10/20/05 Those with the
Gold Rule Forever at City Hall!
When is it going to get better at City Hall?
October 19, 2005, 9 council members defended Ray Hunt's phony letter of
intent from Irving (only a criteria letter) and joined Ray Hunt's face man
to criticize Mayor Miller for standing up for Dallas homeowners and
businesses who pay 100% of our property taxes.
You can't say we are paying our full share of
property taxes because we are actually paying more than our share to cover $6.3
million in tax abatements that Bill Blaydes, Ed Oakley, the FBI's Favorite
Target Don Hill, Ron Natinsky, NSA Angela Hunt, Brain-Dead Thornton-Reese,
Shakedown Leo Chaney, James Fantroy and Dr. Elba Garcia gave away TO KEEP a
business Downtown that was ALREADY PLANNING TO STAY Downtown anyway.
Wednesday night, I suffered through hours of watching the council's Hunt
briefing that I recorded from the morning. Right off the top -- these
briefings need to be on the radio. More goes on in the briefings than ever
happens on hearing days. Because I want to include several important
articles and comment on them, I will do a quick synopsis of what Hunt's lackeys
on the council (who should be representing us) had to say:
10/20/05 Gehrig Saldana:
Wow!!! So who lied about the City of Irving's offer? And who was
held accountable? If this is as good as it gets,
the average Dallas taxpayer is doomed! The only recourse for Dallas'
average shareholder is them to participate in supporting and electing
individuals who will serve the whole of Dallas. Great publicity for the
City of Dallas, right?
This is what happens when you have city governance without a
real strong mayor at the helm. Dallas now has a less than
strong mayor initiative without much support from anyone on the council.
The majority of Dallas' voters were hoodwinked during the last strong
mayor campaign, especially the vote in the northern sector of Dallas.
Sometimes you really do get what you deserve when you don't
do your homework. Councilman Ed Oakley has given politics the
comparative definition to the game of football when the title of "Water
Boy" comes to mind.
Bill Blaydes - Irving Mayor is a liar because Blaydes says their abatement
criteria letter is a letter of intent. Says Ch. 11's Sarah Dodd looked too
blonde and happy when she reported on Irving's non-letter of intent. Calls Hunt
Oil a corporate icon (as in "something to worship").
James Fantroy - Says Cowboys failed to come to Dallas because of what happened at
City Hall (something that happened under Mayor Strauss in the 80's, the
one-sided deal at StarPlex). Not sure what it has to do with Hunt's deal.
Says majority of Council are "business friendly".
only lived in Texas for 4 years, all in Dallas, but still don't
quite comprehend Dallas politics.
We all know the council is corrupt,
the mayor has zero power, the city manager has zero power.
So why doesn't
anyone run for city council to get these nuts out of power?
considered doing so myself, but
would have to take a pay cut to do it.
anyone with a spine in Dallas willing to be on the council?
Ed Oakley - As the most self-absorbed and selfish person on the council, he's in
a special position to call someone else power hungry, which he said about Mayor
Miller. Says because we have given so many other tax abatements, we
can't stop now. In other words, we have made so many mistakes, there's no
point in learning from our errors and stopping our bad behavior. In
between running for Mayor and acting as Hunt's City Hall consultant and
spokesperson, Ed Oakley doesn't have much spare time. He was completely
emotional and out of control, when he should have directed his anger at Lying
Ryan Evans and Hunt's John Scovell for lying to the council that we were about
to lose Hunt Oil to the suburbs.
Don Hill - When the FBI's Favorite Target is concerned about the city's
image, you know we are in Alice's Wonderland where everything is upside down and
logic is as fluid and the stuff in the punch bowl. Basically, this guy who
has been swapping votes for God's knows what told the World of Hunt-like
parasites out there to "ignore the Mayor" and "come to us" for your tax
abatements and one-sided deals.
Ron Natinsky - Says he opposes tax abatements, unless they are for Ray Hunt. He
dismissed all of the Mayor's points as a "Miller vs. Hunt trial". Also
called Mayor of Irving a liar about the letter of intent. If we are done
"priming the pump", the council needs to decide, not the Mayor.
