Development seems to be a lot of fun!
What happens to people when they get to City Hall?
They seem to lose their way, if not their minds.
Before he was elected to the City Council, I thought Bill Blaydes was a great
guy, a real Texan who would be independent and bring some dignity to the
council. I could not have been more wrong. Almost immediately, he
succumbed to ward politics to get along with his new buddies. Then, he
started acting like he was the junior mayor because Mayor Miller gave him some
important committee assignments.
In my younger years, I was a regional director for a large
financial institution. Any salesperson
or executive knows these types of items come out of YOUR OWN POCKET, not
the company till. David Dean is treating
our city like the ATM card of a trust-fund baby. Just come back every so
often to withdraw a little more coin so he can remain on his the
parental (or in this case, municipal) teat.
It is disingenuous when a
consultant's tab keeps rising; yet,
he has no reservations about having a good ole time on our dime.
Wonder how much Dean's going to want next year?
Officers Remain in Danger while David Dean
Lives it Up)
His sweet deal with the DISD relating to their land acquisitions gave Blaydes
some entrees that should have made him the right man for the jobs Mayor Miller
gave him. Who would have thought such a seemingly successful man would be
such an emotional and petty council member?
Early on, when the council debated the Patriot Act, Blaydes got very emotional
and wept a little as he talked about family members and other young people
serving in the military. I actually called him and expressed my support
and appreciation for his display of patriotic passion. I'm a sucker for
Boy, I sure wish they would announce City
Hall meetings like this in
advance. I would have gone down
there for the show. It would have been
better than a movie (only without the pop
I am currently doing some reading
(a murder mystery
taking place in 80 BC Rome) and doing some
associated research via Plutarck's essays on
the main historical characters: Sulla, Crassus (the
ultimate uber real estate developer/investor), Cicero, Pompey and
Caesar to name a few.
The more things change,
the more they stay the same.
Then last year, a large number of his District 10 constituents were in city
council chambers opposing a Wal-Mart development near their neighborhood.
Of course, Blaydes was all for it since he has never seen a land deal he didn't
like. In defense of his position, he inadvertently referred to the
applicant (Wal-Mart) as "we". He corrected himself, but some in the
audience heckled him. Apparently, they questioned his "integrity", and he
went ballistic and started crying again. Mind you, he wasn't boo hooing,
but definitely tears and his voice broke.
|Wednesday, Mayor Miller and 5
council members opposed a $500,000 contract
with Dean International that Blaydes was pushing through, even though the
council had not been briefed about it earlier. There was also a $40,000
expense statement that Dean submitted for approval and reimbursement.
10:13 Stan Aten:
I am not sure if you caught the complete discussion about the
latest contract with Dean International. The contract as discussed in
the Economic Development Committee was $370,000 + some expenses. After
the EDC meeting, Councilman Blaydes increased
the contract to $515,000. That is why Mitch asked for the contract to
be referred back to the EDC committee
before the council considered it.
comments: I did hear that part. To me, it becomes a new
contract when you add over $100,000 to a deal. Stan has a good
point. The $515,000 was much more than what staff wanted.
Mayor Miller pointed out that last year the council had said they wanted to
start doing what we were paying David Dean consulting fees to do. I think
I heard staff or someone say that we had hired some people for that job, but
they weren't up to snuff yet. Blaydes was interrupting everyone so much,
it was hard to follow some of the discussion. Blaydes said that (in-house
public relations) was what the Mayor wanted, but not what the council wanted.
Mayor Miller said she would get the tapes from that meeting transcribed and
available to the council.
Blaydes was getting increasingly disruptive and louder and belligerent.
Check out his 2006
Blaydes, Karl Zavitkovsky (city staff) to Long
Beach re Hanjin Dallas' maiden voyage
Blaydes, Griffith, Natinksy, Oakley, Salazar to
Laredo for Trade Corridor Coalition (TCC)
Blaydes and Zavitkovsky to Los Angeles and
Detroit to meet with representatives of Port of LA, Los Angeles,
Detroit and Windsor (Ontario).
Blaydes to El Paso and Las Cruces re TTC.
Blaydes to Dayton, Cincinnati and Louisville re TCC.
Blaydes to Tucson and Phoenix re TCC.
Blaydes, Oakley, Natinsky and Jennifer Li to 9
Chinese cities re Southern Port.
Blaydes to Scottsdale, AZ re TCC.
That's a lot of traveling for
any one council member under any circumstance. The folks in Lake Highlands
have to wonder who's looking out for their district interests while Councilman
Blaydes is playing junior mayor.
After Blaydes read off a bunch of statistics about future jobs the developers
are promising as a result of Dean International's efforts,
Mayor Miller said
?I don?t mind if you want to
travel with Mr. Dean. Go to China, go to Long Beach (Calif.), do what you want.?
Blaydes -- out of turn -- yelled at the Mayor,
?You do not accuse me of that.
I resent your inference!?
