Wylie H. Dallas on Why A.C. Gonzalez Had to Go

Because he kept making bad deals for the city.

Eric wrote about why AC Gonzalez needed to go in the March issue. (Illustration: KIRSTEN ULVE)
Eric wrote about why AC Gonzalez needed to go in the March issue. (Illustration: KIRSTEN ULVE)

In a post today, Schutze characterizes the reaction to the resignation of Dallas city manager A.C. Gonzalez as a contest between the “new-city insurgents” (represented on the city council primarily by Scott Griggs and Philip Kingston) and the “cool kid” “bro establishment” who complain that Griggs and Kingston and their allies have “been uncool to the city’s top bureaucrat.”

He’s not buying that defense of Gonzalez. He turns to FrontBurner contributor Wylie H. Dallas for back-up:

The pseudonymous but omniscient wizard of Facebook fame, pointed out instances where Kingston and Griggs, fighting to defend the public treasure, repeatedly have caught Gonzalez and the rest of city staff trying to give away the store:

“By far the biggest one was when he tried to slip the $450 million-plus multi-year no-bid energy contract with TXU onto the consent agenda of the very last meeting of the City Council,” Wylie H. wrote back.

In that case last year, Griggs and Kingston demanded unsuccessfully that Gonzalez explain why he was thwarting normal bidding procedures and trying to slip a vote past the council to deliver a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Griggs and Kingston persuaded three other council members to join them in voting against granting the contract, but a 10-vote majority led by the mayor overwhelmed their objections and delivered the goods to TXU tied up like a Christmas present.

Using a pet name for Griggs and Kingston that even I employ sometimes, Wylie H. said: “Another thing Grigston did was clean up Dallas Police & Fire Pension system … a HUGE deal. If only Rawlings had put them in earlier. Of course, as a thanks, they ended up with Kleinman screaming at them during a pension system meeting and storming out.”

He reminded me of another one: “The other biggie is when we sold the excess Lake Ray Hubbard park land to Rowlett, only to find out later that it was immediately flipped to a developer (literally same day) who is building a $1 billion development on the site.”

Wylie H.’s helpful notes reminded me of the underlying pattern in all of these issues. That narrative is enormously important, because it explains the whole bro-speak thing about the cool kids and the uncool kids. The blow-ups are always about some cool kid with his hand in the cookie jar and the mayor and the city manager and the Morning News doing everything they can to deliver the cookies.

Read that and all of what Eric Celeste laid out in the March issue of D Magazine — including Gonzalez’s handling of Uber, the Great Trinity Forest, Love Field, and the Trinity Wave — and it’s hard to feel like he’s been unfairly pushed out the door by council pressure.

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