As the city manager rides off into the sunset, let's get a strong mayor in the saddle.
This week in godlessness brings us to Rowlett, where Mayor Todd Gottel is feeling pretty good. He'll be running unopposed soon for his second term as mayor and third term on the City Council. The rest of the time, he owns a "sales and marketing" company, per the city of Rowlett's website, is a preci ... More >>
In the very wee hours as my eye first opened to the light of this day, I thought I heard a rushing of wings aloft. I caught my breath. Was this ...? And then distinctly as if from the next room, I heard the oinking of pigs. Only later with coffee in hand and the daily newspaper on my knees did I co ... More >>
Kari Gates grows seasonal fruits and vegetables over several acres of land at Spring Creek Organic Farms in West Plano. She drives her produce to several markets around the region, including Greenling. But, more recently she's exploring her options closer to home, particularly Fairview Farms near U. ... More >>
Oh, wouldn't you know it? Leave it to me to get all gooh-gooh-eyed and sweety-feets about things. Then cruel reality comes crashing in. It's because I'm just too innocent of heart. Just yesterday, I had my zither out singing softly to you about how the mayor had done the right thing in the municipa ... More >>
Maybe it is like watching them make sausage, but at least you have to give them a tip of the hat when they get the sausage right. The mayor and the Dallas City Council put themselves through a bruising debate yesterday on municipal court reform and in the end came up with the right answer, mostly. ... More >>
The 911 problem itself is bad enough, but the mayor and the police chief are about to drive me crazy. At our house we record the news and watch it right before going to bed. It's worse than chips and spicy salsa. Night after night we are subjected to these horror stories on TV about people perishin ... More >>
A friend of Unfair Park passed along an interesting email exchange between some members of the Gas Drillng Task Force in advance of tomorrow's throwdown public hearing. Seems that some are none too happy that Councliman Scott Griggs chose task force member Terry Welch to speak in favor of tighter dr ... More >>
It was Dallas city council member Tennell Atkins who, during yesterday's discussion of the city's still-far-off gas-drilling regulations, posed the million-dollar question. "Do you think that it's safe to drill in the city of Dallas?" he asked task force chair Lois Finkelman. Finkelman was noncommi ... More >>
With Mayor Mike Rawlings' support, only deep pockets can thwart the $2 billion river-ride.
Last month, you'll no doubt recall, City Manager Mary Suhm told the city council that 2012 bond program, which we'll vote on in the fall, will be a fraction of a shadow of a hint of its mammoth '06 predecessor, which appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. 'Round $450 to $550 million, she sa ... More >>
Mayor Mike Rawlings has a closed-door, no-press-allowed meeting this morning with 25 LGBT community leaders to discuss something that's become, say, a small issue for him in the last week: his refusal to sign the "Mayors For Freedom To Marry" Pledge. Earlier this week Rawlings also elected to back ... More >>
In one of America's wealthiest suburbs, an unlikely band of drilling opponents helped drive away the world's biggest energy companies. Did they save the town or ruin it?
Last night, Mayor Mike Rawlings hosted a community forum at Cedar Crest Golf Course, billed in the invitation as an "update on the City of Dallas." Backed by council members Dwaine Caraway and Tennell Atkins and a large supporting cast of other city officials, he tried to reassure the crowd: City Ha ... More >>
Photo by Chris HowellAt the end of business yesterday City Hall sent that memo from City Manager Mary Suhm and that letter from First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers. Both said more or less the same thing: Occupy Dallas has till 5 p.m. Saturday to clean up its mess behind Dallas City Hall, o ... More >>
In my column in this week's paper, I talk about that "flow control" deal, which has to do with how much trash gets trucked into southern Dallas. As usual, some of the responses I'm getting are from people mad about the way it came out who think the answer is to fire City Manager Mary Suhm. E ... More >>
Photos by Anna MerlanIt would appear the council got a standing o for appearing, briefly, at a lecture about ethics.Ethics reforms, or at least the earnest discussion thereof, are in the air over at City Hall lately. Mayor Rawlings won his seat, after all, at least partially based on a "pro-e ... More >>
Photos by Anna MerlanFrank Lutz addressing the council yesterdayThe Degolyer Estate at the Dallas Arboretum is a beautiful spot, a big house set back from a broad lawn, edged this time of the year with pumpkins and purple flowers. In the library, retreating Dallas City Council members and various ... More >>
Photo by Anna MerlanDomingo Garcia and, sitting to his right, Scott Griggs at last night's meeting over the map in Oak CliffLast week we sat through a very long, very ugly city council meeting, which ended with the members narrowly adopting a new redistricting plan. At that time, council member D ... More >>
Yesterday afternoon, around 5:30, as a tiny audience sat in the city council chambers, former Mayor Dwaine Caraway came by and declared to Unfair Park, "I think we got something." That's right. A final redistricting map. Finally.Caraway spoke about three hours too soon, though. Last night at 8:30 ... More >>
Forget what I just wrote below about council members turning in their redistricting amendments by 5 p.m. today. I just got a call from someone at City Hall informing me that, no, that deadline was just changed -- at the request of the mayor's office. The Redistricting Commission office confirms: ... More >>
Photo by Mark GrahamMayor Mike Rawlings's office confirms: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on August 2 he's throwing a dinner for the city council -- a sort-of get-to-know-me BBQ-flavored wingding in advance of the council getting back to work. Problem is, that conflicts with one of only two public hearin ... More >>
In the little towns outside of Dallas, publisher and aspiring politician Joey Dauben is on a crusade to expose abuses of power, civic mischief and -- most of all -- himself.
