Citizen Decherd

Buzz has never really wanted to look too deeply into the brain of Robert Decherd, boss-boy and out-front man for the ownership clan at Belo Corp. and The Dallas Morning News. Buzz has an irrational fear of bottomless gray. But sometimes Buzz does have to polish off the old mail-order diploma and go where normal people fear to tread--all in service to you, dear readers and readerettes. This week, some rapscallion (old English for "dude") provided us with a letter that Bobby D sent out to his neighbors in Greenway Parks, that hoity-toity district of Dallas next to but not quite in the Park Cities.

As background, Buzz reminds you that Bobby D tried and failed a year ago to get a street closed next to his newspaper. He's always been put out that the southwest corner of downtown, where Belo owns all its real-estate holdings, is the suck-wind no-action dead-end cemetery of the city. Buzz suspects Bobby D would like to get a big convention hotel in there, use some eminent domain to run off those pesky hold-outs, shut down some streets and generally use government power to create the Citizen Decherd Theme Park of his dreams.

City said no way, as the plan commission voted "no" unanimously on the street closing.

Now comes this letter, about a bunch of Greenway Parks stuff that old Buzz is just too bored to repeat--something about how they want to change their neighborhood into a "conservation district," which Buzz guesses means you can't hunt deer there anymore or something. Bobby D is dead-set against it.

What Buzz finds interesting are his reasons why his neighbors should oppose anything that would involve Dallas City Hall: "Maureen [Mrs. D?] and I are unconvinced that the majority of current homeowners would voluntarily agree to give over to the City of Dallas (and its bureaucracy) the basic property decisions presently governed by dedicated neighbors who serve as directors of the Homeowners Association," the letter says.

"From personal experiences over the past 20 years, we strongly feel that the vagaries and politics of the City's planning and zoning process present many pitfalls for individual Greenway Parks property owners."

He goes on in that vein, three single-spaced pages' worth, in fact, all about how pissed he is at the city for not doing what he wants and how people should avoid anything that involves going to City Hall for any reason.

An idea Buzz supports wholeheartedly. To quote Buzz's favorite animated prime-time Fox network philosopher, "When will people learn? Democracy just doesn't work." So, remember, when we don't like the decisions our government makes, we should do what Bobby D does: bitch and whine like a 10-year-old at a Tupperware party. Or cry "First Amendment!" That always works for him.

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Eric Celeste
Contact: Eric Celeste

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