01/09/03 Schutze or
Sometimes it's easy to feel like beleaguered
Schultz...knowing nothing, but suspecting everything. Such is the unease
that Laura Miller has created with a sizeable portion of the
torchbearers that swept her into office. Reading Jim Schutze in the Dallas
Observer these days is like going down a hill and feeling the brake
pedal go soft. Is it time to panic? I know nothing.
I do know that I fell in love with Laura Miller a long time. Not
romantic love, but a limitless amount of admiration for someone so UnDallas-like.
When she spoke at a luncheon I attended in 1993, I was already familiar
with the journalist, but that day I saw and heard the person. Such
courage, intelligence, and grit with strong principles and a sense of doing
right, because it is simply right. I remember secretly wishing that
day that she would run for some political office.
The rise of Mayor Miller to the present day is a great story and well-known to
this website. Seeing her on television climbing trees, bulldozing for code
enforcement, giving her colleagues on the council ample time to speak, she was
off to a wonderful start. I was even naive enough that I believed that by
sheer force of personality, if nothing else, that things could possibly get
better in my part of Dallas.
But it's not happening. The focus is now on smoking and Belo, two hideous
topics that can, and do, disillusion even the most hopeful. Yeah, yeah, I
know she's only 1/15th of that august body that's supposed to lead Dallas out of
its thicket of problems. Yet, if Laura Miller decides to let this city
essentially run itself during her tenure and says, in essence, "let them
eat (their own) vegetables", she will be a one-term mayor.
What about the bond issue next year ? More money for those problems
that seem more pressing than anything Robert Decherd could imagine. For
example: potholes (of course), a systemic failure of code enforcement, a
demoralized police force, world's worst parks. You get it. I thought
she did, too. Will a bond program save the day? I know nothing.
Is this vintage Dallas, the old bait and switch? Could be. I do know
this. In my neighborhood, that's District 4 for any of you on Marilla that
know how to read, it's business as usual. Sofas with their stuffing
flapping in the winter breeze sit for weeks waiting for that faithful day
when they get a ride to the landfill. Code enforcement? They
In Jim Schutze's mid-November piece in the Observer, the one concerning
the most unlikely pairing of Miller and Decherd, he quotes the Mayor.
"She leans to look out the window at downtown and says, how am I going
to get this done?" I know how she feels. I look out
my window at the mess my neighborhood has become and ask myself the same thing.