Find a back issue

Speaking of the Mayor and the Toll Road, Let’s All Hear Him Talk About It

The below email went out yesterday. I’m out of town, so I haven’t been able to determine if Mayor Mike typed “Citizens List: All of Dallas” into the “cc” field. But since this issue is “critical to the future of our city,” I’m going to assume everyone is invited. See you there!

Friend,

If the schedule goes as planned, work on the Trinity Parkway will begin in early 2015. The Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is in its final stages and is set to be completed soon, the Record of Decision will be signed soon after the study is finalized. We have teams in place that are working to complete the design on the Parkway in preparation for the construction phase. Currently, about 30% of the design work is done. This project is critical to the future of our city, and how the design is finalized is one of the most important things we can do. I believe this project should be studied and reviewed by recognized experts using the best urban design principles that exist as we move to our next phase.

I invite you to join me for breakfast at Babb Bros BBQ & Blues in Trinity Groves on November 19 at 8:15 a.m. to hear my thoughts on how we can accomplish this goal.

Full Story

Did Anyone Notice That the City Council Showed Real Leadership Last Week?

Steve Blow’s column over the weekend was right on in pointing out that Mayor Mike Rawlings’ idea of a buffer zone for sexual predators is not a good one. But it goes beyond the reasons Blow mentions. Not only does it sometimes make it tough on people who don’t fit our typical idea of what a sex offender is, it’s also bad policy. In fact, some experts argue buffer zones make children less safe. And it should be noted that the Council did an outstanding job acting like leaders and not pushing through an ill-considered ordinance.

Full Story

Morning News Says Mike Rawlings Should Run Again Because Mary Suhm

The DMN ran an editorial over the weekend that said Mike Rawlings should run for another term. My take: Sure, why not? He can’t build a coalition on the council, but he is onboard with school reform. I’m for the latter more than the former.

The paper’s reasons Mayor Mike should run again? (Other than because he’s “a salesman with a soul,” of course.)

Full Story

ACE Cash Express and Its Shameful Acts

UPDATE (9:44) On its website, ACE makes it impossible to figure out who sits on its board. I turned to Bloomberg, which I linked to below, in stating that Rawlings sits on the board. He hasn’t held that position for five years. My apologies for the error.

Jason mentioned in Leading Off this morning that Irving-based ACE Cash Express has agreed to pay $10 million to get the government off its back over the way the company takes advantage of the working poor, using “false threats, intimidation, and harassing calls to bully payday borrowers into a cycle of debt.” Couple of questions. Is Ron Washington still doing ACE Cash ads? He should stop. Next question: when is Mayor Mike Rawlings going to step down from the ACE Cash board? If he’s really sincere about his GrowSouth initiative, he should do it today.

Full Story

Leading Off (3/17/14)

City Council Members Upset Mayor Rawlings Doesn’t Consult Them. Alternative headlines: “Mayor Mike Rawlings Hard at Work on Several Initiatives” or “Mayor in Desperate Need of Better PR Team.” Tip: Inform council members of plans before media inquiries, avoid much of these issues.

SMU Not Headed to NCAA Tournament. Some 1,000 people gathered in Moody Coliseum for Selection Sunday, anticipating SMU’s entrance into the tournament for the first time in two decades. But the 23-9 Mustangs never got called. There’s all kinds of speculation as to why they won’t appear (bad losses at the end of the season, their American Athletic Conference affiliation), but the team will be a No. 1 seed in the NIT.

TxDOT Officials Claim They Spend More on Repairing Roads than Study States. A report released this month from Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense alleges that the Texas Department of Transportation spent 82 percent of its $3.4 billion budget between 2009 and 2011 on expanding roads rather than maintaining them. Another Smart Growth report has TxDOT spending just 11 percent of its budget between 2004 and 2008 on maintenance and repair, but officials maintain that number was closer to 35 percent.

Trimble Tech Group Holds Vigil for Local SXSW Victims. Tech senior Curtisha Davis and her boyfriend, 2013 Tech grad Deandre Tatum, both remain hospitalized in Austin after sustaining injuries in the crash that killed two and injured more than 20. A small group of parents, friends, and Tech alumni gathered on the school’s steps Sunday night to pray for the victims.

