Is David Kunkle's candidacy for mayor a sign that Dallas is headed in the right direction or that Schutze is off his meds?

You know how people always rearrange themselves a little bit on an elevator every time someone gets on or off? Think of political Dallas as one big elevator ever since former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle announced last week he's going to run for mayor in the May election.

Shuffle shuffle. Nudge-nudge. People looking all slit-eye sideways at him over their shoulders, trying to see what floor he's headed to.

Is this the beginning of something cool in Dallas? Or not?

You didn't notice, but in the last year I have been experiencing moments of fleeting optimism, good will and even some incidents of reduced paranoia. I just assume, whenever those nice moods hit me, that it's early onset dementia. I can get back to a normal mood by concentrating on something like the hit-and-run death of a beloved childhood pet.

But then every once in a while I am still nagged by this sense that Dallas might actually be moving in a good direction. Consider a few factors, and then we'll come back to Kunkle.

You may be a tax-hater, in which case I shouldn't bring this up, but there was a fascinating little seed of change in last year's city council vote to hold the city's property revenues level by raising the rate slightly. When city council member Angela Hunt joined the majority in favor of that rate increase, she created a union, however temporary, of the mostly white relatively affluent inner-city neighborhood movement with the black and Hispanic minority caucus on the council.

That never happens in Dallas. At least, it never used to happen. On all of the big city-wide issues, sometimes known in City Hall parlance as "white-people deals," the minority council members have always voted with the old white downtown oligarchy and against the middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods.

Why would the minority council members vote with an elite downtown business body and against neighborhoods, including their own? Because the Dallas Citizens Council and its members are still the overwhelmingly dominant source of campaign money for minority council members.

It goes like this: In all important local campaigns, the Citizens Council hires Carol Reed, its favored political consultant. Reed hires Kathy Nealey and Willis Johnson, her favored minority political consultants. The three of them distribute money to candidates and a network of minority clergy—all perfectly legal, mind you.

From that point forward, the deal is done. The minority council members can do whatever they want and raise any kind of ruckus they want on issues in their own districts, so long as those issues are not white-people deals. But when it comes to things the Citizens Council cares about—that tax hike, for example—the minority members are expected to tow the company line.

In this case they did not. In September of last year, Hunt joined three Hispanic and four black council members to form an eight-vote majority in favor of keeping city property tax revenues at the previous year's level. Because property values had fallen, the council had to raise the tax rate slightly to keep revenues flat.

For me, none of that was the interesting part. Arguing with people about taxes is like arguing with them about their moms' virtue. What do you expect, the Yale Debate Association?

The intriguing things were the willingness of the minority council members to buck the Citizens Council and the perception of Hunt that her own constituents would rather pay a nickel more in the property tax rate than endure further decay of the city's basic infrastructure.

But that's not enough to make me feel dementedly happy yet. No, the really scary sensation of well-being—the one that gives me the true willies—comes when I turn away from City Hall and contemplate the city itself. I think the chemicals are causing a kind of rose-colored distortion.

In spite of these terrible economic times, Dallas continues to bloom at its heart, from North Oak Cliff to east of downtown around Baylor Hospital, further east in the Henderson Avenue area, north along the Uptown corridor, south into the Cedars.

Well, the city blooms in a circle around the heart, anyway. The heart itself still has problems. Downtown seems to suffer from some kind of chronic a-fib.

The places in the city that boom and bloom have one thing in common. They are centers drawing the kind of people who just like being in the city, who don't want to be separated, rated and gated. It's all about people who like the mix.

None of this is unique to Dallas. It's all stuff that Christopher Leinberger, author of The Option of Urbanism, and others have been writing about and predicting for cities all over America. Leinberger calls it "Seinfeld America"—a place where people like the idea of living stacked up on top of strangers more than living on a cul-de-sac with their cousins.

In fact, that's probably exactly what's wrong with downtown. Still domineered by the old culture, downtown has been redeveloped as a kind of high-rise gated community. So it's boring.

