Leading Off (9/11/08)

1. DISD is roughly $64 million short from its 2007-08 budget. As a result, the finance department is now under Chief of Staff Arnold Viramontes, who has the sort of no-nonsense name that suggests he does not take kindly to nonsense, to the point where one could say, “Arnold Viramontes does not care for nonsense of any kind,” and more than likely be right re: Arnold Viramontes’ stance on nonsense. (For further reading, FoF got board prez Jack Lowe on the horn down in New Braunfels.)

2. Continuing to run up the score on Farmers Branch mayor Tim O’Hare, Bishop Arts District shopkeepers will be hosting Farmers Branch Day in the near future, featuring all sorts of dining/shopping specials aimed at the other, less awesome, but equally pleased with itself FB Nation. Well played, gang. I doubt that Arnold Viramontes shares your madcap sensibility, or remotely enjoys it, but we all have our crosses to bear.

3. And finally, you can go ahead and call off the contest as we’ve found a winner for Non-Issue of the Year: University Park alley restrictions. Here’s an excerpt from my wide-ranging interview with DISD Chief of Staff Arnold Viramontes, which briefly, and surprisingly, touched on UP alleys. But that part was boring, so let’s skip ahead:

ZC: You killed a helicopter with a car!

AV: I was out of bullets.


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20 responses to “Leading Off (9/11/08)”

  1. MG says:

    When in doubt, quote John Mclain.

  2. Louisa Meyer, Dallas ISD parent since 1993 says:

    In 1999, the Dallas ISD had nine exemplary and recognized schools. This school year, more than 100 district schools were ranked exemplary and recognized. Adding teachers and lowering class sizes worked. IJS

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    What happened to the other leading off?

  4. Spamboy says:

    Will physical assults still be allowed in alleys?

  5. yikesdallas says:

    Viramontes may have a no-nonsense name, but the fact that he has his wife on the payroll in a position for which she may or may not be qualified automatically raises red flags for me. Even more, she has been moved into the jobs that her husband held previously, which means she probably wouldn’t be too keen on making sure everything was hunky dory. Two teachers married to each other can’t work at the same school, but two married administrators making a combined $320K from the district work side by side and that’s okay?
    And we’re suppose to trust him to clean things up? Yeah, right.

  6. JS says:

    Do you know what AV says to people who bring up the old “wife on the payroll” bit? Yippee-ki-ay, m……

  7. DM says:

    Hey, maybe the Dallas Federal Reserve can take over the DISD?

  8. This matter with the missing $64 MILLION is sickening. To my knowledge, two people have been given “resign or be outed” options and have left 3700 Ross.

    The improved performance by the kiddos of DISD is a great accomplishment. But that doesn’t rationalize this $64 million issue.

    Jack Lowe, you are a great man and I admire you fully. You are going to be in my prayers as you weather this impending storm. And so are the children of Dallas, after all, this is supposed to be all about them.

  9. LOC says:

    Front page coverage for DISD budget shortfall, but no coverage to be found in the DMN print product on Lakewood Elementary and Ben Milam Elementary being named National Blue Ribbon Schools two days ago:


    Show some love, too, folks.

  10. Jeff says:

    #2 On the heels of O’Hare’s gaffe, I just want to remind readers of the great missionary job TDMN is doing in raising awareness of the myriad festering problems across Oak Cliff and the rest of southern Dallas and in trying to finally marshal at least some social and financial resources to solve them. If Tim O’Hare had been a little more politic, perhaps he could have also benefited from that positive attention to the similar blights in his suburb.

  11. yikesdallas says:

    I guess the $64 million isn’t that big a deal, though. The DMN says it’s just a “gaffe”…

  12. read the paper says:

    LOC, check Page 3 for the Blue Ribbon schools.

  13. Daniel says:

    Tim O’Hare is a one helluva swell fella. His non-nonsense style inspires me to do better in my own life.

    Name-calling? Try the other guys. False accolades? Come to Daniel. (TM)

  14. Dallas Denizen says:

    The Dallas Morning News is today running a full page with its new “Teacher Voices” – last week it ran a full page with its new “Student Voices” – NO DISD students NO DISD teachers. The bias against DISD by The Dallas Morning News is astounding.

  15. I guess I’m wondering if we’ve become so numb to bad TDMN DISD stories that we don’t get upset about them anymore. http://www.dadscenter.org

  16. Zac Crain says:

    @Daniel: I want that slogan and the other one (That’s citizenship. That’s Daniel.) on a T-shirt. Cafe Press it up.

  17. Randy Mcmillian says:

    Maybe they should keep a closer eye on the guys who sleep along the elementary school perimeters in disd vehicles during 9 to 5 hours…hourly-transportation-fuel…that is costly.

  18. Louisa Meyer, Dallas ISD parent since 1993 says:

    Proud Dallas ISD parent and Advocate Magazine publisher Rick Wamre says this about the budget shortfall:

  19. the long-time teacher says:

    And think about this: many new-hire teachers who were promised the moon now know their jobs will probably end this school year. . .how much incentive will they have to “go above and beyond”? Those who can, teach; those who can’t, work for DISD administration and budget. Not all, but oh so many.

  20. Dave Thomas says:

    Hinojosa needs to go – and I think that’s what he’s planning to do. The DISD “mistake” is an outrage. Hinojosa should have been looking over the numbers more carefully than he was. He should have hired a competent financial officer. He failed on both counts and he knows it. I think he’s trying to fix this before he leaves so he can actually be employed somewhere else.

    Where is Mike Moses?