Receiving notes from readers often triggers thoughts regarding possible upcoming reports...except for those cases where the e-mail questions the legal, humanoid birth status of the CCRs staff. (Dylan being the only exception to responding to SOB.) Notes from the Crazies are normally forwarded to the proper health profession organization in order that the individual may: Have their medications reinstated, or paperwork processed for their permanent commitment.
However, one recent e-mail got the staff thinking...a rare occurrence. After due diligence, we decided to respond to the query posed as it appeared the writer was sane and genuinely searching for a legitimate answer. Following is the exchange.
Dear Mr. Holbrook:
As I have been reading your reports for the past several years, I was actually wondering if Irving is in as bad a shape as you sometimes reflect. While I know everyone is not always going to agree with everything a council member or school board official might say or do, do most of our elected representatives have more failing grades than successes? How does one really distinguish when the person we have voted for is doing a good job that actually benefits the city?
Sincerely, A. F. Parr (not his real name)
Mr. Parr --
You note poses the conundrum that faces most Irving folks who attempt to keep abreast of local happenings. On the surface, it is difficult to tell if your elected representative is doing what is right for the citizens, or merely taking up space for their own political ambitions while kowtowing to special interest concerns.
And no, not all the politicos are failing. Several are doing an excellent job. It is just hard to notice them in the stormy sea of stupidity. (Generally, those noted by name in the reports would fall into this category.)
Staff of the CCR would agree that many of the CCR reports take pot shots (some shots are even cheap) at the actions and spin emanating from local politicos. Why? Unlike most media outlets, the CCR reports have the freedom to ask embarrassing questions, pose very opinionated comments and sometimes suggest alternative (and less expensive) solutions on various issues. It should also be remembered that most politicos have a disdain for the media...thereby, they duck and do not often respond when queried. Especially, when they are asked embarrassing or pointed questions by the media...hence the spin factor of an answer not being a real answer.
And a key determination in most politico responses is what steps might they be dancing as they waltz around with special interest groups, campaign fund contributors, good old boy institutions, etc. In these cases, politico responses to the media definitely would be guarded and severely lacking reality-content.
While we do very little research for the reports, we do, on occasions, monitor campaign finance reports and watch council work sessions and meetings...except the boring parts when the same bozos yammer ad nauseam on topics unrelated to the subject at hand. (No names provided to protect the guilty, as even some council members fall into this category.)
Since there is no such thing as a perfect law, system or human, then the actions of a politico should be handled much like the restoration of an old cathedral in England...sandblasted. While the sandblasting does not make the structure perfect, it does, in the case of a politico, erase or expose much of the political grime, corruption, or wrongheaded actions that may have been present. And the reports are the CCRs shallow attempts to bring these matters, with a shinny new hue, into the light of day. (Maybe the CCR should change their logo statement to reflect: Sandblasting the crap out politicos to expose the real issues at hand.)
Yes, most of the CCR reports reflect the negative and seedy side of the Irving political spectrum. After all, we are only noting what might have been seen, and not performing this task to win a fluffy award to post on a political resume.
If you are interested in all the good and happy events taking place in the city, then may we suggest that you read the NeighborsGo section of the Dallas Morning News on a daily basis. There is outstanding, good news and event coverage by Deborah Fleck and Gloria Hernandez (who is soon departing) that will keep you informed and perfectly content. And if you want real facts and data regarding political issues or politico actions, then we would recommend articles filed by DMN city and school district reporter, Avi Selk. (When possible, the CCR attempts to link to Selk’s articles so CCR readers will not have to guess what some of our cryptic references might mean in what was e-mailed to the readership list.)
Hope all this helps answer your questions. If it doesn’t, then might we suggest that you e-mail someone who might really care? (snicker)