Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I Like About Richardson

The City of Richardson has a bond election coming up on Saturday -- $66 million for streets and alleys, parks and rec centers, fire stations and neighborhood vitality projects. The "yes" side says we need these things to keep Richardson an attractive place to live, work, shop and play. The "no" side says we only want these items, not need them, and we can't afford them in any case.

After the jump, another way to look at the election.

A lot has been said about the relative merits of the arguments on both sides. And perhaps the right way to approach the decision about how to vote is to focus on an objective cost-benefit analysis of the items in the bond and the taxes needed to pay for them. But I can't help but be influenced by something else -- the tone of the most vocal partisans on each side. Sure, there is a spectrum of opinion, from reasonable to looney tunes, on both sides of any public issue. Generalizations are often unfair and what I'm about to say is no exception. Still, if I had to select a single argument from each side that will probably stay with me long after the votes are counted and Richardson has moved on to other issues, the arguments would be these:

From the "Vote No" side:

"Well folks, Agree or not it is Chuck's BIG MONEY at play! Whether bond is timed right or not does not matter. Time and again it has been proved that Slagel has been wrong, maybe legal but surely always unethical. So, the best way to teach them a lesson is to VOTE AGAINST ALL THE ENDORSEMENTS by the Richardson Coalition."
-- A Voter

From the "Vote Yes" side:

"Here's what I like about Richardson. I challenge you and the No camp to come up with a list of positives about your hometown. Location, the best policemen and firemen in the world!, responsive city employees and council, award winning festivals, support of the arts, rich traditions including local parades, friends that I consider family, mature trees and plans to plant thousands of new ones, well-built houses, nice restaurants, a community college and renowned research university in/near our city, a fantastic library, city leadership that gracefully handled the fall of the telecom corrider without affecting its residents' quality of life, respect for senior citizens who founded this city, bulk trash pickup, council members who give an ENORMOUS amount of volunteer time to Richardson citizens, an active chamber of commerce, city leadership that has good relationships with RISD and businesses and HOA/NA's, ADA ramps on sidewalks, and wildflowers."
-- Jimmy M
Count me on the side that likes wildflowers.

P.S. Check back tomorrow when I'll have something to say (or rather, show) about wildflowers.

P.P.S. Oh, there's another election in Richardson on Saturday. It's for the RISD school board. A news headline today from Keller, Texas, reminds me of another thing I like about Richardson -- it's not Keller: "Keller School Board Candidate Arrested On Drug Charges."

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