Combining Everything Worth Arguing About Into One Post: Or, Mayor Leppert’s Breakfast Speech

Once again tagging in off the top rope after the great Dave Levinthal does the actual legwork, I point you to his report from Mayor Leppert’s speech this morning at a Belo Mansion breakfast hosted by The Real Estate Council. The money quote, in reference to pretty much every controversial project (the Convention Center hotel, the Trinity Project, etc.) under his watch:

“But if we’re not willing to invest in the city, then in essence, we’re throwing up the white flag. The greatest risk is that we don’t move forward, that we don’t invest, that we accept mediocrity.”

So there you go. Get yer ya-yas out in the comments, which I have helpfully turned on.


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19 responses to “Combining Everything Worth Arguing About Into One Post: Or, Mayor Leppert’s Breakfast Speech”

  1. Bethany says:

    I’ve seen a goat throw up an Arkansas flag once. But I’ve never seen anyone throw up a white flag.

  2. GuiltyBystander says:

    I’m all for moving forward, investment, striving to be the best.
    My problem is that the Convention Center Hotel and the TRP are projects that have conceptual flaws obvious to a second grader. The progress that Mayor Big Hands is flaunting involves the kind of stuff that only lines the pockets of the same Big Bidnessmen who have sucked this city’s teat for decades. (It was appropriate Da Mayor was speakaing at the Belo Mansion.)
    Mayor Big Hands is also applauding (loudly) the $50 million wasted in upgrading the Cotton Bowl, a project that can rightly be described with the current hot button political phrase (lipstick on a pig.)
    The City of Dallas is like a blind man at a skeet shooting contest _ firing away and hoping to hit somethin’.

  3. Nathan says:

    Tom Leppert’s prayer:

    Oh mayor!
    Deliver us our holy golden cow;
    Deliver us from our earthly mediocrity;
    Secure for us our nationally competitive, structurally attached, signaturely iconic convention center hotel;
    For ye shall buildith the greatest bridge over the most magnificent toll road that shall never flood for thy hand controls the rain;
    Lobby thy powerful friends and secure upon us the blessings of congressional earmarks;
    Allow us not to succumb to the lowly, earthly pleasures such as well maintained roads and a low crime rate;
    Protect us from the scornful words of Schutze so that our minds and hearts shall never be pierced by his wicked pen;

    on your largess we prey,

    A man.

  4. John says:

    Is DMag trying to hire Dave Levinthal? IJA

  5. Zac Crain says:

    @John: I wish. I’ve got a ton of Buffalo Bills jokes that are wasted here.

  6. Scott says:

    it’s not investment in the city that the naysayers are afraid of.

    it’s lack of oversight and responsibility with the money we already paid, and the lack of honesty and transparency with what we’ll have to pay in the future.

    and please god, nobody start using the nickname for the mayor that the DMN commenters started using. “TLep” made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

  7. towski says:

    As a (relative) newcomer to our fair burg, I have a question. To whom do we attribute the current state of, and future prospects of, the Dallas Arts District?

  8. Hassam says:

    Please note that the following post is not name calling. It’s assigning attributes to our mayor.
    1. Mayor Big Hands
    2. Mayor Deer-in-Headlights
    3. Mayor Might Flood Downtown Dallas and Oak Cliff
    4. Mayor Trinity Referendum is good Resume Fodder for Moving to Higher Office Like Senator

  9. Zac Crain says:

    @Scott: Any use of TLep will be scrubbed from the comments. The preferred nomenclature is Lep-Dawg.

  10. Hassam says:

    Dear Towski,
    You see, we have this downtown business triumpherat who where these black cloaks….

  11. Hassam says:

    I bet the Arts District planners did not have an AWESOME model like the Trinity. Speaking of the Trinity model, did know that is has over 1M miles of fiber optic wiring? We understand it also offers free wireless or somesuch.

  12. LakeWWWooder says:

    Having grown up with the grandkids of Mayor Bob, I am all for Dallas keeping the dirt flying, aiming high and making sure Dallas is Big D.

    I wish we could do it all. I think this focus on TRP and the more recent convention center hotel is distracting from some things which ought to be/have been done:

    The connecting the grand Haskell Blvd at City Place to Fair Park (killed because the city council couldn’t find $65 million). Daylighting Mill Creek through there down to Deep Ellum – as was called for in the 1912 Kessler Plan (Turtle Creek was done). Spending money to bring our one unique feature in the world, Fair Park, to its full potential.

    Think of what 1/2 the convention center hotel money would do for those projects. Think of how much redevelopment would happen.

  13. Dallasite says:

    Let’s see… what are the biggest problems that Dallas is facing?

    1. Failing schools? Check.
    2. High crime rate? Highest in the country, check.
    3. Corruption at city hall? How many former council members are being investigated by the FBI? I forget.
    4. A big spending City Council that attempts a tax hike every year? Oh yeah, we’ve got plenty of that.
    5. Lowest downtown office occupancy in the country? I think Detroit may have finally passed us after 20 years.
    6. Families and businesses still running for the suburbs? It’s not slowing down.
    7. Lack of a riverbed tollway located 200 yards from an existing 10 lane freeway? hmmmmmm, maybe I’m missing something.
    8. Lack of hotel rooms? Not really. Downtown still has very low hotel occupancy rates.

    Yeah, their two biggest issues aren’t even close to the top of my list.

  14. Tom says:

    There is an Arts District model on display in the Trammell Crow building on Ross-Chavez avenue. I doubt that it cost $500,000 to produce, but it’s quite impressive.
    @towski: Nearly all of the Arts District project was paid for by private contributions and funds.

  15. towski says:

    @ Tom, yes, I’m aware of the funding. But these kinds of projects don’t typically happen without someone granting tax incentives, doing some development legwork, and lining up the major players, no?

  16. Tom says:

    @towski: I would think so, yes, but don’t know enough about the situation to comment further without resorting to name-calling.
    I defer to The Great Levinthal. If he can’t answer your questions, he knows someone who would.

  17. Wylie H. says:

    I understand the concept of “investing,” but what Leppert is encouraging is wild, undisciplined “speculation” without proper due diligence, information, etc.

    I fear that Dallas taxpayers will be picking up the tab long after the DCC allows Leppert to go back to Hawaii.

  18. JB says:

    This all sounds so eerily familiar……

    The area was transformed under Vespasian and his successors. Although the Colossus was preserved, much of the Domus Aurea was torn down. The lake was filled in and the land reused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre. Gladiatorial schools and other support buildings were constructed nearby within the former grounds of the Domus Aurea. According to a reconstructed inscription found on the site, “the emperor Vespasian ordered this new amphitheatre to be erected from his general’s share of the booty.”
    Vespasian’s decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Nero’s lake can also be seen as a populist gesture of returning to the people an area of the city which Nero had appropriated for his own use. In contrast to many other amphitheatres, which were located on the outskirts of a city, the Colosseum was constructed in the city centre; in effect, placing it both literally and symbolically at the heart of Rome.

  19. the cynic says:

    I’m offended by the term white flag and the negative connotations of surrender.