Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holy Bill of Rights, Batman

Richardson is not Gotham, but we've got our own little tales of citizen crime-fighters standing up to villains, even when the corruption reaches into the heart of city hall itself. Monday night is when our local heroes answer the bat-call of open mike night at the Richardson City Council meeting. This past Monday night was no exception. After the jump, five heroes' stories.

  • One speaker just can't accept the fact that no one on the city council thinks the operation of the Sherrill Park Golf Course is a scandal just waiting for the right person to come along and expose it all. Maybe if he claimed a Tiger Woods connection, he could get someone's attention. Ironically, he ran out of time and asked the council to suspend the rules so he could exceed the five-minute rule in order to continue his complaint that the city council is violating rules. Request denied. Rules are rules.

  • Two speakers accused a lawyer of arrogance. Hello-o-o-o!?! The speakers want to know what the city council says in closed meetings and didn't like that, in court, the lawyer presented the city's argument that the closed meetings were lawful and, by nature of being closed, the public didn't have a right to listen in. It's one thing to disagree with the legal argument (made by the city); it's another thing to fault the lawyer (who is doing his job, representing his client). It's all so much easier to just call him arrogant. No one will argue the negative in that debate.

  • One speaker complained the city overpaid for a house an empty lot on Arapaho Rd across from City Hall. The first rule of real estate is location, location, location. The city has been buying up these properties for years and years. If the speaker could have gotten the property owner to sell him the house lot for significantly less than the city paid him for it, he ought to have bought it and flipped it to the city for a handsome profit. If you think the city paid too much in this case, imagine if the city council's closed sessions were open to the public. Do you think the property owner wouldn't have jumped at the chance to sit in the back of the room and listen as the city's real estate negotiating tactics were worked out?

  • One speaker (who is such a regular at open mike night the city ought to give him his own name plaque ... or bat cape) told a story about riding a DART train and talking about his grandmother to a fellow passenger, who apparently happened to be African-American, although I can't fathom why that was relevant. The speaker felt that by doing this he was somehow being a "Caucasian ambassador." Who thinks like that?

Tune in next week -- same Bat-time, same Bat-channel! (Time-Warner cable channel 16).

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