Full Story

Stop What You’re Doing and Watch This Inspiring Video of Mayor Mike Rawlings, Ctd.

The paper is coming around. On Wednesday, James Ragland wrote a column that clearly took aim at the home-rule movement, saying its backers wanted to “blow up the district.” An accompanying news story about the signature-gathering efforts painted a picture of confusion. Now this.

The DMN just put up an editorial endorsing the home-rule movement, saying, “It’s clear to this newspaper, as it has been for some time, that this is the conversation we must have to reform and improve public education. If it takes signing this petition, you should. It beats running to the suburbs.” Tod Robberson, too, posted an item a few minutes ago that supports the movement. You know who made that happen? Rawlings. As Robberson writes, “It’s wonderful when a politician throws caution to the wind, abandons political niceties and tells it like it is.”

It’s too early to say for certain, but we might be watching the defining moment of Rawlings’ tenure.

Full Story

Stop What You’re Doing and Watch This Inspiring Video of Mayor Mike Rawlings

I read the front-page DMN story today about the home-rule movement for DISD, and I thought, “Oh, man, they still don’t have their messaging together.” Here’s how the story in the paper wraps up:

Rawlings and the group said they did not have a grand vision for a DISD charter. When asked why the community would support a plan that hasn’t been outlined, some group members said the effort would give the public a blank page and lets them write the future of Dallas ISD.

“The power is the blank page,” Rawlings said. “The citizens for the first time get to decide what they want to do.”

What? They have no vision? The power is the blank page? No, no, NO. People are going to hate that. But then I watched this video.

Full Story

Leading Off (2/3/14)

Dallas Poverty Rates High Despite Growth. According to the Dallas Morning News’ deep dive on the issue, “Texas may grow jobs like California grows oranges,” but those jobs don’t necessarily fit the profile of those looking. It’s not an uncommon story, certainly one heard around the country, but Dallas’ boomtown reputation doesn’t fit the storyline. Unemployment sits at 6.1 percent, and outside of Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia, Dallasites are more likely to live in poverty than those in the rest of the country’s 20 largest cities. Mayor Mike Rawlings is concerned that if these high rates persist, companies might take their jobs elsewhere.

4-year-old Signs Letter of Intent with TCU Baseball Team. Warning: Grab the tissues. Micah Ahern has been battling cancer since he was 15 months old. He’s currently going through his sixth round of chemotherapy and has had radiation and a stem-cell replacement treatments in the past. But none of that was top of mind recently when he met with TCU’s baseball team to sign that letter, for the year 2027, and pose for photos with the team.

Those Bizarre J.C. Penney Tweets? They Were Intentional. During the Super Bowl, the Plano-based department store sent out two typo-filled tweets, leading some to speculate that whoever was managing the account was drunk. Not so. Apparently, it was all part of a plan to promote the store’s February campaign to raise money for Team USA. The tweeter claimed to be wearing Team USA mittens.

Southwest Airlines Announcing New Love Field Service Today. Customers will have to wait until October to fly nonstop on these new flights, but now they’ll know where they can go.

Full Story

A.C. Gonzalez Came One Vote From NOT Being City Manager

As I said on Twitter yesterday morning and the DMN then double-secret confirmed, our new city manager, A.C. Gonzalez, had the necessary votes locked up 24 hours ago. But that doesn’t mean this was a done deal. In fact, 48 hours ago, anti-A.C. forces on the Council only needed one more vote to hire Oakland city administrator Deanna Santana. Here’s how the arm-twisting shook out, according to five on-background sources I kept in contact with as the drama played out over the weekend.

Full Story

JFK Event Marked by Warm Words, Frigid Temps

I’m still not sure why today’s program observing the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy had to be held outdoors, at the scene of the crime no less, as opposed to a quiet reflective space, like the Meyerson Symphony Center. Probably it had something to do with the dramatic sweeping camera angles […]

Full Story