers; the ex-fire chief’s $161,000 ‘grant fiction-writing’ re-hiring; leaning on vendors that have business with the city for sporting event tickets; the “missing” information on his city issued BlackBerry that was requested by the DMN; the $4 million unaudited city expenses for the Entertainment Center approved by “unnamed city officials;” and the unilateral decisions made without council knowledge or consent?  And some in the chamber, besides the chamber president, want to extend his contract?

Rider #1:  Of course, the chamber resolution didn’t cite any leadership shortcomings or his dictatorial management-shuffling style either.  Instead, they listed a few of the ‘paid for’ “awards” the city has received and made it appear that Gonzalez had even invented the bread slicing machine.  They also gave him credit for an influx of new businesses in the city.  How sad for an organization to be so myopic, self-serving and oblivious to the reality of what has been going on in the city.

Rider #2:  Don’t forget.  The chamber has a significant chunk of its operating budget financed by Irving tax payers due to the chamber’s Lubbock Mafia connection with the city manager.  Do you recall the additional $600,000 Texas Stadium sign revenue that the city manager and chamber president apparently siphoned to lease a Cowboys stadium suite to entertain cronies?  

Rider #1:  It will be interesting to see if a majority of the council will address the reality of what has occurred under Gonzalez’s “leadership” the past few years, and if they have the backbone to do what is right...not extend the contract.  If they extend the contract, this will be an even more comical antic than the chamber’s fluffy resolution.  

A note from counsel: These “candid” elevator conversations have been injected with fabricated nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, modifiers and maybe a few dangling participles….Mark Holbrook