Sharon Boyd, Editor/Publisher

Your alternative to
The Dallas Managed News  
Stepford Wife?

  Home       Search     


BadDealLogo.gif (6018 bytes)


Joe Briggs
Linda Pelon
Rich Sheridan


06/28/04  They've replaced Our Laura Miller with a Stepford Wife. 

Even if a bunch of us who worked our rears off to get Councilwoman Laura Miller elected as Mayor Laura Miller have been feeling pretty dumb of late, it was still shocking to have her tell the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce that she was stupid when she was merely a candidate for Mayor but her husband has whipped her into shape so she no longer focuses on the "little things that make a big difference in people's lives" and now she  has a "broader" vision.

Mayor: Trinity work key for city's future
Dallas' prospects also hinge on downtown development, she says

Thursday, June 24, 2004
By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News
  Dallas' future is promising, but its present is troubled ? and only a revitalized downtown and a transformed Trinity River greenbelt can save it, Mayor Laura Miller told a North Dallas business group Thursday. .
... Ms. Miller's sobering assessment came the day after she delivered a State of the City address that generally avoided negativity.
...  The mayor said she now considers the Trinity River project as Dallas' vehicle to a secure future.
...  As a journalist and City Council member, she decried the project as unneeded fantasy. Instead, she said, Dallas should provide its residents with basic governmental services ? public safety, clean parks, smooth streets. That stance helped her win the mayorship in a 2002 special election and again in 2003.
   Ultimately, she said, "
my husband told me I was stupid. He's a lot more mature than me."
... She credited her predecessor and nemesis, former Mayor Ron Kirk, with having the vision to shepherd the Trinity project during the 1990s while in its initial phases.
... With its proposed suspension bridges, lakes, parks, parkways and recreational opportunities, the project will forever transform Dallas' national and international image ? and generate money, Ms. Miller told the group.
.... The Trinity will attract business and tourists from around the world and give people more reason to move to a more livable, increasingly beautiful Dallas, she said.
... Al Taylor, a sales specialist for Keller Williams Reality, said he once saw Ms. Miller as shrill and unnecessarily combative.  ...  voted against her and campaigned for her 2002 opponent, Tom Dunning.
   "But she's won me over. She's finally realizing economic development is the most important thing you can do in this city."

Does that just make you ill?  What the former Dunning supporter doesn't get is that "populist" Laura Miller beat his candidate like a drum in the runoff.  A lot more former Miller supporters have turned against her than former Dunning supporters have been "won over" to her. 

Can you imagine Our Laura Miller saying our problems would be solved with a String Thing Bridge (or two or three) stretched over a sewer trough?  If she feels that way now after little more than 2 years, she must have been lying to us in 2002 and again in 2003. 

More likely, her Gorgeous Guru and her Handsome Hubby have replaced the woman we supported with a Stepford Wife, who wears great clothes, who smiles with her mouth (not with her eyes) and who is more comfortable standing before the North Dallas Chamber crowd than a group of North Dallas homeowners (the ones who got her elected).

A former friend and supporter calls Laura Miller an actress who merely plays whatever part called for in the play in which she is currently starring.  That works a bit, but there is something more dramatic at work in the transformation of Our Candidate Miller to the ODB's Mayor Miller.
I have been inspired by your work for the people of Dallas as a watchdog for our interests. I was unable to find you until the DMN article about the water parks.
   I am an unofficial WATCHDOG of the Dallas Convention and Visitor's Bureau since the BIG controversy over expediters.
   As DCVB's new President, Philip Jones' first move was to hire a friend from New Orleans to produce our CITY ARTS CELEBRATION when there are dozens of qualified producers right here in Dallas, who are already dues paying members of the DCVB.
  He gave Colleen Richenbacker all the DCVB events because she has a golden parachute paying her off because of all she knows about the expenditures.   Due to my protests, the CITY ARTS CELEBRATION hired at least a few local performers instead of just using ethnic performance groups like the Philippine Folk Dancers who have nothing to do with Dallas Arts.
   The latest news is that Philip Jones is buying a house in Coppel.  The main man in charge of promoting Dallas tourism doesn't even live here? has often opined that Our Mayor Miller has been taken over by aliens who control what she says and how she acts, but that no longer fits her dramatic change in personality and priorities either.

It's increasingly clear that Our Laura Miller has been done away with, and Our Downtown Betters (the ODB) with her Handsome Hubby's permission has replaced her with a roboton that performs as programmed.

Think about it. 

Our Laura Miller stood up to Ron Kirk, now she lauds him.  He probably still despises her.

Our Laura Miller fought for wading pools, now she supports water parks.

Our Laura Miller said "
Dallas has done the big-ticket projects to attract corporations.  Now we need to take better care of the people who are already here."  The ODB's Mayor Miller only cares about tourists and big-ticket projects.
    James Northrup:
he real news of Mrs. Wolens' "coming out" speech at the North Dallas Chamber  is not that she has betrayed her populist base - she's been at that for some time (ask a cop), or that she 'fessed up to the Observer's satire of her transformation at Gucci Gulch, but that there is now officially no real reason to vote for her.
   If you want a moving and shaking developer  for mayor, there are much more capable alternates - guys that know that a pro bono bone from a management therapist is not really "big, big news" or that a suspension bridge to Singleton Boulevard won't drive much new economic development. 
   If you think "it's the little things that make a great city", you are now free to look elsewhere.

