Developer Pays Steve Salazar, Gets Monica Alonzo Swing Vote on Braniff Deal

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.

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.


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  • Mavdog

    So nothing in the terms of the deal changed, but due to the engagement of specific advocates the vote was changed.

    This smells. Very badly. Odorous to the max.

  • Raymond M. Crawford

    It’s Chinatown Jake.

  • Jim Rain

    What ARE you saying? That to change her vote, Alonzo took a bribe funneled through Salazar? Oh, goodness, not that! You’d get in trouble for saying that, unless you have evidence to back it up. So, lacking evidence, you merely suggest — nod, nod, wink, wink — that SOMEONE might draw that inference — though certainly YOU aren’t saying anything of the kind. Yuck.

  • OldLakeHighlandeer

    I appreciate the fact that a journalistic-oriented publication other than the Observer is shining the light on how politics is made.

  • Willie Stark

    Alonzo has taken over for VJH as the worst city council member. At least VJH was entertaining. Alonzo doesn’t say s**t.

    • Scotts Merkin

      Her answer to Kingstons question about what changed.;…uh Economy and Jobs! great answer Alonzo, you really nailed that answer

  • Hannibal_Lecter

    Apparently it all balances out. Adam Medrano — the biggest opponent — is in bed with the other folks who want the building. Stephen Birch, Flying Crown Land Group’s executive director, is Medrano’s appointee to the city’s landmark commission.


    • Wylie H Dallas

      Hence, the reason for an RFP.

  • Sara Walker

    Monica has been the worst Council Member I have ever seen. Too busy trying to help the rich people and doing nothing for the citizens.