Brain-Dead Thornton-Reese - Just sped past her because you can't understand what
she says anyway.
Shakedown Leo Chaney - More of the same. See Jim Schutze's
The Big Stick
which ties Hunt with some city shakedowns that have the State Legislature's
Dr. Elba Garcia - Says "I'm only a dentist, but I can read", and Irving's abatement
criteria letter is a letter of intent, so Irving's Mayor is a liar.
Mitch Rasansky - Says he voted for abatements where they were needed, and would
vote for an abatement on the West side of the Calatrava Bridges, but he will not
vote for an abatement to build an office building in the "choicest" section of
Mayor Miller and Mitch Rasansky were the only NO votes. Linda Koop claimed
a conflict of interest. Sandra Dee Griffith, who said NOTHING during all
the Hunt worship hour, was OUT OF THE ROOM when the vote was taken, so he can't
get hit one way or the other.
Now, let's get to the good stuff:
We don't always need a maverick, Ms. Miller
05:16 AM CDT on Thursday, October 20, 2005
It's not an unusual leap for journalists to
go into politics.
... But the two disciplines are far from
interchangeable, which is why it was so peculiar to see Ms. Miller refer to
herself this week by her old job title, "maverick journalist."
She didn't like the high-dollar
downtown land deals proposed by billionaire-oilman-turned-developer Ray Hunt
? it's not much of a secret that she doesn't like Mr. Hunt, period ? and she
said so. Loudly.
... it became clear that she would be outvoted in
her opposition to two deals proposed by Mr. Hunt: a tax abatement on his new
downtown headquarters and a swap of city-owned Reunion Arena for Hunt-owned
property near the Convention Center.
... you can't be a bomb-throwing maverick
journalist and an effective political leader at the same time. They're
different games with different rules.
Journalism is a game of idealism,
where we hold the people and institutions we cover to the highest standards,
... High standards and ideals have a role in
politics, but absolutes usually don't. Democracy by definition entails
compromise and negotiation in the interest of
doing what's best for the most people.
... Dallas also has a chance to get a nice new
high-rise building for Hunt's headquarters instead of watching it disappear
down the gaping maw of a hungry suburban neighbor.
... a few million bucks in tax abatements may seem
like a small price to hammer the deal home.
... A lot of residents blame
her for the Dallas Cowboys' decision to relocate to Arlington, even though
it was the county, not the city, with whom the team's negotiations broke
... But if she wants to get the mighty civic canoe
safely through the rapids, there are times when she'll have to paddle along
with everybody else.
As I asked Ms. Floyd:
Go a long to get a long? Didn't
your mother ever warn you about not stepping in a pile of **** just because the
crowd is doing it? What do you tell the good teenager who takes a vow of
chastity or abstinence from alcohol or drugs? If you want to be popular, go
"paddle along with everyone else"?
I looked up Ms. Floyd on the Elections Dept. website.
She's not registered to vote in Dallas County, not under the under the spelling
she uses in her column. Does anyone at
The Dallas Managed News
live in Dallas? If they don't live in Dallas, can they really want what's
best for those of us who do live here and pay 100% of our property taxes?
More importantly, Ms. Floyd certainly has the Belo attitude of compromise over
Miller rebuffed as
Hunt wins tax break;
council, berates staff; she was 'over the edge,' Hill says
11:07 PM CDT
on Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Dallas Mayor Laura Miller spent much of Wednesday criticizing
staff members and real estate developers, decrying a tax abatement for
billionaire oilman Ray Hunt's corporation as an insult to taxpayers
... "She probably went over the edge today. She
probably crossed over, really kind of marginalized herself," Mayor Pro Tem
Don Hill said of Ms. Miller at Wednesday's council meeting.
Over Ms. Miller's objections, the
council passed, by an 11-2 vote, a $6.3 million tax abatement that all but
assures Mr. Hunt will build a corporate headquarters building in downtown
... Said council member Ed Oakley to the mayor,
"You think you can circumvent our authority and our powers. You can't."
