Subject: Bond Proposal -Mo money
DMN, the junkies at
City Hall will not
be satisfied with a $1.3
billion bond proposal and they are jonesing
for even more money, putting the 2006 bond
proposal to even higher historical levels -
all for Dallas taxpayers to foot the bill.
Priorities down at City
Hall have the basic necessities (mosquito/West Nile
spraying, adequate police staffing/ response to crime,
etc.) taking a back burner to projects,
such as a grossly over budget suspension bridge projects
(3 of them) and the Hanging Gardens of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
I regret only having a few hours to compose and
address the issues that have been in the news
regarding city priorities.
I could rant about how the city each year waits until the very last to
address the mosquito problem and the disease that it carries
or that the police do not respond to many types of
calls anymore. It seems that you have to kill
somebody in order to get them out, as they do not respond to
traffic accidents or property theft crime anymore. I wonder what they do
One could go on about how suspension bridges bring to mind
graceful structures spanning vast quantities of water (something that the
Trinity river lacks), and about how other cities that have had structures
by this noted architect all have been grossly over
budget. Perhaps Dallas officials thought that they
would be the exception in the budgeting process or
perhaps they just closed their eyes and chanted amongst themselves "it
will be on or under budget" till they believed it (something that is very
common to those in marketing and advertising-the ability to disassociate
reality with their dreams).
In the 2003 bond proposal, I noted various
improvements to be made to a local park. In relation
to this rant, I revisited the park with the
list the city provided. Many items that were to be
addressed with that bond proposal have not been
accomplished (painting rusting light poles and new
It is a relief that many items that I personally judged to be
overkill (replacement instead of repair), and had expressed to park
officials my concern, seem to have been addressed in a fugal fashion.
But, one of the major key points for all of the parks
in the city was new expensive designer picnic
pavilions to replace existing structures that seemed
to still have a useful life left in them. I still feel the
existing structured are adequate.
But, if the bond proposal passed, where did
the money go and are these items sill on the wish list?
How many of the items proposed for 2003 have actually
been completed and do not need add ional funding?
Some of them I hope have been dropped like the designer
pavilions (they wanted 2 for that park). This amongst other wish list
items that would completely rebuild
a park that in 2003 was in great condition and
still remains so in 2006. This is just one park. What about the other
In my biking journeys on White Rock Trail, I have
noted constant litter in the creek and uncut grass as
I make my way down to the lake. However, I
am very pleased with the new Mockingbird/White
Rock Lake bridge and the additional refurbished trials,
but the litter and the vagrants.
In 2003, I got the
impression that Dallas is so big
with so many projects that the city
cannot effectively match financing to the
projects for cost controls. Dallas needs
a transfusion of funds to the general financing pool
of money. I do not wish to just single out the park
system, but use it as one example of the city's
departmental structure that is vying for bond money.
I doubt that other departments are any better nor any
What I look for is responsible evaluation of needs and the ability to
distinguish them from wants and respect for the funds that the city
is entrusted to by investors and taxpayers. I do not see this in town
meetings that have the flavor of "we got a pile of your money now help me
In short, I see a city with
many needs and also many wish item wants.
It cannot distinguish between the two classes, but
wants to have it all and with the taxpayer footing the bill
I might be more receptive to this bond proposal, but
abatements given to developers who should be able to fund for
themselves but feel they are needy enough to
be subsidized by the city's
with Tramell Crow and the Timbers apartments,
a complex with a
vast wooded area, in good condition and low in crime
compared to other Dallas apartment
||The council ignoring
the City Plan Commissioners' recommendations regarding Forward
inability to collect parking fines and pay its
vendors in a timely fashion.
that citizens' problems are left to fester
until they become unbearable because the city turns a blind eye to
them. For example, noise issues
in my neighborhood due to construction, an
issue that I see echoed down in the entertainment districts on
Greenville Ave. that have been in the news.
I have observed the difficultly for
citizens when they petition the council about
their problems by poor scheduling of meetings (running
late or postponements or just plain ignoring them).
I observed one issue that had plagued residents for over 3
years concerning a dance hall that even after the
council addressed it was back in the news
Do I dare mention the FBI scandal too?
An idea that perhaps this bond proposal and all other bond proposals be
affirmed by the voters by a 2/3 majority for passage much like the city
council set up for neighborhoods if they wanted to regulate the size of
new McMansions in their community.
For me, the 2006 bond
proposal seems like it needs more work and a reality
check with a reorganization of the city's priorities.
Indeed the town meetings I have attended have been
more like a spend fest orgy with the city
missrepresenting the effect on the homeowners'
tax bills by taking into account only the tax rate increase and
omitting the rocketing valuation increases that exceed the 10%
per year or 30% over 3
I could cite other examples of poor management by the city. It is in this
regard that I must turn a "thumbs down" on this bond proposal. It seems
that the city government is trying to outdo the Dallas Independent School
District in your tax bills and in leadership.
Finally, as we are talking bond proposals,
let me mention the word is that next year the DISD
will be hoping Dallas taxpayers
have forgotten about the yacht trips, golf trips, cell
phone bills, car allowances and other revelations that
have been in the news to pass another bond proposal
for them, too. After all,
their past antics have been for the good of the
children and not themselves.
Remember that this spring's Republican Party (the
majority political party of the state) non-binding
referendums about limiting appraisal valuations to 5%,
and property tax relief were overwhelmingly passed but ignored by
the DMN and by elected officials. "They want
us to control ourselves and not go whole hog wild with
David W. Tuthill