Once, the mayor told us we had broad shoulders, beautiful eyes, a strong handshake and soft skin. We thought nothing of it.

Mayor: "Steve Pickett Always Smells Good."

If you've read this or this, you're well aware that local TV reporters claim KTVT-Channel 11's Sarah Dodd's too chummy with Mayor Laura Miller. It's a charge that comes from competitors and colleagues alike. Well, the former Observer columnist says that ain't so. In fact, Miller said that since she has been in office, she can count on one hand the number of reporters who have merited the silent treatment--and Dodd's among 'em.

Dodd joined that exclusive list a few years ago, after she surprised the mayor at a performance at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The Channel 11 City Hall reporter was there to confirm that the mayor and her family were indeed moving from Oak Cliff to Preston Hollow. Incredulously, the mayor still seems irritated about it, even as she trusted Dodd enough to give her the exclusive story of her decision not to run for re-election last July.

"She had the camera guy shine the light on my face, and she was waving the deed in my face," recalls Miller, sounding not at all fond of the memory. "I just thought it was very aggressive and very in-your-face."

So how did Dodd win back the trust of the mayor? Miller doesn't cite any particular incident or reason, saying only that she eventually forgives all who trespass against her. She even revealed that she's talking to The Dallas Morning News' Dave Levinthal again. And when our own Jim Schutze was on the mayor's shit list, he eventually won back her heart as well.

"I decided to talk to Jim Schutze after he started picketing my house for not talking to him," she recalls.

Also, the mayor discounted criticism of Dodd for cozying up to the mayor and complimenting how she looks during council meetings.

"I always kid with the reporters how they look," she says. "So, if anything, I've generated that banter. [Channel 11's] Steve Pickett always smells good and dresses better than the other reporters, and I always kid him about that."

Jim, maybe it's time for some new cologne. --Matt Pulle

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