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05/04/06  Leo Chaney ought to quit while he's behind.

A long, long time ago, a deejay (before they were talk jocks) told a story on air, and I almost ran off the road.  Recent events reminded me of the story.

A little boy was born without a torso, or even a neck, much less arms and legs.  Luckily, he was born to a fairly affluent family who lived in a very progressive neighborhood.  All the other children were taught to never make fun of the little head -- because that could have been them.

Every day, the other children would come over and pick him up on his pillow to play outside with them.  He would bounce around while they did their thing. 

This went on when the started to school.  The other kids would pick him, drop him their backpacks, take him to class, plop him on his pillow on his desk.  This went on from elementary, to junior high, to high school, right up to time for the junior-senior prom. 

The little head sat right behind Mary Sue Brown, the most popular girl in the junior class, and he just loved her.  One day, he got his little bodiless nerve up, and said "Hey, Mary Sue Brown".   With all of her junior high sophistication, Ms. Brown responded with a disdainful "What?".  Unperturbed, he asked, "How would you like to go to the prom with me?" 

Amazed, she said "What, me, Mary Sue Brown, the most popular girl in the junior class, go the prom with you?  Why you're nothing but a head.  I'ld rather go to the prom with a grape.  At least, a grape would match my purple prom dress."

Hopefully, the little head asked her "Would you go to the prom with me if I were a grape?"  She said, "Oh, sure!"

For the first time in his bodiless life, the little head was ashamed of his deformity.  That night, he cried and cried, and prayed to God, "Dear Lord, if I can't have a body like other guys, at least let me be a grape so Mary Sue Brown will go to the prom with me."  He cried himself to sleep.

The next morning when the little head awoke, he felt different.  When his buddies collected him for school, they noticed he looked different but didn't dare comment after all those years.  He caught his reflection in a hall mirror, and sure enough his prayers had been answered.  He was a grape.

When they plopped him on his desk pillow behind Mary Sue Brown, the little head was beside himself, so to speak.  He said, "Hey, Mary Sue Brown."  Without bothering to turn around, she asked "What?  Head?"  He said, "I'm not a head anymore.  Look at me, I'm a grape.  Now, will you go to the prom with me?"

When she looked at him, she tossed her perfect hair and spun back around in her seat, accidentally knocking the little grape head off his pillow onto the floor.  He rolled down the aisle toward the front of the class where the teacher was writing on the board.  He bumped the teacher's leg, and she reflexively stomped on him and smushed him. 

The class was hushed, girls were weeping, even Mary Sue Brown.  It was horrible.

There's a moral to this story. 
You better quit while you're a head.

If you saw CBS 11's Ace Reporter Sarah Dodd's Tuesday report on Leo Chaney's "Opportunist Park", you know that Shakedown Chaney has been planning to have a 10 ft statute of his face profile in what Mike Davis is calling "Opportunists Park".   Of course, the official name of the park is Opportunity Park, but Mike's title is probably more accurate.

Ms. Dodd continued her report on this ridiculous matter Wednesday night:

Proposed South Dallas Park Sculptures Questioned
Sarah Dodd reporting May 3, 2006 6:30 pm US/Central
(CBS 11 News) DALLAS A proposed ten-foot sculpture of a Dallas City Council member is stirring controversy at city hall.
   Even though your tax dollars will pay for the tribute, most of the council was in the dark about the plan until reported on CBS 11 News.
   In 2003 voters approved a tax hike to pay for a bond program, and an $800,000 park is being built using the money.
   But the park is anything but traditional, the city is calling it, ?unprecedented, the first of its kind?, and Wednesday most council members say that's not such a good thing.
   "Opportunity Park" has been the vision of council member Leo Chaney since 2003, but his entire plan was not shared with the Dallas City Council until CBS 11 News uncovered it.
   Chaney's plan includes creating a walk of fame to honor 75 south Dallas community leaders, both living and dead.
   CBS 11 News had an exclusive look at blueprints for the park, and the plan includes erecting 10 and 20 foot high sculptures of certain community leaders, including Chaney himself.
   ?It's a joke an absolute joke to use taxpayer?s dollars for something like this,? said Mitchell Rasansky, Dallas City Council.
   Council member Ron Natinsky agreed saying, ?I certainly wouldn't spend any money that I had control over in the district, of putting a statue of myself out in District 12.?
   Chaney put together a committee to decide who would be memorialized in the park, but says he did not ask for a ten-foot high plate metal sculpture of himself.
   ?I'm not going to have a silhouette as long as I'm sitting on the Dallas City Council. I am not, it's not about me.?
   The park isn?t expected to be completed for several years and because of term limits, by that time Chaney will no longer sit on the council. When asked if he would allow the silhouette at that time, Chaney responded, ?Okay, I don't know and I?ve not decided, but once I become a private citizen, I'm a private citizen.?
   The park board had not planned to ask the city council to approve the sculptures in "Opportunity Park". Each ranges in price from $11,000-$26,000. Since the CBS 11 News story aired most of the council is now demanding the project come before the council for a vote.

Is this the most idiotic thing you have ever heard?  It's embarrassing! 

Leo Chaney does not like having his deals exposed to the light of day.  To tell the truth, I doubt the guy has a clue what the uproar is about.   Think about someone this dense making decisions that impact our lives and property values.

He honestly does not see our tax dollars as real money that you and I would rather be spending on things we want or that the city actually needs.

Do you understand what this weird park is going to look like?  These are not going to be statutes like you would expect.  These are going to be 10-ft and a 20-ft high face silhouettes.  These are going to be huge heads with no bodies.  $100,000 for a bunch of head shots?    
05/04/06 Barbara Senter
   Sounds like the Chaney head will be an expensive bird landing that will accumulate bird poop. 
   How much will it cost  taxpayers to keep Chaney's head poop free?  Oh wait -- that's another story.

I don't have a problem with spending $800,000 for a park.  Dallas needs all the green space we can get.  I have a big problem spending $200,000 of that for "consultant fees" and $100,000 of that for 10-ft heads.

If Shakedown actually gets his full-figured face in Opportunist Park, most people will wonder why there's a profile of Alfred Hitchcock in a South Dallas park.

This is very silly and serious at the same time.  $800,000 was almost spent without most of the council even knowing about it.  Even Ed Oakley voiced disapproval. 

In fairness to the council, the Park Board and Park Department operate pretty autonomously from the City Council.  They are not under the purview of the City Manager, either.  Still, for the Park Board to be planning to spend almost a million dollars while keeping most of the council in the dark is pretty bad.

  Can you imagine how awful this place would look with these gigantic heads?  Are they trying to do some modern day Easter Island thing?

Opportunity Park?  Opportunist Park?  Or, just plain Old Egoist Park?

Guess it wasn't enough for Councilman Chaney to squeeze $3 million out of Smirnoff.  Since no one knows where that money got spent in the community, Shakedown must want something tangible to remind "his people" that he sat on the council for 8 years.  It's not like he can point to any achievements or improvements in South Dallas under his watch.

With FBI investigations and other inconveniences, it has not been a particularly good year or so for Shakedown.  Now, it looks like he may not get his face profiled in his dream park.  With Bill Blaydes and Gary Griffith and others vying for the South Dallas vote against Mayor Miller, they may be reluctant to take a stand against the waste of tax dollars.  We will be watching, gentlemen.

See why the story about the bodiless kid came to mind for me? 

Poor Leo may not get the chance to quit while he's a head.






  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8