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Steve Byars

08/12/02  What about the basics?

Being a council candidate means you get to attend meetings.  Some of them are useful and others are a waste of time unless they help you put things in perspective.

On National Night Out, I went to 3 different events.  Two were in Oak Cliff neighborhoods North of Ft. Worth Avenue off Sylvan and one was my neighborhood event at Bachman.  I had it all perfectly scheduled so I would spend equal time at all 3 events.  Had a little blip in my perfect plan -- I locked my keys in my car at the first one.  It was a fortuitous blip because it gave me time to really visit with the "Street Sweepers".  

This neighborhood doesn't look like it belongs in Dallas, almost rural with lovely frame houses on huge lots.  The community did their night out at a Baptist Church which is across the street from a school that looks like it has been there since the 40's.  Everybody has gripes about city hall,  and I expected to hear the usual, potholes, wild dogs, etc.  Nope.  Their biggest complaint was prostitution!  Street walkers!  Just like Walnut Hill!  I couldn't believe it!  

I distinctly remember when Joe Thug May (current DISD Trustee candidate) justified this bizarrely shaped district by comparing the number of telephones per household.  I kid you not!  At one redistricting commission show, Joe Thug May had a list of commonalities between the people who live north of Northwest Hwy and the people who live north of Ft. Worth Avenue.  Joe Thug May claimed most of the households only had one telephone, which is why they should be lumped in one district that stretches from beyond LBJ to Ft. Worth Avenue.  Allen Gwinn (publisher of asked the commission members (using that term very loosely) if someone gave a second telephone to those residents if we would have to draw new district lines.  The audience laughed.  The commissioners did not.

It's not a limited number of telephones per household that ties District 6 neighborhoods together.  It's having to deal with hookers doing their business on our streets.  The real puzzlement is why the street walkers have dropped anchor in our neighborhoods.  We certainly are not the most affluent areas of the city, so they can't be looking for big spenders.  The area between Walnut Hill and Northwest Highway has a glut of sex clubs that Oak Cliff has been spared to date.  That would explain why so many whores strut around up here, but why would they be on Ft. Worth Avenue?

Maybe because these areas are effectively without representation at City Hall?  It's not just Ed Oakley neglecting the North Dallas area that got him elected.  The ladies in the Muncie neighborhood say they never hear from their representative either, and they are not in Ed's current or hoped-to-be future district.

This is why city council elections should not have been held until the new lines were drawn.  

There are more things the neighborhoods of the new District 6 have in common besides council neglect and hooker infestation.  We don't have sidewalks in many of our neighborhoods.  Some of our neighborhoods don't even have space to put a sidewalk.  School kids have to walk in the street and dodge cars on their way to class.  Why?

Saturday morning, I sat in on a meeting in Oak Cliff (not in my district).  The topic was hike and bike trails and planning for them and funding for them.  It was interesting that a dozen or more citizens were there to discuss future routes and connecting possibilities to establish all these trails all over the city.  People kept talking about "available" money for bike trails, and but my neighborhoods desperately need sidewalks for necessities, not recreation.  

On the way home from the hike and bike meeting, I was thinking how selfish people can be.  It's like the Robber Barons and the folks who can afford tickets to Mavericks and Stars games.  They wanted a new sports arena even though we had so many things in Dallas that needed doing in 1998.  Ron Kirk, then City MisManager John Ware and the council knew we were headed for our current financial predicament.  Donna Blumer was the only council member who stood up against the arena sales tax campaign.  Bob Stimson opposed the sales tax but would not campaign against it.  It's that old Marie Antoinette attitude of "let them eat cake".

Our zoo was in a terrible situation in 1998, so much so that we almost lost accreditation last year.  Now, our aquarium is going to shut down after October, indefinitely.  Our "can do" city can't keep the aquarium doors open for school kids, but we have a fancy sports arena for billionaires.  Thank you, Ron Kirk.

Oak Cliff's biggest draw for people from other parts of the city is the zoo.  But these Oak Cliff community leaders were only discussing hike and bike trails.  Granted, that was the reason for the meeting, but you would think someone in the group would have at least wondered if some of the "available funds" for hike and bike trails could be utilized to immediately assist the zoo.

We are doing everything in this town bassackards.  

I know we always need to be thinking and planning for the future, but somebody needs to be looking at the
here and now.  It's like Mary Poss saying she has some secret budget plan that will not require employee layoffs or tax increases or reduction of operations at our libraries and recreation centers.  Well, come on Mayor PreTend Poss tell us today what you have up your rather large sleeve that is better than what we're facing.

We had this huge deficit facing us when Mayor PreTend Poss and her gang of thieves voted to give away another $43 million to Robber Barons Tom Hicks and Ross Perot, Jr. and the California crooks formerly known as Palladium.  The council had been getting reports of diminishing sales tax income for months, but only the Mayor, Sandy Greyson, Lois Finkelman, Veletta Lill, Mark Housewright and Mitch Rasansky voted against that tax give away.  With Mary Poss leading the pack in the tradition of Ron Kirk, Duh Walne, Beat that Indictment Fantroy, Brain Dead T-Reese, Shakedown Chaney, Ed Oakley, Don Hill, Elba Garcia went merrily down the road toward municipal ruin and gave away $43 million in future tax revenue. 

Randy Staff says these council members have run off the very businesses that could be pulling Dallas out of our slump.  Mary Poss, et al have made it difficult for small businesses to prosper in Dallas.  When you give tax abatements to out of town shakedown artists, it makes it very hard for local businesses who do pay property taxes to compete.

We have got to prioritize.  We must get our eyes off the "big picture" and refocus on the little things.  That was the Mayor's campaign.  That was what all those council crooks who opposed her most feared.  They were afraid when we came back to reality and stopped fantasizing about sail boats and swans on the Trinity, we would notice things are pretty rotten in this little corner of North Texas.  Thank you, Ron Kirk.

Speaking of Ron Kirk.  John Cornyn has released his tax returns, but Kirk will not.  Kirk hasn't filed his 2001 return, but he will not release returns for prior years.  Wouldn't you like to see where his money was coming from when he was out playing carnival barker for the Robber Barons?

There are going to be new people on the council this time next year -- at least 3.  District 6, 9 and 10 most definitely will have new faces.  But, we have 10 months ahead of us -- 10 months.

If you are one of those rare souls in your neighborhood who attend a budget meeting and your council representative voted for that $43 million give away, just give them holy hell for it.  Tell them you want sidewalks for school kids before we spend millions for recreational bike trails.  Tell them to get their heads out of the clouds and get their priorities back down here where the real people live.

If you live in District 9, you ought to really have plenty to say to Mayor PreTend Poss.  





  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