01/01/03 May 2003 Be the Best
Year Ever for Dallas
2002 is gone. It went by too fast
New Year's Eve, I reflected tonight on how our city had a reputation as the
"can do" city. What happened?
I think the decline when citizens started to accept mediocrity. We got
lazy and did not want to get involved or hold people accountable.
I am thankful that we have an excellent mayor. Mayor Miller has done an
outstanding job since her election, but I am disappointed she has not taken a
stand replacing people who have constantly cost the city money and respect.
Mayor Miller has the potential of being the best mayor Dallas has ever
had. It all depends on making tough changes at City Hall, changes that
take 8 votes of the City Council. She does not have the votes now but with
the May elections in 2003 this should change.
I am tired of what we have. It is time for our city to get ethical and
honest citizens representing taxpayers down at City Council. City Council
was never meant to be a monarchy like some people think.
Police Chief Terrell Bolton is at the top of my list of people who need to go.
I feel the frustration of many officers who tell me they do not respect
their boss. One even told me he has given instructions to his family that
if anything ever happened to him Chief Bolton is not to be allowed to visit him.
Who can blame my friend's attitude when Bolton charged overtime for visiting
injured or dead officers?
Statistics on crime are always down. And the reason is that the numbers
are not reflecting the crime we have. This all started since Bolton became boss.
For example a "NO CODE" is when several crimes have been
committed at one time/location. Only one event is documented (robbery at
gunpoint & theft of a vehicle would be written up as only one of the two
offenses). This is not honest and does not reflect what really is going
In December, Police Officer Leon Brannon (who worked at Love Field) died of
a massive heart attack. He called in sick the day he died. His death
was not widely reported by the news media because it was not in the line of
duty. However, I believe the stress of being a police officer contributed to his
death. He was only 51 years old and was looking forward to retiring in
nine months. I hope that this does not happen to another officer who has
given his life protecting us and in the end will not get to enjoy retirement.
A good chief is on the front-line fighting for his men. Not so with Chief
Bolton. A former officer told me when he joined the force being a Dallas
officer carried a lot of prestige. Now, they have a hard time hiring good
officers. Why did Benavides pick Bolton and never interview anyone from the
outside? I attribute this to some current politicians forcing their will
to have the city hire people they like hired. This would be all right if
that person is the most qualified. That was never the case with Bolton.
1. Police officers for years have accumulated sick leave. For many
years, they were encouraged to do this. To use one's sick leave would mean you
might not be considered for promotion. This common practice for many years
was to go to work even if you were sick. Accumulation of sick leave is
something many citizens want to do away with. If the sick leave policy
changes it should be applied only to new hires. In other words don't
change the rules and penalize those who have been faithful officers doing what
they were told to do. This is not fair because one should honor benefits
that are given at the time of being hired.
2. Police officers have gotten a bad rap about being greedy. Unhappily
for too long the police officers have been promised more money. Due to
many tax financial shortfalls this has not happened. Too many lawsuits that the
city has had to pay has caused this shortfall. Most of these lawsuits
would have cost the police chief his job. Not so with Bolton. Several
lawsuits have been caused directly or indirectly by Chief Terrell Bolton. Time
and time again he has shown us he is incapable of running the Police Department.
I like Chief Bolton, but he needs to go. We need a strong leader to
head this important department.
City Manager Ted Benavides also needs to go. I do not dislike him, but he
is not the type of person we need to hold that office. We need someone who
is willing to take a stand against the powers that be and say NO if it is
something that will cost the taxpayers money.
1. City Hall continues to lose revenue by allowing too many tax abatements
to companies at the expense of average citizens like you and me. Benavides
has hurt us financially by allowing too many astute companies coming in and
getting favors at taxpayer expense. It is through favoring tax abatements
at the expense of Dallas homeowners that our city continues to be short of
money. This needs to stop. The infrastructure of the city needs to be
taken care of before helping these companies get freebie's in the form of tax
abatements. This practice has caused the layoff of city employee's and
cutbacks of city services to save money. Benavides needs to lead or
It is encouraging to see our country is no longer tolerating unethical people.
Time Magazine awarded the much coveted Man of the Year award to three
Whistleblowers. These women never forgot that doing the right thing is
important no matter the consequences. They risked everything by doing what
few people are willing to do in speaking against the corruption going on in
their companies. We too must follow suit and not allow the current practices
that have been tolerated for too long in our city.
My prayer is that 2003 be the best year Dallas has ever had. This will
only happen if citizens demand accountability from those who are in charge
of our city. Our city has a great history of being able to do great
things. We can do anything, but we must start with the best people
in positions of leadership.
People like to make changes with a New Year. Dallas needs to make changes.
We have a great future ahead of us but only if people get involved and do
the right thing. I have voiced the changes I want to see now you decide
what changes you want. I wish you and yours all the best in 2003.
Mary Lou Montes Zijderveld