By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Spanish prisoners: By the time you're reading this, Dallas City Council probably has already voted on whether to approve a cunning plan to save money we don't have by spending money we shouldn't spend on a fancy bridge we don't need that will be paid for with money we also don't have.
Allow Buzz to sum up: City Hall wants to build a fancy suspension bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava on Interstate 30 over the Trinity River. The state says the bridge needs to be replaced right away, but has only the money to do a regular ol' bridge, which will cost around $170 million. The prettier Calatrava bridge City Hall wants costs around $500 million, which means the city, which is broke, needs a boatload of money to pay the difference in price. The plan, which the council was scheduled to vote on Wednesday, is to pay Calatrava $10.7 million—$7.2 million from private donations and about $3.5 million in borrowed money—to redesign his fancy bridge so it costs between $50 million and $150 million less than $500 million, which, as we may have mentioned, the CITY DOESN'T HAVE.
Still confused? Consider this analogy: You take your last $1,000 to buy a used VW. Your car salesman says, "I have a great used Bentley for $100,000, but if you give me that $1,000 now, I can knock that price down to $80,000 next week."
Now, those of you who are currently sane, sober and not a sitting council member can see the problem here, i.e. your broke ass doesn't have 80 grand. But that's the sort of small-picture thinking that keeps you mired in humdrum reality. City Hall knows one must spend money to save money. It's merely an unfortunate consequence of laws that the city can't actually print money, but we must forge ahead with our plans, confident that God—or taxpayers—will provide the millions we need when the time comes.
If all this sounds nuts, Mr. and/or Ms. Taxpayer, then perhaps you'll get behind Buzz's own money-saving City Hall scheme: Breathalyzers for city council. Before each vote, council members must blow into a tube and prove they're relatively sober (don't want to be too harsh) before they can get their vote buttons to work, like those ignition locks on cars. This scheme, which we thought up and claim any and all rights to, can be implemented at a low, low cost to taxpayers as soon as you all send Buzz a check. About $5 million should cover it.
If the city does build a bridge we cannot pay for ---They should resign immediately. We need teachers not over priced bridges.
Great idea. Do not think anyone has ever accused the city governing officials of being totally competent. Some of them have decent skills while others, representing primarily minority areas are pathetic and should have no business making any decisions that they know absolutely nothing about. We need to spend this extra money to build a bridge that works no better than one at a far lesser cost like we need the proverbial "hole in the head". Come time for some of these clowns to try to get re---- remember that the voters who put you in office can remove you with ease.
Dallas needs too put a few gamling boats down on the trinty or one of our lakes then we wouldn't be broke. Every one i know goes to Shersport, are Oklahoma every once and a while. Very few come back with money. thats where alott of our money goes, ive been known to go a few times myself. Just about everyone i have ment in Lousiana is from TEXAS!
Jim Shultze, I have read a number of your articles and most of the time I end up think "what a putz." First, seriously, this city could really use as much creative help as it can get. Dallas is seriously lacking in artistic attractiveness. This city used to be alive with music and art but that has been sucked right out of Dallas by greedy money motivated developers and conservative types with no vision. Dallas has become a dull, unexciting place to live. Sure there have been efforts, against the grain, to create some sort of development in the area of artistic growth but it has always been a fiscal struggle. It is exactly these types of projects however difficult they may be that make a city come alive. An attractive city will attract. Dallas has a lot of potential to grow into an exciting place to live and its exactly that extra creative expression that will help Dallas grow from a regular old city to a proud major Metropolis with pizazz. What this City needs is vision and this is a creative effort to make it happen. An attractive city will bring in more money. I think that you are part of the problem here because you spread your lack of understanding, lack of support, and lack of vision like a virus.
I agree with submitting SAT, ACT etc because if Tennell Atkins makes up one more word not known to man including Webster Im going to scream. My favorite word he used during a council meeting was he was disgrumbled and the situation was disgrumbling. You would have to check with Atkins on the proper spelling.
Hey Buzz... Breathalyzer test will only prove physiological sobriety. Unfortunately, that tube will neither prove emotional sobriety, maturity, or honesty. Given the recent history of some Dallas City Council members, (and in some cases their spouses), and department heads... It would be more effective to have psychological, toxicological, and maybe forensic accounting tests on these folks before each vote... right down to what vendor to order lunch from!
PS- No need to worry about Art and Archie though, they are obviously the honest, upstanding elected officials ever to come out of the Southern Selector... OOOPS, I mean Sector.
Candidates should have to include academic records, including standardized test scores - SAT, ACT, LSAT, etc. - from high school forward with filing papers. We have some seriously stupid people in office, from city level on up, all over the country. The stupids might still get elected, but it would be harder for them to pretend they know what is happening if their imbecility is documented & public.
Not without probable cause! We have rule of law in this country! If we do not believe in freedoms for everyone then we do not believe in freedoms at all. This is setting the precedent that people are to do what they are told. No Sir! "We, The People" are not beneath a servant, we are above a servant! In short, we are not here to follow orders and "authorities" are not here to give us orders... "authorities" job is to protect our freedoms! We MUST NOT allow anyone to "take away" our freedoms while giving us a false pretense. This isn't about drinking! This is about socially engineering you into a communist society. HELL NO!
Didn't I hear somewhere that Calatrava was already paid 11 million for the 500 million bridge design? Why didn't anyone set a spending cap during the original design process so we weren't paying 500 million in the first place? Seems like hind sight is 20-20 when the sky is the limit going in to a design aquisition. Who is responsible for this oversight?
Sounds Like a very good idea! I really wonder sometimes about the city council... My question is like this especially when One or more of the city council comes up with another weird way of spending the city's money (often before they have it on the accounting books....What are they "city council" drinking?What are they "city council" smoking?What drugs are they "city council" ON?Because if its that darn good...Why aren't they sharing with the rest of us?