Jeffrey Douglas McCreanor
01/09/03 Is it 2003 or 1993?
We've got Mary Poss running for office, again. Old Al Lipscomb is running around pretending to be a civil rights leader, again.
Chris Luna is in trouble again. Diane Ragsdale's in the news
again. Seems like the 90's all over again.
I did not support Mary Poss when she ran against Glenn Box. Truth be told, I
did support MPT Poss when she ran for council 4 years later. I tried
to talk Glenn into endorsing Mary. He refused, and said she was not
qualified to be on the council. Eight years later -- can't quarrel
with his assessment.
I went to a meeting where MPT Poss was speaking. Her r?um?includes Chair
of the Council's Audit Committee, but she was clueless about the missing water
and/or collected payment fees. She's going to look into that!
A couple of years ago, the North Dallas Improvement League (a community) group
had been working with the owners of the old Town North Shopping Center which had fallen into
decline and was having a negative impact on the entire area just South of LBJ.
They had been in negotiations with Yahoo to move into the refurbished and
updated complex, which changes were those required by Yahoo. You can
imagine the community's dismay when That Former Mayor and then Mayor Pro Tem
Mayor Poss directed their puppets on the council to approve a tax abatement for
Yahoo (Marc Cuban, et al) TO STAY in Deep Ellum. This was not to entice a
new company to Dallas, but a bribe to get Yahoo TO STAY in Deep Ellum and create
over a hundred new jobs. Did Yahoo do what they promised for their
bribe? No! They did stay put in Deep Ellum, but they did not
create those new jobs.
Yahoo so much enjoyed the experience of ripping off Dallas taxpayers (who have
to make up the difference Yahoo is not paying) that they went back to the
council crooks a year later for another million in tax abatements with the
promise of creating 600 new jobs (even though they did not create the first
promised 100 new jobs). Councilman Loza enjoyed giving
billionaires another million of our money so much, he encouraged them to come
back the next year for another handout. Yahoo got their tax abatement and started
laying off people, but they stayed put in Deep Ellum.
I asked MPT Poss if she voted to give the $3 Million + Yahoo Tax Abatements (2)
to get them to stay in Deep Ellum rather than move up to Town North at Forest and Webb Chapel. She said "You Bet", "to get
them to stay in Dallas". The few Dallas citizens at the Farmers Branch
meeting were shocked. Even some Farmers Branch folks were shocked. A
Mayoral candidate should know that a vital area like Forest and Webb Chapel is
inside the city limits.
It was an evening for shock. When I got home and turned on the news, Ch. 5's Jay
Gray was interviewing another stellar citizen member of the Convention &
Visitors Bureau Board, Howard Pearlman. When asked about taxpayer money
being spent to entertain convention planners at sex clubs (topless bars), Mr.
Pearlman said there was nothing wrong with it. Other cities do it. A
keeping up with the competition thing.
As Roxan Staff says:
"That explains why all those grandiose sex clubs are popping up on
Stemmons. Someone has been giving them a signal. Now, the Stemmons
Business Corridor people know who to be mad at."
The mindset of the people on the Visitors Bureau Board must be pretty depraved,
when they think it is normal to take a potential customer of the city's
convention center to a sex club -- on taxpayer money.
Speaking of which (taxpayer money, that is), I attended Councilman Mitch
Rasansky's bond package townhall meeting tonight. Do you know with almost
every park we have in a state of neglect or disrepair, the bond package has $3.5
million for acquiring more park land? I say we spend that $3.5 million on
upgrading as many parks as we can from our existing inventory. If we can't
take care of our existing parks and related buildings, why would we want to
spend $3.5 million more to acquire more land to be neglected?
Have you been to any of the townhall meetings to discuss the
upcoming bond election? I went to the one Monday evening.
A couple of interesting points for your readers.
#1 The bonds for the Trinity River project will not be sold (per city
staff until 2008) that is the date when the voter's authorization for
the bonds will expire. The total for those unsold bonds is
over $200 million.
#2 The city is assuming that the average interest rate for the 20 year
bonds will be 4.86%. The only problem is that current interest
rates for 20 year AAA bonds is 4.95% and most likely will increase over
the next 4 years (assuming the economy recovers).
What does that mean for the citizens of Dallas? The
proposed $360 million in bond package will have to be trimmed or taxes
raised to pay for this package.
Or in computer terms, GIGO (garbage in garbage out).
But, I haven't finished with the Visitors Bureau brouhaha. Former
Councilman Chris Luna just cannot stay out of trouble. He's one of the
smartest men in the city, but he just has this tic that makes him do something
so stupid and brazen he has to be publicly humiliated. It's not like he
doesn't care at all what people think of him. He's very personable, very
funny, very witty, very smart -- but there's this penchant for pushing the
I have not always been a fan of Chris Luna, quite the opposite, but he grows on
you. I don't like seeing him in this position, and it is certainly his
fault he is in his current predicament. I hate it that he has some arrangement
with the topless club industry. But, the guy is really fascinating. He
seemingly has no conscious and is absolutely shameless. I'm not talking about
whether he's a good guy or a bad guy. He's definitely a bad guy, but he's
a loveable bad guy.
That's not to say he can't be mean and vindictive because Anna Casey (John
Loza's campaign manager) can attest to that. Luna's not as personally mean
and obnoxious as Old Al Lipscomb, but he's still a tough foe if you cross
One of the reasons people use to make excuses for Old Al's outbursts but hated
Diane Ragsdale (who had fewer hissy fits) was Old Al's charming ways. Old
Al is not acting very charming of late. I've been trying to figure out
what he was up to, and thought it was just to get his old "keepers" to
put him back on a "keep quiet" allowance. Now, I think he has
political aspirations so he can have a salary and insurance. Maybe he
wants Commissioner John Wiley Price's job? The pay is better than the
council and the hours are shorter.
On the other hand, Chris Luna is being such a gentleman through all this --
while he makes everyone else appear to be picking on him. Mayor Miller is
handling it well and not rising to his bait, but he's really masterful.
Don't watch Chris through angry eyes because you will miss the guy's incredible
skill. Watch him as some exotic creature who is just too different to be
judged by your rules of conduct. There is just no one else in town like
I know Mayor Miller thought Chris could handle the job and behave himself with
such an important position. She should have known better, but she can't help it.
She always thinks
bad guys are redeemable. It brings to mind the song about the snake and
the lady who befriend him. When the snake bit the woman -- she said
"But I befriended you" to which the snake said "You knew I was a
snake when you took me."
Some other ex-council members are making the news lately, too. Thursday
night, Ch. 11's
Sarah Dodd had a knockout report that Diane
Ragsdale is in trouble with the city over the way she has been operating a
shopping center with a city-backed loan, that she is not repaying. Plus, she's
not paying property taxes.
When asked why her development company (a 501(c)3 tax exempt
"charity") isn't paying the mortgage, she said her critics and
lack knowledge of the Southern half of the city. Does that mean they
should not be expected to pay taxes or make their loan payments in the Southern
half of the city?
MPT Mary Poss running for mayor, Old Al Lipscomb running for something, Chris
Luna running circles around everyone and Diane Ragsdale running a shopping
Lots of pondering -- so little time.