I've read Miriam Rozen's breathless expose of Dr. Yvonne Gonzalez ["See Yvonne run," September 11], and I can't hold back my thunderous, righteous reaction: So what?
C'mon, Observer! Consider what you've revealed:
1. Dr. Gonzalez has an ego and an instinct for self-preservation.
2. She is clever enough to manipulate the media for her own purposes.
3. She pays more attention to the DISD's kids than she does to its purchase orders.
With one child in the DISD now and another enrolling next year, I can live with those traits in our superintendent.
Instead of prematurely tearing her down, you could do us all a real service. As the only local media with the nerve and tenacity to do thorough street-level reporting, why don't you dig into the complexity of factors that prevent some of our children from getting a solid education? It's not an easy story, but it would do more good than finger-pointing.
A little "constructive engagement" from incredibly talented people like Ms. Rozen, Commissioner John Wiley Price, and the corps of teachers whose advice is too rarely sought would go a long way to transform the Dallas public schools.
Your article "See Yvonne run" seemed to have at least a glimmer of credibility prior to the far-beyond-ludicrous claims of "sexual harassment" brought by Matthew Harden Jr. No matter how you look at it, the scenario of Superintendent Gonzales reputedly making repeated advances toward someone who was head of a division she was having investigated is laughable at best, a tragic waste of Dallas taxpayers' time and money at worst.
And I seem to be the only person in the area who questions the motives of office-renovating DISD maintenance workers given a blank check for overtime at roughly the same time as the announcement of the overtime abuse scandal. Surely they would never do anything to make Gonzales look bad.
Reign of Terror
I liken Yvonne Gonzalez's reign to that of the local drug dealers. They both come in tough to the neighborhood/school district so that they command fear/respect. They both pass around some of the profits/taxpayer money to build some sort of acceptance by the locals. They both rule by the point of the gun (see what happens if you don't pay your school tax).
Both have an unscrupulous past. The only real difference: One works outside the system, and the other, like a termite, from within.
Talk is cheaper
I am writing in response to your recent "Rumors of war" article [September 11] about a proposed zoning change in Councilman Alan Walne's district. Having served on the City Council during many of the 1980s boom years, I can testify that such proposals always generate much more heat than light.
Councilman Walne's approach of allowing the process of discussion to proceed between the developer and affected property owners, followed by formal City Plan Commission consideration, is correct. Not only is it the proper approach as envisioned by state law and our City Charter, but it allows many issues to be resolved without a "showdown" at the council level.
Hopefully, constructive discussion will ensue that will result in development of the property in a "win-win" manner.
Dean H. Vanderbilt
A friendly warning
That was a great story on that church (if that's what you want to call it) in Arlington ["Jesus rulz," August 28]. If they are really trying to reach out to kids, that's great, but their method seems to have some madness. Permitting children to smoke and swear in a so-called house of God doesn't sound like they're being led to God; it's seems more like an insult to him. It's like saying, I'll accept God as long as I can still do what I want. That's self-serving, not serving God. I don't mean to sound negative about God's Place International; for all I know, they could be doing great things there, and for the kids' sakes, I pray they are. If the GPI is helping these kids, more power to them. If not, God help them.