An Industrial-Sized Misdirect

Today’s agenda at City Hall is a great example of the low regard they have down there for the wretched taxpayers of the world.

Drum roll, please: Big and bright, up front and public at 9:30 this a.m. for your entertainment and enlightenment, ladies, gentlemen and hard-working farmhands -- a big discussion of this unbelievably stupid street renaming ritual they’re going through for Industrial Boulevard.

What? Why on Earth would anyone in his right mind give a shit what they call Industrial Boulevard? Ah, maybe it has something to do with the next item on the agenda for today’s 11:30 a.m. meeting of the city council’s Economic Development Committee. It’s a case of misdirection.

Secret and dark, behind closed doors, guarded by armed police officers, not for your ears and none of your beeswax, you nosy bastards -- a discussion of the different proposals for that city-owned hotel they want to build next to the convention center and for the benefit of the Belo Corp. and The Dallas Morning News.

You know. That land. The land they wanted to pay $42 million for when it was worth less than $8 million. You know. And then the county tax appraisers quadrupled the appraisals of all the land downtown in order to make the price look right.

Talk about an inside deal! And it just gets more and more insider.

After their big public discussion of the street renaming, the blah-blah committee of the council today will go into “executive session,” behind closed doors, with the public locked out, to talk about the proposals the city has received from different developers for building a downtown convention hotel.

How can they do that? Oh, believe me, they’ll have it covered with some kind of legal opinion, because it involves real estate or there might be a lawsuit some day. Forget that 97 percent of politics in Dallas is about real estate and might involve a lawsuit some day.

Why do they not want you to know what’s going on? Let me tell you. Because some of those proposals are going to involve very persuasive arguments that the city is buying the wrong land. Some developers are telling the city it shouldn’t build the hotel where Tom Leppert and The Dallas Morning News want it. They should build it where it would be better for the city.

With the exception of a very few -- Angela Hunt, Vonciel Hill and Carolyn Davis -- most of the council do not want you to know about those arguments. So what are they going to tell you about instead? Oh, the different cute names they’ve come up with for Industrial Damn Boulevard. By the way, that’s what I think we should call it. Industrial Damn Boulevard. Now shut up and show us the money. --Jim Schutze

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