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Jim Schutze Never Forgets That 400-Square-Foot Closet on Swiss. We Mean, Never.

Maybe you don't remember how a 400-square-foot closet in this house tore apart Swiss Ave. But some folks do. Do they ever.

I like Mary Poss. She's smart, and she did much more good than bad on the council. But before we allow this stuff about her role as a preservationist to pass into posterity, I believe I do have to add a footnote.

Poss was not on the side of the angels seven years ago when City Hall lobbyist David Dean basically gutted the city's historic preservation ordinance so he could add a 400-square-foot closet to his house on Swiss Avenue.

That deal was classic Poss, in fact. The Swiss Avenue Historic District, where I live, had been a strong base of support for her. But she was buddies with Dean's wife, Jean Maier Dean, now chair of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission. It wasn't just that Dean wanted to add a closet to his house and the historicistas wouldn't let him. In order to add his closet, he was willing to decimate the rules that had created the Swiss Avenue district in the first place.

But for Poss, it was easy. Vote for my bud. Toss the district in the toilet. What's your problem?

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Poss couldn't wait to give Dean what he wanted. She gave the district the shaft in the process. Feelings are still raw on that one.

So, like I say, I like Mary. I am glad she has found gainful employment. She'd be great back at City Hall, for the most part.

But spare me the stuff about her great passion for preservation. Before I would allow Mary Poss to help me with preservation issues, I think I'd just go ahead and opt for cremation.

Hey, I have come to like some things about Dean too, and, believe me, that is a mature acquired taste, right up with ripe brie and mineral water. I just look at learning to like him as practice. Couple more years and George W. will be back in town. --Jim Schutze

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