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Jeff Martin

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05/08/02  Response to Steve Bayless

I was going to respond to Steve Bayless' letter, but couldn't understand what he was trying to say.  

It was clear throughout the campaign that "the sarcasm, the threats of doom and gloom, the name-calling, the negativism and poor union type scare tactics" were coming from the Mayor, Council and powers-that-be, not from the fire and police.

It was our "detail-oriented, know-the-nuts-and-bolts" Mayor who continually misstated the facts and offering up doom and gloom predictions - only AFTER THE ELECTION did she point out that the 15.7% raise wasn't immediate and wasn't guaranteed, while all of her mailings stated otherwise. 

It was our City Council members telling community groups that "the pay raise won't even effect new recruits" when it was right there on the ballot. My Councilperson Veletta Lill reminding voters about the great retirement package, when the facts are that a Dallas officer would make $500,000 less (including retirement) than the same officer in Plano. 

If Tom Dunning's benefits company put the same kind of retirement packages together for his clients, he would be run out business!

It was the Morning News continually harping about the lawsuit, which they didn't explain until AFTER THE ELECTION and didn't bother to point out that it had no effect on anything remotely related to this referendum. 

It was our TV stations running reports "to help voters decide" that didn't even bother to give voters the facts - and are now running exposes about a lack of police coverage. 

It was the management at City Hall telling civil employees that "your job is next" if the referendum passes, when they knew it wasn't true. Why didn't the TV stations do research showing competitive pay for civil employees?  I doubt that we are losing all of our good file clerks to Plano and Garland...

The fire and police ran a positive, fact-based campaign.  They admitted there could be a tax increase - it was up to the Council how to pay for the raise, and a tax increase was an option. They refused to use 9/11 (how quickly our citizens forget) as a ploy to get sympathetic support. They even pointed out that the raise WOULD affect all levels - AS REQUIRED BY LAW! 

Why didn't the media show WHY it's on the ballot that way in the first place: because City Hall had a habit of giving raises ONLY to the top brass in the past!

It's a shame Dallas voters believed the misstatements and outright lies told by our supposed representatives. For the next five years, as our public safety departments dwindle down in quantity and quality, the Dallas citizens (or the Council members or the media) shouldn't be allowed to complain about increasing crime, slowing response rates and an overall decline in public safety. They had a chance to make a difference, and they refused.

Comments about "go somewhere else" if you don't like being a cop or firefighter in Dallas, and "hope they stick with us" are missing the point.

Yes, the fire fighters and police officers are going to suffer because of this, but you and I will suffer more. Our quality of life will decline because of this. It's as simple as that.

I guess then all those folks who didn't want an increase in taxes will be happy, because their taxes will actually go DOWN as their property values plummet.

Jeff Martin





  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