The Observer hasn't written about Dave Neumann since he lost his Oak Cliff City Council seat to Scott Griggs.
That was three years ago. Since then, Neumann has kept a low profile, running a consulting firm (somehow, it manages to have virtually zero online presence outside his own LinkedIn account), hanging out at Lakewood Country Club, and, as D associate editor Bradford Pearson discovered yesterday, enjoying free parking anywhere in the city.
Pearson happened to spot a sedan parked on Lamar Street with a red "CITY COUNCIL MEMBER CITY-WIDE PARKING PERMIT" on its front windshield. Curious, he snapped a pic. Curiouser, he watched a few minutes later as Neumann hopped in his car and drove away.
Pearson suggested that Dallas City Council members get free parking for life. This is not the case. City spokesman Shawn Williams dug up the administrative directive regarding the parking privileges of Dallas' elected officials. It's pretty clear about the subject (emphasis added):
8. CITY-WIDE PARKING DECALS
8.1. City-wide parking decals will be issued to the Mayor and each Councilmember.
8.2. One decal will be issued per authorized decal holder.
8.3. Decals expire at the end of each two-year council term (ex. June 2011- June 2013) or upon vacating office.
8.4. City-wide parking decal renewals begin June 1st each year and will be completed by July 31st. All Mayor and Councilmember parking decals will be provided to the Assistant to the City Manager for distribution.
We've left a message with Neumann to see if he cares to explain how it is that the permit is still on his windshield some three years after he left office. Or, more accurately, was on his windshield.
"We've spoken with Mr. Neumann, who will return his parking decal later today," Williams writes.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.