I haven't seen the re-make of "The Stepford Wives", but I actually own a hardback of the 1972 edition of Ira Levin's book.  It wasn't very funny.  It was spooky.  Men got their busy, liberated, career-focused wives to move to Stepford, so the husbands could then replace their wives with slimmer, bustier, more obedient roboton housewives who performed their assigned tasks with efficient order and always with a pleasant countenance.

If you heard her State of the City Speech, it was impossible not to notice the change in her delivery.  It sounded like someone had tranq'd Laura Miller. 

Our Laura Miller did not make that speech.  It was a Stepford Wife Laura Miller speaking slowly in sound bites and cliches that only her Gorgeous Guru and Handsome Hubby could love.  There was only one interruption for applause during her speech.  If there had not been a full agenda, there would have been no one but reporters, council members and City Hall groupies to hear her speech.

Her opponents still don't like her, and now many of her former supporters don't like her.  Other former supporters are so hurt and bewildered and embarrassed for her that they don't know what they feel.
Don't you miss Our Laura Miller who TOLD US Dallas was worth fighting for?

Don't you miss Our Laura Miller who TOLD US she put neighborhood pools for poor Dallas kids ahead of water parks where they couldn't afford the cost of admission (if they had a way to get there)?

Now, the ODB's Laura Miller TELLS US something much different about pools and water parks: 

Dallas hopes to make a splash of its own
As older, traditional swimming pools drain funds, city is building its first mini water park
June 26, 2004
By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News
   The public swimming pool ? that icon of sweltering summers ? may fade into dinosaur status in Dallas, replaced by the tunnels, tubes and swooping slides of mini water parks.
   Dallas will begin building its first such park, complete with 45-foot water slides, "lazy river" rides and faux beaches, this week near Dallas Executive Airport on the city's south side. It's scheduled to open next May.
... In recent years, the city has closed dozens of community wading pools because of health and money concerns, he said.
...  Mayor Laura Miller, who two years ago successfully fought to save four city wading pools from closure, described the proposed water park as "a swimming pool on steroids."
...  "I know my children would rather go to Hurricane Harbor than a neighborhood pool."
...   The city plans to invest $5 million in and around Thurgood Marshall Park, where the water park will be located, and donate land to the Horizon group, Mr. Dyer said.
   The Horizon group, in turn, will pay the city 6 percent of its gross receipts during the second and third year of its operation. In years four through 11, the Horizon group will pay Dallas 10 percent of gross receipts, according to the contract.
... Mr. Dyer ...  expects the park at least to break even, but more likely, it'll make money from a projected 1,200 to 1,500 daily patrons, he said.
   That's unlikely, said Sharon Boyd, a community activist who publishes the government watchdog Web site
   Dallas doesn't even have enough money to adequately manage its existing parks, Ms. Boyd said. Why, she asked, should it be opening new ones?
   "We've got to do the basics first," she said.
"The city shouldn't be in the business of entertaining people anyway," conservative political consultant Pat Cotton added.
... Dallas' success with its water park will depend on good management and exciting, updated attractions, said Jim Browne, North Richland Hills' parks and recreation director.
   That Tarrant County city is home to one of the area's most notable city-owned water parks, NRH2O: It's made a profit in each of the 10 years it's been open.
... NRH2O has effectively secured a monopoly on wetness in North Richland Hills: The city does not operate a single public swimming pool.
... Mr. Browne, however, said he wonders what will happen if every area city someday builds a water park, saturating the market of saturation. ...

With the exception of when Mary Poss and Ron Kirk wanted to shut us down, this may be the first time the DMN has acknowledged the existence of  Special thanks to Dave Leventhal, and hopefully he didn't get into trouble for it because he does a great job covering City Hall.  Of course, that means they will soon transfer him to something else.

You cannot compare the success of the North Richland Hills water park to something planned to be built near Dead Bird Airport.  You could put 2 or 3 or more North Richland Hills between the Northern edge of Dallas and the Dead Bird area.  There is no way 1200-1500 patrons are going to shell out $16 a day or $60 for a seasonal pass to drive from North Dallas to Dead Bird when it takes less time to get to a bigger park in Arlington. 

More evidence that they've done away with Our Laura Miller.  More of City Hall trying to copy another city's success where the situations and geographic realities are totally different.  If we are going to copy a success story, why don't we look at how profitable their zoo is for Ft. Worth.  It is a tourist attraction.  It is a money maker.  It is open all year round.

They are talking about spending over $5 million dollars on a water park that can't be open much before May or after September because most of its customers will be in school the rest of the time.  Worse, the management company gets to keep all the profits the first year and only gives us back 6% of the profits for years 2 and 3 and then only 10% after that.  How is that a good investment of $5 million?

If they are projecting costs of $5 million, we are likely looking at $7-8 million actual costs.

