The Inn is about to be Out
gets under Councilman's Thin Skin!
Did you realize that I've
been doing this website since the Fall of 1998? Whenever I start thinking
nobody's paying attention, I'll get an e-mail or a phone call from a stranger
telling me they just found it and love it. That always charges me up, and
I'm good to go for months. This week, I got a reverse incentive that may
keep me charged for a lot longer.
April 18, 2006
Leo the Lion
How come city council
member Leo Chaney doesn?t yell at us? Why can?t we be as lucky
as Sharon Boyd, who got an earful from Chaney on Monday when all
she wanted was a mouthful of food? The man Boyd refers to as
won?t even call us back, for God?s sake. According to
the longtime local activist,
she was in the cafeteria at City Hall, taking a lunch break
during a Board of Adjustment meeting, when she ran into Chaney,
who represents much of southern Dallas, including the Fair Park
She was at the salad
bar when he tapped her on the shoulder and wanted to know if she
was ?that lady who writes things about me.? She said yup, to
which, according to Boyd, he responded, ?You don?t even know
me.? Boyd said she told him, ?No, but I write about what you do,
and then he said, ?I?ve done nothing but good for my people.??
She says he demanded to know why Boyd calls him ?Shakedown Leo?;
she told him it had to do with his taking money from Smirnoff,
whom he threatened to protest when the booze company took over
ownership of Starplex. (There might be
other reasons too.) Boyd says she told Chaney, ?Let?s say we
have a difference of opinion? and wanted to leave it at that.
But according to Boyd, the shouting went on and on, with Chaney
pleading his case to the food servers, the cashier?anyone who
?Had I been him
seeing me in there, I wouldn?t have acknowledged me,? Boyd says.
?I am still really surprised he would acknowledge I had gotten
under his skin. He kept saying also he can?t wait to be off this
council. Well, how about tomorrow? Who would know? It wasn?t
just inappropriate. It was just?weird.?
Robert's version is a very good
synopsis of my exciting Monday at City Hall, but all good stories bear
Long-time DallasArena.com readers know when
and how Leo Chaney became Shakedown Chaney. Remember when the City
(Park Board, etc.) sold the naming rights of Starplex to Smirnoff?
People in the Fair Park area had fought long and hard to reduce the
saturation of liquor-related businesses in and near their homes and
schools. City Council even imposed a planned development over the
area that shut down many liquor stores. To have City Hall turn
around and allow a liquor company to slap its name on a major
entertainment facility in their area was more than inappropriate, it was
Just read about that craziness with you and the (for lack of a
better word) councilman down at City Hall. In the cafeteria?
I have two words:
Bullies need to be exposed!
It sounds like this type of
behavior must be contagious.
Councilman Leo Chaney
threatened to have people marching in the streets, riots, whatever it took to
get that decision reversed. Sounded very noble -- turned out to be just a
shakedown ploy on Chaney's part.
Smirnoff offered "the community" over $3 million to spend in the Fair Park area,
and suddenly what had been offensive and intolerable was acceptable. Even
Commissioner John Wiley Price called it "blood money".
I already had a problem with Leo Chaney serving on the city council while he was
simultaneously drawing over $50K annually as a DISD employee, with no job
description or responsibilities. When we amended the Charter to pay the
council members $36K annually, Chaney had to make a decision - quit the council
or take an unpaid leave of absence from the DISD. What kind of a rocket
scientist gives up over $14,000 annually for a temporary gig? What kind of
a rocket scientist gives up a cushy job and actually expects the job to be there
after 8 years? That would be Shakedown Chaney!
The fact that Chaney's old job was not filled or needed in 7 years pretty much
tells you how important he was to the DISD.
For the past year or so, convicted wife beater Ron Price (DISD School Board
member) and Councilman Chaney have been all but joined at the hip. Common
understanding around town was Chaney had anointed Price to succeed him on the
council, and Price was working on things at the DISD to be sure Chaney had a job
(if not his old one) when he went off the council. If guaranteeing Chaney
a DISD job was actually the plan, Price must have dropped the ball because we
hear Shakedown Chaney is now backing Rev. Parrish as his council replacement.
For such a petite little woman, you sure are a gutsy broad.
