There were a bunch of interesting bits I couldn’t fit into my earlier post that I thought I’d throw out there.
Sheffie Kadane thinks the 22-acre tract is worthless: “This is West Texas land, this is desolate land, it’s good for nothing,” he said. “I don’t even consider these parklands.” He also didn’t know if the Trinity River was near the land ( “Is the river even near there? I’ve never even seen that.” Yes, it sits in the river’s floodplain, and would require a spill remediation plan, if approved.) and called Mary Suhm “a great city secretary.”
Dwaine Caraway questioned former mayor Tom Leppert’s involvement: A good question. Where was Tom Leppert when all this was happening? No one — Suhm, Griggs, Hunt, city attorneys — had a good answer.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins asked why this hearing was even taking place: “I don’t know why we’re here wasting time this morning,” he said. Mayor Mike Rawlings chimed in, saying that, even if Atkins disagreed with Griggs and Hunt’s assessment of Suhm’s deal, that the council and city’s residents deserved to hear every side of the story. Councilwoman Sandy Greyson later responded: “I think a discussion about those questions are never a waste of time. We need to be as transparent at City Hall as we can be.” Well reasoned, both. (Also, let’s start using GriggsAndHunt as a new portmanteau for this debate, okay? Or maybe Grunt?)
All of this is because the City Council asked Suhm and her department to find creative ways to help the budget: Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill, after her Sermon on the Horseshoe: “To then several years later, to publicly denigrate staff members about what the council directs — that is to be creative — is a disservice not only to the City Council, but the citizens of Dallas. That kind of misspeak and denigration has the effect of chilling staff-work and willingness to go forward to find new, different, and creative ways to do what needs to be done.”
Let’s throw a light on the city attorney’s office: Hunt wants an independent review of the timeline, contracts, and WhoKnewWhatWhen. Jerry Allen said that could cost $50,000 (he also called anti-fracking science “The Boogeyman,” and said he hasn’t seen any three-headed babies, so). But when hundreds of millions of potential dollars, never mind the environmental costs, are at stake, what’s the harm in asking someone to take a look at all of this? Allen’s point is that the city attorney’s office is full of the best legal minds in Dallas, so how could someone possibly come up with another conclusion? A.) I’m sure there are a few legal minds bouncing around this city that would like to throw their hat in “best legal minds” discussion, and B.) THE OTHER PEOPLE DON’T WORK FOR THE CITY. Someone at the city attorney’s office signed off on the contract, so of course they have a vested interest in saying Suhm’s deal was above-board.
Until next time.