We have a budget shortfall of $8 million (even with a tax hike).  That means more cuts in basic services.  If the Park Department took that $5 million and spent it at the Zoo, we would get a lot more bang for our buck.

But, we were talking about when and how Our Laura Miller got replaced with a Stepford Wife.  If you have any doubt now that Our Laura Miller has been done away with by her Handsome Hubby and the ODB, look at her reaction to this swimming pool vs. water park issue.  Our Laura Miller made her political bones fighting to save that little pool in Arcadia Park.  As for what her kids like to do, it is very unlikely they will be heading to Dead Bird to recreate once they are in their $3 million home in North Dallas.

This was a bold move on the ODB's part to replace Our Laura Miller with a Stepford Wife right in front of us.  You would think they would have programmed her to make a little smoother transition from Our Laura Miller to their Stepford Wife Laura Miller. 

Folks at
The Dallas Observer have also noticed the changes in their former colleague:

Miller on Miller
6/24/04 by Eric Celeste
Editor's note: In a D Magazine interview with Channel 11 anchorman Tracy Rowlett, Mayor Laura Miller says she's matured since her days as a firebrand Dallas Observer columnist. She says she knows there is no longer a conspiracy at City Hall. Her ghost, which still haunts her old Observer office and sleeps inside the bookshelves she personally had installed here, says that's only because once you're part of the conspiracy, you call it a "plan."
ghost columnist Laura Miller has blown up her pretty little world--all by showing Mayor Miller a mirror. Because I've brought with me more than 1,837 pages of documents that prove Miller has become just another downtown fat cat, the sort of person she used to rail against. Because on issues like building a taxpayer-draining new stadium in Fair Park, sucking up to Belo head snake Robert Decherd and making too much money to be considered a true populist, Mayor Laura Miller comes up lacking.
... earlier this morning she'd had a secret meeting with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the taut-faced freak who runs the Dallas Cowboys. ...  wanted to meet with Miller in private to get assurances she'd be on board with the plans for Jerry World, the stadium and theme park he wanted to build in Fair Park.
   At taxpayer expense.
... I showed her documents I'd uncovered that detailed the meeting, the subjects discussed and what each of them wore.
...  Everyone is entitled to schedule a meeting.
   But not everyone is entitled to march down to City Hall, take over acres of prime city real estate and turn the site into a tacky, expensive-to-maintain theme park--all without more than a perfunctory nod to public process or protocol.
... "I honestly believed you couldn't buy privilege in Dallas," says the ghost of Stanley Marcus. "I honestly believed that. Ever since we got the council-manager form of government, I believed that things were settled on their merits. Maybe I've been na?e."
... Decherd and his cabal of crafty moguls in three-piece suits and bad comb-overs had gotten Miller on board with a plan to cede power to the "Inside the Loop Committee," a group of downtown real estate interests who will be sure to line their silk pockets with public monies. Make no mistake, one thing is clear: The Loopy Loopers' committee is an overfunded, under-regulated, highly questionable expenditure of taxpayers' dollars. The sort of thing Miller used to use those exact words to disparage.
...  Decherd said. "Are those shoes Manolo Blahniks?"
...  Mayor Miller's flaw is that she's drop-dead gorgeous, and she knows it--which can be boring coming from most women but is downright scary when you have an elected official with real power who delights in seeing herself in the mirror.
... Now, Miller promotes Decherd's plan for a unified vision of downtown.
... "Just because I support millionaires and the occasional billionaire doesn't mean I'm not a populist," Miller says. "I'm just an average person, like you or any other person who enjoys the circus, or the Crystal Charity Ball."
... It's a sad story, really. The truth is that Miller is a woman on the move. She makes no secret that she hopes four years as mayor will bring her fame and a little fortune after she steps down.
   Unfortunately, to get there, she's become another political parasite who mixes public responsibility and financial opportunity like they were tequila and triple sec.

The only thing wrong with this scenario is that Journalist Laura Miller's ghost does not know the ODB's Mayor Miller is not the real Laura Miller (Our Laura Miller) or even a real person.  If the interview between Journalist Miller's ghost and the ODB's Mayor Miller had really happened, the ODB's Mayor Miller would smile at the ghost of her former self like Joanna at the end of "The Stepford Wives".  

At the end of the book, the roboton who replaced Joanna tells a yet-to-be replaced neighbor:

"Housework's enough for me.  I used to feel I had to have other interests, but I'm more at ease with myself now.  I'm much happier too, and so is my family.  That's what counts, isn't it?"

Sounds frighteningly similar to what the ODB's Mayor Miller told the North Dallas CC:

 The mayor said she now considers the Trinity River project as Dallas' vehicle to a secure future. In that vein, she described how she came to consider that project the city's urban savior.
   As a journalist and City Council member, she decried the project as unneeded fantasy. Instead, she said, Dallas should provide its residents with basic governmental services ? public safety, clean parks, smooth streets. That stance helped her win the mayorship in a 2002 special election and again in 2003.
   Ultimately, she said,
my husband told me I was stupid. He's a lot more mature than me."

A perfect line for a perfect Stepford Wife!






  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