In my world, that is a compliment. If I have not said it, I
sincerely appreciate DallasArena.com. I
have been in Dallas since August, 1950,
and I have seen and heard a lot. But, you
and Allen Gwinn put that little extra edge
of knowledge out there for the rest of us. A very sincere thank
The DISD needs more of your action. Nobody seems to attack
it with the fervor you skewer them with. Superintendents get
jail time, and the real incompetents just
keep on being promoted to downtown.
Latest screwup: Downtown is
convinced only a Mexican can understand the plight of a Mexican. So,
only Spanish speaking counselors can properly work with the
predominately Hispanic schools. So, the
English only counselors are being transferred
out of predominately Hispanic schools to other schools starting next
September, with a list of those schools and the principals names.
It is up to these displaced counselors to pick out principals and
arrange their own interviews to arrange for their
A neighbor is currently an
English-only counselor at
a DISD Junior High School. She has a
contract through next year, but has no idea where she will be. She
will seek out Black high schools. They
One thing she
Blacks have a sense of humor, Mexicans do
not. They just do not understand it or
its nuances, a large part of
which is not understanding conversational
English. Still in all, she gets her job done well.
As an Anglo, they resent her,
but they always come to her for solutions to problems. She is an
Anglo and a woman. Oh, that's right. Only Blacks
have racism questions.
Monday (4/17th), Board of Adjustment members were on our lunch break in the City
Hall cafeteria, and I was waiting for a salad when Councilman Chaney asked me if
I was "that lady who writes bad things" about him. I said I was, and he
just went off. He said "You don't even know me." I told him, "I
don't write about you, I write about what you do." He said he would put
his record up against anyone at City Hall. That he was looking forward to
being off the council, to being a free man.
He told me three or four years ago, he considered suing me, and I told him he
should do what he thinks best. Turns out his attorney told him he was an
elected official (public person) which pretty much makes him fair game for
criticism. He said he didn't feel that way anymore, but he no longer reads
or pays attention to DallasArena.com.
Congrats on shaking Leo up.
Sounds like he did a Bolton, the big baby. If
there was a flight of stairs available, he would have run up them crying.
There was more rambling, and I suggested we just agree to disagree and turned
away from him. That did not slow him down one bit.
He was stopping anyone in the room who made eye contact with him, pointing to me
and saying over and over "that woman writes bad things about me". As
Robert Wilonsky says in his DallasObserver.com blog, Chaney was telling the food
servers, other people waiting for their food to be served, everyone "that woman
writes bad things about me". Most of them just looked at him with some
concern for their personal welfare.
I got my salad (after what seemed like an eternity), and Chaney was still
ranting. I had to walk toward him to get some tea and go to the cashier,
and he started on me again. The poor cashier had 3 people on each side of
her trying to cash out, and he's yelling at me and telling her how I write bad
things about him.
At that point, he asked me why I call him "Shakedown". I reminded him of
the Smirnoff deal. He said "I couldn't stop it!" I said "You said
you could. You said you would have people marching in the street, but as
soon as they offered money, your threats went away." That did not sit well
with the councilman.
His response? He actually said, "My people have enjoyed spending that
money!" I said "I'm sure YOUR
people have enjoyed spending that money."
It was amazing! With all the investigations going on at City Hall, with
all the questions waiting to be answered, Councilman Chaney cares about what
gets said on DallasArena.com?
When it comes down to it, he's a paid public official, and I'm an unpaid
volunteer. Even if I had not been at City Hall as a Board member, merely
as a taxpayer and citizen, his behavior was way beyond inappropriate. I am
sure he intended for his performance to intimidate me, and it was unsettling to
see a grown man yelling and gesturing in a city facility -- particularly in a
Wonder if Shakedown Chaney goes off on every reporter who writes something about
him that he doesn't like?
In a round about way, it is flattering that DallasArena.com is on Chaney's radar
screen and gets under his skin. It certainly is surprising. I had
assumed neither Ron Price or Chaney cared what people thought about them,
particularly some insignificant White woman.
Speaking of Ron Price and an insignificant White woman, check out
Allen Gwinn has an edition that will knock your socks off, and certainly will
not make Lois Parrot happy. It is time for her and Ron Price to both go
If elected officials don't want people like Allen and me writing "bad things"
about them, they should not give us so much ammunition.