John Scovell, president and chief
executive officer of Woodbine Development Corp., a Hunt Consolidated
subsidiary, reprimanded Ms. Miller for her attitude toward the city staff.
... Ms. Miller, a longtime critic of Mr. Hunt's
business practices, and council member Mitchell Rasansky voted against the
tax abatement. Council member Gary Griffith was absent
from the vote, and council member Linda Koop did not vote because of
a declared conflict of interest.
... Mr. Hunt's
headquarters now reside within 15 stories of the Fountain Place tower
... The council then authorized the city staff to
continue negotiations with Hunt Consolidated that would swap city-owned
Reunion Arena, which would be slated for demolition,
for a parking lot near the Dallas Convention Center.
... Ms. Miller and Mr. Rasansky also voted against
the authorization. She explained she did so in part because she does not
believe Hunt officials are willing to renegotiate a 1974 "master agreement"
with the city governing the use of Reunion Arena and the nearby Reunion and
Union Station developments.
Some of the leases, such as the
company's $100-per-year lease from Dallas of Union Station's upper floors,
and various property use restrictions contained in the master agreement
limit Dallas' ability to fully realize the area's potential, Ms. Miller
... Mr. Scovell said he
prefers not to renegotiate the agreement ? "it was a win-win for both
us and the city," he said ?
... During the tax-abatement debate, she told her
colleagues that a supposed tax-incentive offer to Hunt Consolidated from
Irving, contained in a letter from the city's chief financial officer, is
nothing of the sort. It's a vaguely worded form letter, containing no
specific dollar amounts, that Dallas staff members were giving far too much
credence and shouldn't be a basis for Dallas offering the company a tax
abatement, she said.
"This was a
stick-up game with a toy gun because the Irving offer didn't exist,"
Ms. Miller said. "Everybody is going to want an abatement. We're headed for
a major financial problem. Where do we draw the line on money?"
... Ms. Miller later accused Assistant City
Manager Ryan Evans of offering Hunt Consolidated a tax abatement when he
promised her that he would not. The city cannot afford them, she said.
... Mr. Evans argued that the tax-abatement offer
was justified because "things changed. There was
another offer from Irving."
... "We do not want the mayor running good
companies out of the city. We already lost the Dallas
Cowboys," council member James Fantroy said.
... Ms. Miller, as a Dallas Observer columnist and
a politician, has long criticized Mr. Hunt as a greedy businessman looking
for public money wherever he can get it. Council members say the mayor has
let her personal animosity toward him cloud her judgment.
... the mayor said. "I'm very consistent about my
discomfort for this stream of giveaways at Dallas City Hall. Today is a
classic example of us needlessly and excitedly giving away millions of tax
dollars simply because we are asked."
Until they are other than the
"DALLAS COWBOYS", we have never lost the Cowboys. Having Texas Stadium in
Irving and the Cowboys playing there cost us nothing and did little for Irving.
They are already planning for a BETTER use for the land under Texas Stadium.
All you have to do to understand why Irving let Arlington have the expense of
hosting the DALLAS COWBOYS is look at the lack of development around Texas
Stadium as compared to the incredibly successful Las Colinas. The morons
in Arlington only had to look at non-development around their Ball Park to know
little else but a football stadium will happen with a football stadium.
It gets harder to justify staying in Dallas. My property taxes will go up
this year, thanks to Ed Oakley and Bill Blaydes, et al, but Ray Hunt will pay
less than 25% of the property taxes rightfully due from his ugly new building he
gets to build on our dime in the Arts District that is mostly utilized by
non-Dallas residents. We are still the No. 1 Crime City in the USA, and we
can't hire more police officers, because we don't have any money because the
council keeps giving away tax abatements to billionaires and raising property
taxes on everybody else.
The Big Stick;
Ray Hunt gets one end of it; guess which
end is reserved for the rest of us
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2005
There's a difference between the
short end of the stick and the long end, between how people get treated when
they're well-connected and how it goes when they're not. Most of us can live
with that. Within reason.