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32 comments
Joe L
Joe L

Honesty would be to mention that the difference in the costs of the ridiculous Calatrava bridges is being paid for with private funds, and that Dallas has had a big tax hike and is now the most highly taxed jurisdiction in the region, sending yet more business, jobs and middle income residents scurrying for the suburbs.

Funny how Schutze complains about deception while trying to pretend Dallas didn't have a tax hike because the higher taxes just brought in the same amount of money. Out there in this fantasy, it hasn't been mentioned that the reason tax revenue is down is that there is the worst recession in decades and people just don't have as much money as they did.

Let's be honest here. We need a council that will roll taxes back and start getting some of the jobs we have run off to the suburbs back.

Gardener1911
Gardener1911

I would like one of his campaign signs in my yard please...; do not know who to contact...thanks

What
What

Police Associations are not backing Kunkle because he mad tough decisions that did not always go the way that the union wanted it to go. I am glad he was a police chief that look out for the citizens.

hnee
hnee

John Wiley Price is a dumbass nigger!

anonymous
anonymous

And Andrea Grimes is an immoral reeking tuna-diver.

Can you say "n*gger", but can not comment on gays?

HYPOCRITE ANDREA DELETES MY POST, BUT ALLOWS THE WORD N*GGER TO BE USED .

WTF??

GAYS ARE SUCH F*CKING HYPOCRITE

BURN IN HELL, FOR YOUR HOMO SINS, PER THE BIBLE:)

CHEERS!

Tdaljohn
Tdaljohn

Maybe he will stop that city counsel idiocy. Or should I say treachery ?

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

If Kunkle was such a great chief, one would think that all the police associations would be backing him. I think not!!!

Johnny Key
Johnny Key

Kunkle has the two most important qualities to be a successful mayor of the City of Dallas:1) Broad experience in city government (police officer DPD, Police Chief, Arlington PD, City Manager, City of Arlington, Police Chief DPD.2) Common sense.

anonymous
anonymous

A MONKEY CAN MAN A FRONT DESK.

HAVE FUN RE-STOCKING THE TP AT THE STATION.....

Joe L
Joe L

1) This 'fake suspension bridge' thing is a red herring. If tax payers were paying for the extra frills it would be one thing, but they are not. The difference between these and regular bridges is being paid for by private parties. We have serious problems and this ain't one of 'em. Can we just drop this? Fake suspension bridges are aesthetically cheesy but hardly a serious problem to be talked to death.

2) Starry-eyed anti-business, anti 'big ticket' neighborhood types don't seem to realize that Dallas is not an impoverished small town but a prosperous business city that can pay for the goodies they want because of a legacy of risky 'big-ticket' public and private investments like DFW Airport, the wholesale trade marts, the struggling inland port project, and good, big, infrastructure, etc. Pretending that Dallas can be some kind of Jeffersonian Co-op Nirvana unsullied by the vulgarity of commerce and 'big ticket items' is an adolescent fantasy.

All please encourage Angela hunt to do something constructive and stay home with her baby.

Jim Curtis
Jim Curtis

Quote: "It goes like this: In all important local campaigns, the Citizens Council hires Carol Reed, its favored political consultant. Reed hires Kathy Nealey and Willis Johnson, her favored minority political consultants. The three of them distribute money to candidates and a network of minority clergy—all perfectly legal, mind you."

Not quite true. What's not legal about this is when clergy do any electioneering from the pulpit, and claim a tax free IRS status. This is double dipping. Once the electioneering starts, taxes are owed on a taxable entity. If clergy fails to forfeit their tax exempt status and pay those taxes, said clergy has committed a crime of theft by conversion. Tax paying citizens are forced to pick up the slack.

And that appears to be business as usual in Dallas. Seems to me that a clerical criminal enterprise is a story worth covering.

anonymous
anonymous

Why the posts?

NO justice, no peace.

I can't feel my lower extremities,...lmfao S*cks for you. EAT..EAT..EAT..maybe it will help.

Cookie Monster was denied sex and whipped a gun out....now look at the coward, The incredible SHRINKING man. Put the illegal, Mexican steroids down, step away from the steroids...rofl

Two desk workers, office chumps!

anonymous
anonymous

Re: the DPD trainer. I do not believe this is true, however I do know that they are BOTH not true cops anymore, if you will. One is a receptionist, so to speak, and the other will be one real soon.

