Thursday, April 4, 2013

CCR 04-04-13: Taxing Deal

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

     While cutting it short, staff of the CCR managed to pick up Monty Hall at D/FW Airport and deliver him to city hall for Thursday’s season finale of “Let’s Make A Deal - Irving.”  Or as many astute citizens have come to think…”Debbie Gonzalez Does Irving” as the game being played at city hall for the past several years.

     You will want to clear your calendar and arrive at city hall early before the “Let’s Make A Deal - Irving” session starts. Seating will be limited.  

     Monty Hall has also brought with him the premier ‘cat herder,’ of the United States.  While demonstrating how to herd cats, Billy Joe will reflect how it is easier to herd cats than it is for Irving council members to arrive at a consensus on the city manager’s employment status.  It appears that council members have shifted their positions on what to do with this item more times than a sheet is turned down in a Motel 6 Inn.   Billy Joe notes that the secret to herding cats is that at least one cat in the bunch should demonstrate strong leadership skills for the problem to be resolved.  And this skill seems to be amiss or lacking with the council’s designated chief herder.

     When Monty has the stage set for the council meeting, they will be three doors for the council to choose from.  And it will take five votes to select a particular door.  While council members do not know what is behind each door, Monty has shared the contents behind each of the three doors with staff of the CCR.  Knowing that you will not divulge this highly secretive and confidential information to any of the cats council members, here is what you can expect to witness as the game progresses:

Door #1:  The items the council will “win” if they choose this door are: one of the two arrogant proposals the city manager submitted to save his job by having the council issue a new contract...replete with severance pay.  Picking this door will also demonstrate that the city manager is running the city...not the city council.  Also included with this door will be all the ‘freebies’ the city manager has promised to council members or others in the community that he lobbied prior to this meeting.  There will be newly found or squirreled away city tax money to buy fire department equipment and possibly a new station to appease this group; a revised Entertainment Center proposal; certain street and project funds might move up on the priority list; and a whole host of other pet project items that would endear certain council members.  However, council members should open this door with due care, because the city manager has really greased the knob.  Accepting this door will surely cost the city more than any other proposal the council will be reviewing!  But then, it’s only your tax dollars.  And one should also realize, the city manager is the individual dictating these terms for his own self-interest while he has time to possibly seek other employment.  

Door #2:  Picking this door will reveal an Invoice made out to the City Manager for his payment in the amount of $54,900,000.  While this might not cover all the tax bucks, considered by many, to have been mismanaged during the city manager’s tenure, it would at least allow the city to recover some funds that swirled down the manager’s financial black hole of failed projects, dubious consultant contracts, unaudited expenses approved by “unnamed city employees,” legal cost for law suits filed against the city where he is a chief target, the chamber of commerce/Lubbock Mafia-funding, noshing events at the Four Seasons/La Cima on the city’s dime with chamber officials and Joe Philipp, and projects initiated beyond councils knowledge.  Chances are, the public will never have a full accounting of monies shifted and shuffled around to cover the tracks of any ill advised project or decision.

Door #3:  Behind this door will be a copy of the city manager’s current contract which expires May 1, 2013 with a yellow Post It note that says: “Bye and thanks for memories, but not all the city funds squandered or mismanaged.”  There is no severance check included with this door since the council chose not to renew his agreement for continued employment.  Additionally, there will be a copy of the Baldrige certificate signed by all the professional and excellent city staff members who were either run off by the city manager, wouldn’t acknowledge total fealty to the city manager, or just quit out of utter disgust with how the city was being run.  Also included with this door, as a reminder to the city manager, will be a copy of Gen. William T. Sherman’s autobiography to reinforce the personnel skills practiced by the city manager during his tenure...burn, raze and destroy those in the way or who do not agree with you in achieving your personal goal.

      One thing for certain...the rah-rah squad, probably encouraged and mustered by Irving Issues PAC to attend, will not address any of the financial shortcomings the city manager was responsible for on his watch.  Instead, these individuals will crow, ad nauseam, about flaky awards and certificates the city manager accumulated to puff-up his resume´.  Either these folks grey matter has been totally dissolved by Kool-Aid, or there was little there at the outset to actually recognize what this city manager has done to what was once a fine city administration.

     While staff of the CCR knows the chamber of commerce Kool-Aid sippers will be in attendance cheering for the council to select Door #1, Irving voters and those concerned with how their tax dollars are spent would surely like for the council to act responsibly, for a change, and pick Door #3.  The future of Irving could hang in the balance.  So, grab your pom-pom, attend the meeting and cheer for the council to select the door that serves Irving’s interest best...Door #3. 

         If you have never attended a city council meeting, this would be the one you shouldn’t miss.

……………………….Mark Holbrook