Commissioners Call Special Meeting to Approve Controversial New Dallas County Map
If you want to be there when the Dallas County Commissioners Court votes on the new boundaries for the county, you'd best reshuffle your schedule: For whatever reason, the county has opted to call a special meeting for Monday at 8 a.m. during which the commissioners will vote to approve the map that swaps Districts 1 and 2. You remember the one. Here -- let Maurine Dickey remind you. Ah, it's all coming back now, isn't it? Yes, yes it is.
The Republican Dickey's still livid over the last-minute switcheroo that gave Democrat (what's that ... he's not a D, you say?) Mike Cantrell her district, even though no one in District 1 actually voted for Cantrell. She's not running again, of course; she's getting back into the family business, where the sausage-making is slightly less gruesome than at the county level. But Dickey's still making the case that Cantrell is getting an extra two years on the court, since District 1's seat comes open in 2012. Now that District 2's Cantrell is in District 1 -- or will be, following Monday's rubber-stamp by the court -- he gets to serve till 2014 since he was last elected in 2010.
"This is un-American for John Wiley Price to appoint the commissioner," says Dickey, since, after all, he was chief among the D's who surprised Dickey with the Democrat-friendly map back in June. She says there's no reason this couldn't have been done during Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting. "They just don't want anyone there at 8 on a Monday morning. This whole court is going to have nobody look over their shoulder when I am gone. They're going to vote 5-0 when I am gone and make decisions behind closed doors."
Far as she's concerned, "Mike was appointed. I was elected from '08 through '12. They have taken me away, in their mind, and placed me in a district where nobody elected me. Then they appointed Mike to serve in a district where he was not elected. It's kind of like the old battle cry of taxation without representation. People have the right to elect their representative." Dickey, incidentally, says she's still talking to the AG's office, but the Department of Justice pre-cleared the map back in September.
The court order, which you will find on the other side, along with the new breakdown of precincts following the districts do-over, says the new map will go into effect January 1. Unless someone files a lawsuit ...
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.