Muuuaaahhhhhhhhhh ... price you pay, thanks to God , when you are violent, and threaten people with guns. Rejection and denial of sex is very hard for cowards to take, hence the gun.

God serves justice, Evil does not.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."— Albert Einstein

I always knew it would happen, I embrace the news and thank The Almighty Father.

Good Day:)

Pasisk
Pasisk

He was a unimpressive police chief. Other ranking officers in the police department did his job for him. Whatever makes him think he can handle the responsibility of running a city the size of Dallas with the challenges that face this city.

anonymous
anonymous

Dallas is a cheesy city. Who cares about Funkle?

anonymous
anonymous

David is boinking his married trainer, rumor has it. She is also a married DPD Police Officer. Classy! His wife and his mistress are both fame wh*res.

Carl C
Carl C

Kunkle's campaign is nothing more than a chance for his wife, Sarah Dodd, to achieve her dream: Mayor's wife.

Sarah was the tool that Laura Miller used to bring down the Don Hill, Terri Hodge, et al. Sarah's PR company was the one that Kroger hired to achieve the beer/wine sales in Oak Cliff. Sarah Dodd is best friends with Laura Miller.

Kunkle knows nothing about running our City. Which is just fine with Sarah Dodd and Laura Miller--they'll coach him.

2145551212
2145551212

Don Hill didn't get 18 years in prison because of a PR firm.

More Kroger stores went wet in Lake Highlands than Oak Cliff.

Don't be so paranoid.

anonymous
anonymous

mind your business and shut your pie-hole

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

Here's hoping that Kunkle was not pressed into running as a spoiler for Hunt. Now that she's out we shall soon see.

Hardly Coffin
Hardly Coffin

Kunkle's done a great job at everything else he's done. Our City Hall needs a little cleaning up too! Go for it Kunkle!!!

anonymous
anonymous

You should be more concerned about the police department and the vial criminals they allow to patrol, on out tax dollars!!

Wlcman
Wlcman

I retired from the Dallas PD after 40 years of service recently and can tell you that David Kunkle did nothing to make it better for the rank and file officer. David is a very impersonal individual who is motivated by his own personal accomplishments and if it takes stepping on the backs of the working cop he would do it without thougth.I retired from DPD with no suspensions or sustained IAD complainants so this is not sour grapes but just an evaluation of someone I do not think is a very compassionate leader when it comes down to the best treatment of his employees. I am concerned this same indifferent attitude will transfer to the citizens of Dallas. Thanks.

Puzzled in Dallas
Puzzled in Dallas

Not sure you are drawing the right conclusion here. If Mr. Kunkle achieved his accomplishments by "stepping on the backs of the working cop", then isn't it the City staff and not the citizens of Dallas who should be concerned?

anonymous
anonymous

Thank you, you sound like a decent ex-cop, and that is great:) And thank you for your service, Sir.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

With Kunkle .we get an experience city manager ,who knows what question to ask city staff,public safety manager, who knows what it takes to keep city safe.Kunkle has support of all sections of city,that's a plus ,it will not become tough of war,North vs.South, Black vs.White or BrownWolens started his journey in Oak Cliff community,in fact he was one of first candidates I walked the neighborhood with.As the guy told you we knew Steve Wolens before he met Laura and he has not changed nor did he like all her decisions.Kunkle is a man ,who has no problem meeting community people ,Presidents or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett.

anonymous
anonymous

You are very naive. dpd is crooked as hell

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Your quick and harsh criticism of other points of view is substantially tainted by your "anonymous" screen name. Nut up and post your name if you're so sure of your perspective.

anonymous
anonymous

Pigs are always so grumpy and angry. Enjoy your day ,blue-collar scum :)

anonymous
anonymous

Your name is "PlanoDave", you are so f*cking lame and stupid, not to mention inartistic in picking a name. Also, you are a blatant hypocrite. If you want my home address, let me know, I would love for you to stop by, boy.

 
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