... two extremes of City Hall behavior--short end,
long end. City Hall just about laid itself down in the mud as a doormat for
Ray Hunt, a Dallas oil man involved in some major downtown real estate
deals. The city manager, in
particular, covered up an agenda item so that a huge tax abatement deal for
Hunt could sneak through without anybody noticing.
It didn't happen, because the
mayor blew the whistle. But after she blew it, 10 members of the city
council called a press conference to talk about how totally lovable Ray Hunt
is--batting their eyes, shifting their hips and making wet air kisses so
much, I think they all could have been arrested on
suspicion of solicitation.
... at the very same time, a special investigative
hearing of the Texas House of Representatives was gathering a starkly
different impression of how City Hall treats people at the other end. The
two-day special state hearing into practices at Dallas City Hall was called
because legislators in Austin last spring had heard
sworn testimony about rampant civil rights violations and official
oppression in Dallas--of business people.
State Representative Terry Keel, a
Travis County Republican and former sheriff who was co-chair of the
investigative hearing, ... Keel and other
committee members concluded that even basic police
protection in Dallas depends on how fat your checkbook is.
... Keel said at one point. "Police service
has been moved from basic services to a user fee." ...
the committee had heard sworn testimony from many Dallas property
owners who said they couldn't get the police to show up or take action
unless they agreed to hire the cops off-duty at $30 to $60 an hour.
... " And it dangerously
approaches almost a protection racket," Keel said.
... Keel accused the Dallas City Attorney's Office
of vindictively persecuting an honest cop to a degree he characterized as
... the police officer had written a letter
vouching for the good character of a business. That made the city attorney's
office so mad, it filed a semi-anonymous internal affairs complaint against
him suggesting that he might be on the take. Which he wasn't.
Speaking to City Attorney Tom
Perkins, Keel said, "Can I just speak frankly with you?
I see a pattern of witness-tampering, intimidation,"
... In the very last minutes of the two-day
hearing, the committee members were visibly shocked when an attorney for
Budget Suites of America showed them blow-up photographs of the Budget
Suites Hotel .... the city of Dallas had
been telling the legislators that Dallas had to sue ...
because Budget Suites was running a loathsome red-light-district
... Dallas undercover cops, they were told, were
going to other hotels dressed as prostitutes and trying to lure customers
back to Budget Suites so they could bust them there and get the city's
numbers up for its lawsuit.
... It's a lot easier to believe City Hall could
bend the rules to jam somebody up when you watch them bend the rules to do
favors for the insiders.
... The city manager put the issue of the $6.3
million tax abatement on the agenda of the City Council Economic Development
and Housing Committee as an "executive session." That means secret.
... They don't do tax abatements as executive
sessions. ... The Hunt abatement was a completely
done deal. There was no lawyering left to talk about, no sensitive
... The minute Mayor Laura Miller blew the whistle
on them, the city attorney agreed that the very same secret briefing could
be given again in public to the full city council, ....
there was no legal basis for making it secret the first time.
That means making it secret was illegal.
... the land value appraisals that provide
the underpinning for the Reunion Arena land swap seem to have a pretty ripe
whiff to them.
... Miller points to several assumptions in the
appraisals that do seem to lean way over toward the Hunt side of the table.
Like we have to deduct the $3.8 million cost of
demolishing Reunion from the value of the property, because Ray Hunt wants
us to demolish it.
... at the South Pole we have Budget Suites of
America, an out-of-state company that comes to town, invests, opens a sound
business and gets totally bushwhacked by the city. At the North Pole we have
Ray Hunt eating an ice cream cone while he waits to blow out his birthday
candles. And up and down and in between we have cops telling us we won't
have to worry about any of this if we just hire them off-duty.
Pretty scary stuff. Couple
it up with Verified Response, and Joe Taxpayer is pretty much on his own in this
Where have all
the real Texas men gone in Dallas?
What we saw at City Hall Wednesday morning was a mob
action -- with not a real man in the bunch. Mayor Miller gave a power
point presentation that was completely lost on 10 council members who happily
gave a Son of a Bigamist Billionaire $6.3 million of our money. They
weren't listening. They were too busy waiting for their shot at Mayor
Miller to worry about the facts she presented. Almost everyone of the
council members who spoke called the Mayor of Irving a liar.
