Every known language has a word for a woman who's honor is for sale.
Apparently, at least one of those words is "Mayor".
It all became clear to me when I read about Mayor Miller making Robert Decherd
her downtown "Czar". She couldn't beat 'em so she joined 'em.
$600 Million? And what's in it for the taxpayers? What happened to
the little things? What happened to potholes?
Is downtown the only neighborhood that counts now? How does building
a park on Commerce Street help the homeowner living across
the street from a disintegrating crack house? Will a pedestrian-friendly corridor
between the Arts District and City Hall keep any hookers away from the
homes near Hines and Walnut Hill?
We already know what happened to the cops, firefighters and civilian
employees who put Miller in office: They were sold out. Now we're beginning
to see what else was for sale.
This isn't about "several incumbents that [have] been obstructive".
This is about swapping sides. This is about sleeping with the enemy.
This is about using hundreds of millions of dollars to protect and enhance the
investment of the wealthy downtown property owners. We should call the
park on Commerce Street "Palladium Park".
I hope part of the deal was naming the park after Laura Miller. After all,
every time I drive past it and see a bum relieving himself I'm
going to think of her.
When I see the "artist's renditions" showing tax-paying families
walking on pedestrian-friendly streets and sitting on park benches along a
downtown greenbelt, I'm going to think of the sailboats on the Trinity.
please forward this to Mr. Watson:
Your argument of the Mayor's betrayal to the city sounded as if
you copied and pasted one of Jim Schutze's stories directly from the
Dallas Observer. Always remember this, Jim Schutze and his cohorts
are sensationalistic journalists whose jobs are to get your attention
with hard hitting stories and possibly garner a few awards along the
way. If he makes a mistake, he brushes it aside in the next article much
like a teenager being forced to apologize to you for bashing in your
mailbox with a baseball bat after the cops pick him up.
Unfortunately, the dye has already been cast, and people
either don't remember or choose to forget his apology. Everyone on
Dallas Arena has seen him do it...often.
I don't know where you live in Dallas, but I live in Oak
Cliff. I moved here from West Plano and let me tell you, it was a
complete culture shock. The mayor lives about one and a half miles away
from me, albeit in a classier neighborhood, but everything in Oak Cliff
is only minutes away from an assortment of run down bail bond shops, and
streets filled with gang members and hookers.
Harry Hines looks like the Champs-Elysees compared to Ft.
Worth Avenue on a weekend night, and that's a two-minute walk from the
mayor's house. Right now, the gun shots have died down to about once
every other week. I assume that's because it's the winter and
people are too cold to shoot at each other. Plus it's probably
hard to see what you're aiming at when your heater steams up the car
This summer it was a weekly occurrence. There was a
shootout directly in front of my house in July, only a few feet away
from my 12 month old's window. I picked up five 9mm slugs out of my
yard. In August, a handful of gang members went door to door and tried
to lure my neighbors and I out of our houses at about 2:30 in the
Some nights, we sit back and watch the helicopters run down
our little road with search lights on while criminals quickly dart
between the houses to hide in the neighbor's bushes, trying feverishly
to avoid the aircrafts giant sweeping eye. The sad thing is that I wish
I was joking, but it's completely true.
Here's my point, if you think the Mayor doesn't know what
needs to be fixed, you are kidding yourself. If you think she doesn't
want to fix the potholes or give the police raises, you're kidding
yourself. If you don't think the mayor doesn't hear the same gunshots I
hear, you are really kidding yourself.
My wife and I get together with other parents in the
adjoining neighborhoods, including the one the mayor lives in, and talk
about counting gunshots instead of sheep while trying to fall
Your diatribe about the mayor being in bed with Belo and
selling out means that you've missed something huge. Why on earth would
Laura Miller court her enemies?
Think real hard about that. I'm sure you know the old
saying, "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies
The downtown and inner city areas are the most plighted by
far. If you don't believe me, spend a weekend night at my house. Oh,
yeah, bring your police scanner.
The city's monopolistic daily paper is a major player in
the revitalization of downtown Dallas. To ignore that is crazy. They
have connections with all of the major CEO's in and around Dallas.
I don't necessarily love them myself, but they are a major
employer in the area, they do pay taxes, and they do have a vested
interest in making the downtown vital.
If you want to see what happens to a city that doesn't
cater to private business, head to Jefferson, Texas some weekend and ask
them what killed their city. Iron horses were crossing the nation
and businessmen wanted the booming port town to help pay for a new
railroad infrastructure. The city, in its lack of foresight,
decided to buck the trend because of the expense involved, plus it had
its steamboats. When the river died so did the city...but it didn't have
If you're wondering why I and many others chose to live in
Oak Cliff and leave the plushy, cookie cutter confines of places like
North Dallas and West Plano, then spend a weekend day with us. It's
simple; we love our beautiful old homes and our neighbors. We sit on our
front porch swings reading books, talking to each other, and playing
games. Everybody knows each other here, and when
a new neighbor moves in, they are greeted with batches of warm cookies
and a box of goodies familiarizing them with their new community.
Christmas, we have home tours and everyone goes
door-to-door getting to know each other better. At night, when some of
those gunshots get a little too close for comfort, we call each other
and make sure everybody's accounted for and all right.
Your great grandparents did the same thing when they banded
together for safety in their prairie schooners and crossed hostile
Indian territories. They knew that they'd be safe and that a brighter
future lay on the horizon, as long as they stuck together and more
people joined them.
So, how do we get more people to join us? Fix our
sidewalks? Fill our potholes? Paint over our graffiti? Sure, that
couldn't hurt, but we still decided to move here while that was all in
There are a few other major reasons we decided to come. We love
living near museums, zoos, symphony orchestras, mom-and-pop shops, art
houses, trees, light rail stations, mailmen that walk to the door,
natural rolling hills, and every culture imaginable. You just don't get
that in the suburbs.
In West Plano, I lived next to my neighbors for a decade
and hardly knew their last names. In Oak Cliff, I can name you twenty,
and I've only been in my house for two years. In the 'burbs, a fun
weekend was getting in the car and heading out to one of a multitude of
Brinker owned theme restaurants in an overly lighted restaurant row and
topping off the evening with a Blockbuster rental.
Here we walk up the street to a small authentic family
owned Mexican restaurant, where nobody speaks English and an old woman
sits near the front of the place rolling out tortillas by hand, then
we'll head to the corner ice cream shop and listen to the local poetry
guild, and finally head home where we'll sit on our front porches and
talk to our neighbors over glasses of wine.
As the city adds more amenities, more families like mine
are coming back. Head downtown and look at all of the new lofts built or
under construction...the majority of them are leased before they are
completed. It's all because of that same downtown that you think of as a
toilet for bums.
Wonder why property taxes are so high? So many businesses
have left that the remaining residences have to take up the slack for
the cities coffers.
How do you attract businesses to downtown? You've got to
make it pretty. You've got to fill it with middle-class people walking
around at night. You've got to have plazas. You've got to do something
with the homeless. You've got to have retailers, and only then you'll
get what Regan referred to as "trickle-down" to the
Of all people, the Mayor knows that first hand...and it's all
starting to occur now, but anything that anyone can add will help.
I'm concerned about the sidewalks too. But, if
everyone keeps leaving because no businesses are here (think Flint,
Michigan), there won't be any money to pay for a trash man to stop by