There are already a couple of stories coming out of today’s council meeting that are suggestive of how to get things done down at city hall. One involves the Dallas Convention Center, which got a sweet renewal of a commitment of hotel tax revenue for their marketing budget. Clearly the council hasn’t been reading its Wylie H., though they certainly saw former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson sitting in the front row for the vote.
Then there’s the Braniff Airlines’ Operations and Maintenance Base redo. You may remember the council just voted to shelve a proposal to turn the facility into a car dealership because a) there was a lot of opposition from the nearby neighborhoods, and b) the proposal hadn’t gone through the usual public bidding process.
Well, two weeks later, the contract with Randall Reed was back on the agenda today and, low and behold, it passed. How did it happen? Well, they needed two votes to swing in favor of the developer. One came from Carolyn King Arnold’s absence from today’s meeting. The other came from Monica Alonzo, who simply changed her mind at some point over the last two weeks. Alonzo hasn’t said publicly what changed her mind, but here’s an interesting sentence from the report that may explain everything:
Reed’s attorney David Norton says that after the August 26 vote, they hired lobbyists — including Allyn Media, Ken Carter and former city council member Steve Salazar — to make Reed’s case to council members.
Salazar’s name should jump out at you. After all, he and Alonzo go way back:
Alonzo replaced a term-limited Salazar on the council with his blessing and previously worked on his campaign. She was also Salazar’s assistant during his tenure on the council.
I’m not saying. I’m just saying.