The FBI's Favorite Target had the audacity to call the Mayor "marginalized".
Only on the Dallas City Council could an honest elected official be considered
"marginalized". Rather than treat him with disdain for the embarrassment
he has caused this city and the council itself, Bill Blaydes and other council
members continue to show Don Hill respect and let him continue as Mayor Pro Tem.
The FBI's Favorite Target actually presides over council meetings.
Ed Oakley said the Mayor was all about herself and not about the council.
When Ed Oakley represented District 6 while he was running for District 3, he
designated 83% ($2.5 million) of District 6's "discretionary" bond funds for
projects in his new District 3 -- most of which went to Kessler and Stevens Park
wants. The old District 6 included West Dallas, Bachman Lake area, Oak
Cliff -- all areas in dire need of side walks and curbing, but he spent our
designated bond money on a sound wall for Stevens Park to help his campaign for
District 3 against Mark Housewright. DISHONEST!
Don't know what to make of Sandra Dee Griffith's silence during the mob attack
on Mayor Miller or his absence from the vote to give a billionaire $6.3 million
of our tax money. DISQUIETING?
If your children were playing with the likes of Shakedown Chaney, and the FBI's
Favorite Target Don Hill, etc., would you want your kids to "paddle along with
everybody else"? The trouble is that almost everyone attacking Mayor Miller
Wednesday has mayoral aspirations: not so-Texan Bill Blaydes, Temper-Tantrum Ed
Oakley, "I'm only a Dentist" Elba Garcia and even the FBI's Favorite Target Don
Hill. He didn't say anything and snuck out before he had to vote, but
Sandra Dee Griffith also wants to be Mayor of Dallas. The good news --
none of them have a snow ball in **** chance of being elected citywide.
It doesn't matter if Laura Miller and Mitch Rasansky are the only two council
members willing to take a public stand to protect Dallas homeowners from city
staff's penchant for giving tax abatements to billionaires. I'm proud of
both of them.
Have to say I'm most disappointed in Ron Natinsky. Really thought he was
going to be different. I'm long since over being disappointed in Bill
Blaydes. He's just a big puff of wind who makes about as much sense when
he speaks as Brain Dead Thornton-Reese. They both take way too long to say
Several council members used the Mayor's opposition to the Hunt deal as a reason
to oppose Proposition 1 for a stronger mayor. I see the matter as a valid
reason to support Proposition 1. When the City MisManager and Asst.
MisManager Lying Ryan Evans can try to circumvent the law by dealing with the
Hunt stuff in executive session to keep it secret, you know we need a stronger
mayor. As it is, we have a bunch of little mayor-wannabe's trying to do
anything possible to undermine Mayor Miller, who won two hard-fought, high
dollar campaigns handedly.
Back in the late 60's when Erik Jonsson was told by famed architect I. M. Pei
"If you put the stadium downtown, you'll hate it so much, you'll tear it down in
ten years for what it does to your traffic ..." (Big
D: Triumphs and Tragedies, Revised
Edition (2000) by Darwin Payne, p. 382). Mayor Jonsson took the heat and
let Clint Murchison take the DALLAS COWBOYS to Irving. Mayor Jonsson is
easily the best Mayor we have ever had. He wasn't impressed with powerful,
Way too many of our current council members are just awe struck at the
opportunity to call a Son of a Bigamist Billionaire by his first name.
Even Lying Ryan Evans is thrilled to be on a first name basis with "Ray".
If taking a dishonest shot at Laura Miller for her efforts to thwart another bad
deal for Dallas taxpayers would get them points with "Ray", clearly several
council members were happy to do so -- particularly on a day when they were not
on the radio.
From non-Dallas resident
Floyd telling the Mayor to paddle with the rest of Hunt's Gang of 10, to the
disclosures in Jim Schutze's
The Big Stick,
it's clear that in Dallas those with the Gold Rule.