Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld
02/04/04 300+ Taxpayers Get to See
Who Rates with Mayor Miller!
If you had any doubt things are worse at City Hall
than they were under Ron Kirk, you should have been in the Council Chambers
Tuesday night between 7 and 9 pm. Over 300 business owners and residents
from NW Dallas and Deep Ellum packed the council chambers on a cold week night
to tell the Mayor and Council why our two areas cannot support a facility that
will attract thousands of vagrants to our respective areas.
We were mostly talking to each other. Only council members Lois Finkelman
(chaired the meeting), Veletta Lill and Gary Griffith bothered to attend.
Granted, their committee was hosting the meeting, but there was no excuse for
the Mayor, John Loza, Steve Salazar or even Mitch Rasansky not attending.
Editor's Comments: Councilman
Salazar sent an e-mail assuring NW Dallas he is against the Harry Hines
site, which is in his district. Councilman Rasansky called on
Friday to advise he was ill Tuesday evening and had intended to be there.
He is definitely voting against the Harry Hines site.
How many more things will Laura have to screw up
before you and others in this city realize what a fake
she really is?
Laura will 'dance' with and to the
tune of the one's who own her, excuse me, 'brung'
her. Allright--the N. Dallas crowd and the
Belo bunch (her new best friends}.
It seems, she's just
another hack politician going for fame and fortune
and her 'legacy.'
In this case, a city left in ruins
that thinks of itself as hotshot rather than the has
been it really is.
Really, the only area that even
looks any better in this town since Laura became Mayor
is some of downtown. Compared to Fort
Worth or Houston's downtown,
it still looks like a wasteland.
The two most problematic sites are in Loza and Salazar's districts, but they
impact residents in Lill and Rasansky's districts, too. The Malcom X site,
which the Mayor prefers, is in Loza's district. The Harry Hines site is in
Salazar's district, but will have a huge impact on Loza's constituents near
Grwyler Park down through Oak Lawn. Both sites will do great harm to
Lill's District 14 residents and businesses.
With the exception of a representative from Trinity Commons (Trinity Project
boosters), most speakers favored the Industrial Blvd. site because of its
separation from neighborhoods and proximity to existing County services at Lew
Sterret. David Morris (ran against John Loza) made the best argument for
Industrial -- it's vacant and the facility can be built as it is needed, rather
than retrofitting an existing building.
All the Deep Ellum speakers listed what they already endure because of the
concentration of vagrants and street bums in their area. Bums walk into
their offices and building panhandling -- so much for the Mayor's
anti-panhandling efforts. Bums steal everything they can get their hands
on and some stuff they have to pry loose.
Deep Ellum speakers correctly noted Deep Ellum is the glue that will pull East
Dallas, Downtown and Fair Park together. If it fails because the city has
invited a bunch of problematic vagrants into that area, all their efforts and
investments will be wasted and an opportunity to save Downtown lost forever.
Who in their right mind would ever trust this Mayor or this Council or our City
NW Dallas speakers (including yours truly) talked about the injustice this would
be to our community residents and businesses. Roxan Staff talked about our
concentration of over-populated apartments, gang and drug problems and the fact
that we are the # 1 crime area in the nation's # 1 crime city. Put those
vagrants in our area, and we will hold on to both rankings in perpetuity.
I talked about this being a blind sided assault on many of our NW Dallas
neighbors who don't speak English and have no idea what's coming at them and
questioned why Mayor Miller had no time for a townhall meeting with our
community or even a meeting with community leaders from NW Dallas. Our
Mayor had a "townhall" meeting with vagrants who pay no taxes and cost us money,
and she had a "townhall" meeting with "vagrant service providers" who use our
tax monies and charities as a job fair for themselves with little of it getting
down to the vagrants.
and our other advocates did a great job Tuesday night.
I don?t know if you caught the 6 p.m. news before leaving for the meeting,
but Laura was interviewed and asked about the
opposition to the shelter in NW Dallas.
She was VERY flip in her reply, which
was essentially ?nobody wants the homeless shelter in their neighborhood,
now I?ll be getting letters from the jail inmates saying they don?t want
them in their neighborhood.?
It really ticked us off. She definitely
projected that she didn?t give a darn what we
think in North Dallas.
We supported and voted for
Laura twice, but it is
beginning to be doubtful if she gets another vote
from us. I hear disillusionment with her
from my neighbors.
She needs to remember who got her
elected. She also needs to consider the negative
consequences on property values in NW Dallas
of thousands of homes, which would be impacted.