To keep his promise, Dallas' new mayor will have to distance himself from the city's political machine. Good luck with that.
Photos by Leslie MinoraAngela Hunt was asked whether it's likely Dallas will be sued by gas drillers awaiting their SUPs.Mayor Mike Rawlings took the mic before last night's Observer co-sponsored Gasland screening and told the audience of council members, activists and concerned locals, "I wi ... More >>
This was Dwaine Caraway's last day as temporary unelected mayor of Dallas. He is now the former temporary mayor or FTM. But he thinks he's prime material for full-time elected mayor at some point in the future. That's not true. The reason why it is not true may not be what everybody thinks. ... More >>
Photos by Patrick MichelsLois Finkelman was among the City Council members, past and present, who reiterated their support for Mike Rawlings today. Even casual campaign watchers will not be surprised to hear that Mike Rawlings has the support of all but a few current city council members, and plent ... More >>
Here's hoping the next guy is just as bold and bumbling.
Patrick MichelsMayoral hopeful David Kunkle, backed by his squadron of crime-fighting supporters. Backed by a new group of law-enforcing backers calling themselves "Crime Fighters for Kunkle," former Dallas police chief and mayoral hopeful David Kunkle took a minute this morning to cast himself as ... More >>
Two years after passing tighter ethics rules, City Hall tried to loosen them on the sly. You won't believe who blew the whistle.
Last June, we took a look at some moneymaking brainstorms Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm presented to the city council, which Suhm hoped would offset some of the $131-million budget shortfall with which she was faced at the time. Among them was one in particular that didn't get very far, or so it ... More >>
City council members Angela Hunt and Vonciel Jones Hill are kicking ass at today's contentious hearing on the city council's recent unethics reform, which is about to wrap up. (Or not.) The council voted last April 13 to gut its ethics policy and allow political contributions from representatives ... More >>
Oh, now the city council has decided it needs to revisit its vote weakening the ethics rules on donations to city council members. Maybe they've decided to have themselves re-virginized. We pointed out here a thing that seems to have slipped past most media eyes: The council voted two week ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenRon Natinsky and Mike Rawlings at an early mayoral candidate forumTwo weeks ago, Schutze noted that the city council -- very quietly, very nonchalantly, very consent-agenda-y -- loosened up its own restrictions governing when and how developers with zoning cases at City Hall co ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenCaraway and Natinsky at the candidate's endorsement press conference last monthMoments ago, during Robert Ashley's show on KHVN-AM, an ad ran attacking mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings and his ties to Ace Cash Express -- though it never mentions Rawlings by name. The speaker: no ... More >>
Ah, wait a minute. Wait a minute. I call "rubber meets road" on the school district issue in the mayor's race. Candidate Mike Rawlings has been getting himself some political mileage on the hustings by saying that, as mayor, he will help fix the city's beleaguered public school system. I hav ... More >>
Welcome To The Dull House
So-called regionalism is a rip-off, a scam and a hoax designed to neuter cities and sell them down the river to the damned suburbs. A few weeks from now the Dallas City Council will take up the issue of fracking, the kind of natural gas drilling in which drillers pump millions of gallons of ... More >>
District 14 candidate Chad LasseterAs he explained to us a couple weeks ago, Chad Lasseter has some grand ideas, including moving the Texas Rangers to either Fair Park or West Dallas and providing free Wi-Fi downtown. He also disagrees with District 14 council member Angela Hunt on a handful ... More >>
Photos by Sam MertenMayor Dwaine Caraway asked mayoral candidate Ron Natinksy to put an endorsement sticker on his blazer this afternoon.Mayor Dwaine Caraway and 11 current and former council members endorsed council member Ron Natinksy for mayor this afternoon at City Hall Plaza. Caraway urg ... More >>
Photos by Sam MertenMayor Dwaine Caraway, his wife and council member Dave Neumann this morning at the City Hall Flag Room.Just minutes before presiding over his first meeting as the city's newly minted mayor, Dwaine Caraway assured a group of around 150 folks gathered for a light breakfast i ... More >>
Moments ago, after the last of the afternoon speakers came to the council chambers microphone to denounce Mayor Tom Leppert and the media one last time, the mayor said what we've known was coming since last night, if not well before: He's outta here."This will be my last city council meeting. Eff ... More >>
Time to start a watch. I hereby declare this the beginning of the "How Totally Useless Are the Dallas City Council and Mayor?" watch. Day One. I wrote here yesterday about the huge dilemma City Hall faces with Dwaine Caraway, the council member who is next in line to fill the mayor's shoes shou ... More >>
Patrick MichelsCounty Judge Clay Jenkins reminds the room, "I did not ask Mr. Sherbet to resign." This morning he voted not to re-hire Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet as a consultant.Down at Dallas County Commissioners Court this morning, where the fire marshals were out to keep the overflow c ... More >>
Patrick MichelsAt the beginning of the week, former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle had no intention of running for Dallas mayor. Today, he tells Unfair Park, that has changed.While the 60-year-old Kunkle says he remains unsure of what he will do, chances are "greater that I will run than I won' ... More >>
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