Today, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Tom Luce, the lawyer who was mediating the discussion between Museum Tower and the Nasher, tried to put pressure on Richard Tettamant, the man who runs the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System. Luce threw up his hands and quit, saying, in part:
Richard; recent events have made clear that the conditions and spirit under which I agreed to serve to help find a mutually beneficial solution for all parties are not being adhered to by you.
Then, just a couple hours later, Rawlings released a statement:
Tom Luce has worked hard to resolve the issue between Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Garden and I am grateful for his leadership and commitment to our city. I don’t blame Tom for resigning. To be effective, he must have leadership on both sides that are forthright and working tirelessly on this issue; unfortunately, he has not had that. I know that attitude does not represent the sentiment of the Police and Fire Pension Board of Trustees. They have told me they want to resolve the issue quickly because the financial success of Museum Tower, the retirement security of our brave fire fighters and police officers as well as the future of Nasher Sculpture Garden is at risk. We need to work harder.
First Luce throws Tettamant under the bus. Then the mayor does it. Between the lines of his statement, he is clearly saying that Tettamant has not provided the leadership necessary to resolve this problem.
Here’s the problem with that strategy: it won’t work. Richard Tettamant is not a man who feels public pressure. He has worked for the pension for far too long to be bothered by such a minor nuisance.