It got worse. Mayor Miller kept her cool and tried to bring him to order,
but he looked like he was going to hit her. Pretty much told her to step
outside and say it again -- big boy stuff.
CBS 11 News) DALLAS Debates can get
heated at Dallas City Hall, but some are saying an exchange on Wednesday got
out of control. The war of words pitted Dallas Mayor Laura Miller against
councilman, Bill Blaydes.
The exchange had to do with the
renewal of a city contract with a lobbyist and it turned into a shouting
match with allegations of tax dollars being wasted.
Things started to heat up when Mayor
Miller asked, ?Why did you spend a thousand dollars on a press conference in
an airport that we own??
The debate reached a boiling point
when Mayor Miller commented on the authorization of a lobbyist contract with
David Dean of Dean International to provide transportation and economic
development consulting services for the next year at a cost of $515,000.
The approved agreement gives Dean
International $440,000 for services and $75,000 for expenses.
?I don?t mind
if you want to travel with Mr. Dean. Go to China, go to Long Beach (Calif.),
do what you want,? Miller said. ?Mr. (Ed) Oakley and I go to
Washington all the time to lobby and we don?t do it with an expense account.
These expenses are a big huge gravy train. There is no accountability for
this money. Whatever David Dean dreams, he spends.?
Blaydes exploded at the mayor saying,
?You do not accuse me of that. I resent your
Miller denied she implied anything
?The hell you didn?t! When you want
to accuse me of something you better do it to me out of this place if you
don?t want a response,? Blaydes replied.
The mayor went on to comment about
receipts from trips and events Dean International planned on behalf of the
city while providing the council with transportation and economic
employee of the lobbyist likes Jack Daniels, so that?s something that the
tax payers are paying for. We're paying for hotel movies and games in their
rooms at night. We're paying for valet parking at hotels,? Miller
Blaydes told the council the money
was well worth it. ?The reasoning has nothing to do with the job that was
done its purely personal between the principle parties, the mayor and David
When asked about his comments
in council Wednesday morning, Blaydes said, ?She choose to try and demean my
character in a public environment today and I came back at her.?
The mayor?s response, ?I just
don't know why he would be so defensive and so protective of a lobbyist who
would spend tax payer money in the ways this lobbyist is spending money.?
While the exchange got everyone's
attention inside city council, the contract with Dean International was
still approved. CBS 11 News tried to get in touch with the company, but has
yet to hear back from them.
Trey Garrison gave a
blow-by-blow account earlier in the day on Dallas Blog.
Bill Blaydes is trying to
crush Mayor Laura Miller with his brain.
It got ugly Wednesday between Mayor Laura
Miller and Councilmember Bill Blaydes over the authorization of
lobbyist contract with David Dean of Dean International to provide
transportation and economic development consulting services for the
next year at a cost of $515,000.
It was the kind of ugly that
makes light-agenda Wednesdays down at City Hall a joy. Pro wrestling
kind of ugly, except this was real.
The $515,000 fee that
Blaydes? economic development committee recommended was $125,000
over what the city manager recommended for Dean?s services lobbying
on behalf of the city on regional and national transportation
This 2007 contract will be
Dean International?s third. When the first contract was awarded in
fiscal 2005, the amount was $250,000 for services with $18,000 for
expenses. In 2006 the contract grew to $300,000 for services and an
additional $40,000 for expenses.
The contract that was
approved today on a divided vote gives Dean International $440,000
for services and $75,000 for expenses.
Miller said she thought
it was a waste of money, especially at a time when the city is
pushing citizens to approve the $1.35 billion bond package in
November. She said the city should be taking those lobbying
responsibilities in house, and that she thought the expense
allowance was egregious.
Miller was also hacked that
Dean didn?t turn in until early October almost $40,000 in expenses
dated back to early spring.
?I don?t mind if you want to
travel with Mr. Dean. Go to China, go to Long Beach (Calif.), do
what you want,? Miller said. ?Mr. (Ed) Oakley and I go to Washington
all the time to lobby and we don?t do it with an expense account.
These expenses are a big huge gravy train. There is no
accountability for this money. Whatever David Dean dreams, he
any elected official would approve of this makes me wonder,?
A red-faced Blaydes
?You do not accuse me
of that. I resent your inference!?
Miller denied she
implied anything untoward.
?The hell you didn?t!
When you want to accuse me of something you better do it to me out
of this place if you don?t want a response,? Blaydes replied.
Blaydes glowered at
Miller much of the rest of the discussion.
Blaydes said he saw too
much return from Dean?s work on everything from
NAFTA and the South Dallas inland port to the Texas
?We can?t match his
expertise with our own staff,? Blaydes said. ?I will ask this
council to pass this contract.?
Steve Salazar said he?s
concerned there are too many larger issues at a regional and
national level that staff can?t properly handle without an outside
consultant like Dean.
Ron Natinsky, usually
an advocate of doing work in house, said he sees in this case the
need for outside expertise with the kind of contacts Dean
?Can we over time bring
more and more of this in house? Yes. The problem is the scope of
work is expanding and we can?t afford to get off the horse in
mid-stream,? Natinsky said.
