This fight ain’t over. In fact, if the City Council continues as it has (hiring a city manager, for example, before the new council members have a chance to take their seats), I wonder if this couldn’t lead to a new version of the old Citizens Charter Association, that is, an in-city, non-partisan political force that puts up a slate of reform candidates against the worst–and most vulnerable–Council members in the next city elections. (Hmmm. That’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll make a few phone calls…) Here’s Beth Ann’s email:
I do not believe the effort was in vain. The campaign was a wake up call for those who were not aware of the crisis in which Dallas finds itself, and educated thousands about our form of government and what can be done to ensure accountability in our city government. This issue will not go away thanks to your efforts in the campaign.
Many voted against the proposal believing the city council’s promise that it would put a better mayor/council proposal on the ballot in November.
I personally have serious reservations both about the promise and about the proposal that the city council has indicated they may put on the ballot in November. Unlike their stated promise, the proposal is not a mayor/council form of government, but rather keeps the city manager form of government. Although it allows the mayor to hire the city manager, it allows the city council by a simple majority to fire the city manager. This means that we would still have no accountability for the way our city is run, and that the city manager would still report to 15 people, with the result that we would still have a committee of 15 making the day to day decisions of our city. In other words, the proposal is no more than a cosmetic change, and the practical effect of it would be to maintain the status quo. I urge you to contact your council person and remind him/her of that promise and that you expect them to put a proposal on the ballot that is a mayor/council form of government and provides accountability to the voters for how the city is doing.
I cannot tell you how moved I have been by your work and support. Many of you had not been involved in city politics before, and came forward out of love for this city and the realization that you could make a difference. I was honored to work with you, and urge you to continue your efforts. Rarely is a major change made or a difficult goal achieved on the first try. Your continued work and support will be essential to the ultimate achievement of bringing accountability to our city government.
Thanks again – Beth Ann Blackwood