She is supposed to be so financially
savvy, but she is paving the way for loss of tax
One very well-dressed lady said she works with the homeless and can't understand
why the rest of us want them out of our neighborhoods and stuck over in "la la
land". Talk about dense and arrogant!
There is no way the absent council members or the Mayor will listen to the
recordings of taxpayer comments from Tuesday night. They aren't even
likely to read a transcript -- if one is prepared. They might skim a
report by staff or the committee members who did attend -- if one is prepared.
No, Tuesday night was just a sham so council members can say they heard comments
from the community before they shaft one of our communities. The vagrant
supporters want all the sites as a satellite system. One guy wants us to
tax everyone a quarter (25?) a day to give to the vagrants like they do in NY
where he came from. That's part of the problem at City Hall
I asked why there had been no meeting in our communities where the proposed
sites are located, since we are the ones who get to pay for this looming
disaster. Councilwoman Finkelman said the Mayor called the other two
meetings, that Tuesday night's meeting was her committee's meeting, and they
could not be expected to have meetings all over town.
There are only 4 final sites: Industrial Blvd. (no community nearby),
Malcom X (devastating for Deep Ellum and East Dallas and South Dallas), Harry
Hines site (doomsday for redevelopment in NW Dallas) and the Decker Jail (back
on the table for some reason).
There would only need to be 2 meetings to get input from people most impacted by
their decision -- one at Bachman Lake Rec Center and one at a place in Deep
Ellum. The Mayor had time for vagrants and their keepers, but no time for
One NW Dallas community leader asked me the night before "Does Miss Laura know
she's ripping her britches with us?" I told him I don't think she does.
He replied "We have long memories in North Dallas."
It's not just the Mayor who should be catching heat over all this lack of
information to the communities that will bear the brunt of their stupid
do-gooder efforts. Mitch Rasansky's district goes to the North side of
Walnut Hill and almost to East side of Brockbank. He hasn't called a
meeting to let his district people know about this either. Neither has
Veletta Lill advised the Oak Lawn/Bluffview people that vagrants are going to be
roaming their community.
There is no excuse for John Loza or Steve Salazar to be ignoring this.
Loza told our Mary Lou that he "didn't know enough about it", and wasn't
necessarily opposed to it. That's because he doesn't care one way or the
other what happens to the people who live near Grwyler Park or in Deep Ellum or
anywhere else. I learned the hard way in 1998 that John Loza doesn't care
about anyone but himself and possibly his campaign manager.
I will be calling Councilman Salazar personally to determine where he stands on
This is what happens in a corrupt city. The people who stick it out in
this city and pay their taxes have the least influence at City Hall. What
if the city was considering that Mockingbird site where WalMart wanted to go?
The Park Cities and Turtle Creek crowd would be all over City Hall, as well they
All excuses aside, this is Laura Miller's fault. She runs around trying to
be all things to all people, and ignores her base. Do you think Ron Kirk
would have stirred all this up? Don't you think he would have looked at
the Industrial Blvd. site and said -- least impact, least hassle, make it
happen. He may have been a crook, but he was at least a smart crook.
The real kicker in all this is that there's no money to do this. The bond
package was only for $3 million, and none of these sites can be done for that
trifle amount. That's where we've come to in this town. You can't
build a vagrant shelter for $3 million! Then there's the drain on the
budget once the shelter gets operational, if ever!
We can't pave our streets, we can't keep our parks green, we can't pay our cops
and firefighters or our civilian employees what they deserve -- but Our Mayor is
spending all her time chasing money for and accommodating street bums and their
keepers. Don't remember that in her campaign platform. For that
matter, I don't remember a tent city in the bond package.
Our Mayor is smart and has a lot of stuff on her plate -- but much of it is
self-induced. She inflicts the no-smoking ordinance (which I personally
love) on lawful restaurants
and bowling alleys, but she makes no effort to enforce anti-panhandling laws
against vagrants, polluters and vandals.
When Sarah Dodd at CBS 11 interviewed her and said several hundred people would
be at City Hall Tuesday night to protest the Harry Hines site as the vagrant
hotel, she flippantly said "nobody
wants the homeless shelter in their neighborhood, now I?ll be getting letters
from the jail inmates saying they don?t want them in their neighborhood".
The jail inmates' opinion would probably carry more weight with the Mayor than
the people who voted for her and campaigned for her -- "the ones who brung her".