... The contract ended up being approved,
on a very divided vote 7-6-2. ...
Garrison picked up on some of
the major objections the Mayor had with the Dean contract. It was
substantially more than staff had recommended. Dean got a $40,000 expense
statement for 2006 approved, and his 2007 expense budget is $75,000. Mayor
Miller kept calling it an "open-ended" expense budget. Blaydes said it
wasn't. Mayor Miller said when Dean went over the $75,000 budget next year
that City Manager Mary Suhm would be subject to the same kind of abuse that
Blaydes was giving Mayor Miller Wednesday.
When the final vote came down, it was Mayor Miller, Council members Chaney,
Fantroy, Koop, Rasansky and Thornton-Reese voting against the Dean contract.
Mayoral candidates Gary Griffith and Ed Oakley joined Blaydes, Garcia, Medrano,
Natinsky and Salazar supported the Dean slush fund.
I have a big problem with Blaydes even being in on the discussions of David
Dean's contract, much less voting for it. It seems to me there is a huge
conflict of interest in light of the all the travel he has been doing with Dean.
Natinsky and Oakley probably should have abstained as well.
As usual, Sandra Dee Gary
Griffith weaseled out. He could have been a hero and voted with the Mayor,
and even expressed some mealy-mouth reservations early on in the debate.
Guess he couldn't step outside and miss the vote like he did on the Hunt tax
abatement travesty last year.
Can you imagine Griffith as Mayor? He has no backbone. He
has no leadership. If he sticks with his mayoral race (which I
doubt because his poll numbers are abysmal), this Dean vote will be an
albatross around his neck. Dean is not a popular person in East
Ed Oakley will also have to answer questions on the Dean sweetheart deal.
His vote for David Dean also hurt him with East Dallas voters.
10/13 Mary Hasan:
There is little that Mayor Miller and I agree on but this is
one of them.
Our tax dollars should not be
used to make the rich richer. No elected
official or city staffer should use our
tax dollars for liquor or personal entertainment.
There are some terrible decisions being made at
City Hall. Until, we
the voters decide enough is enough, we will have these problems.
Million dollars for a grocery
store, $500,000 for red light cameras and now this. I hate to see what
Sharon, you know I am no fan of Mayor Miller,
but she is absolutely right on the Dean contract. We could
have used that money more wisely, but
instead our council decided to blow it.
I don't know who I will support
for mayor but I do know that I will not vote for any of those sitting on
On Swiss Avenue, few have forgotten David Dean's assault on the rules of the
Swiss Avenue Historic District when he wanted to change his corner mansion to
create a new room. Couldn't add it on at the back where it would not be
visible and acceptable to the neighborhood. No, he got his powerful friend
at City Hall to carry his water and got permission to put his new room where it
was visible from Swiss and the side street. See this piece on
DallasObserver.com, UnFairPark Blog:
What?s in David Dean?s Closet? Oh. A Closet.
I do not support conservation districts because they are often imposed with less
than overwhelming support from current homeowners. BUT, when you buy into
an existing historic district and you know the rules, you should follow them.
For some reason, Dean's Swiss Avenue mansion is listed on the tax rolls as owned
by "The Dean Foundation". What's up with that? Some neighbors say
Dean holds "prayer meetings" at his house. Is he paying the same kind of
property taxes as you and me? That would be a real kick in the knee if
he's got some kind of property tax exemption, but Dallas taxpayers are paying
him $500,000 a year to party hearty for us.
Most of Dean's reimbursable expenses that Blaydes fought so hard to get for him
were for entertainment. Dean's employees watched movies and played video
games in their hotel rooms on our dime.
When I travel, I take a couple of books. But then, I'm paying my own way.
Apparently, it's a lot different when you can run an unlimited tab on the
Mayor Miller told Tiani Jones, ?One
employee of the lobbyist likes Jack Daniels, so that?s something that the
taxpayers are paying for."
Liquor on our dime.
This is right up there with the Visitor's Bureau entertaining prospects at local
sex clubs, on our dime.
Mayoral candidate Gary Griffith voted for this Dean contract and the unlimited
expense account for 2007. He knows that a whole bunch of the $40,000 we
paid Dean for his 2006 "travel expenses" was for liquor and partying by Dean's
employees. How could he do that? How could he be so cavalier with
Clearly, Bill Blaydes feels he has been taking advantage of taxpayers with all
of his big time traveling on our dime. He didn't want the Mayor to mention
all of his traveling with Dean. It made him mad. Like all big puffs
of wind, he tried to bully her into submission -- all that yelling and cussing
at the horse shoe.
Mayor Miller was calm, but she must have been concerned because he looked out of
control. Can you imagine how many times we would have seen his tirade in
TV political ads had he actually run for mayor?
I supported Laura Miller for
city council, and I supported her for mayor. I wanted her to call out the
big spenders. I wanted her to stand her ground.
I wanted her to be just like she was Wednesday.