Friday, April 15, 2011

Richardson Idol: Week Four

Richardson Idol aired two episodes this week. Tuesday night's show was sponsored by the Berkner Park Neighborhood Association. Unfortunately, it was only a "Meet and Greet" so our contestants did not take the stage and perform. Thursday night's show was sponsored by the Turquoise Council for Americans and Eurasians.

Twelve of thirteen contestants vying for the grand prize, a seat on the Richardson City Council, performed on our stage for our judges Thursday night (absent: North; seriously tardy: Mitchell)

As the format requires, it is up to the audience (and by audience, I mean me) to eliminate one contestant each week until we have a council. (The recap of last week's show can be found here.)

But before we hear who will be eliminated this week, let's first hand out superlatives ... after the jump.

Thursday night's show: Turquoise Center

The "Flattery Is Always Good" award goes to Laura Maczka. Told that jewelry interferes with the microphone, she removed her ring, or as she told the audience, her "turquoise ring." Smooth.

The "Richardson Doesn't Read" award goes to several candidates. To Mark Solomon, for "fixing to read" a book that he received for Christmas. To Karl Voigtsberger, for not reading any books in their entirety recently. To Diana Clawson, for only reading "bits and pieces" of journals and children's books. She does like to listen to murder mysteries on tape.

The "Straw Man" award is shared by Karl Voigtsberger and Bob Townsend. Voigtsberger started one answer by saying, "Some will say everything is wonderful and the city has no problems." Really? Which candidate says the city has *no* problems? Townsend said some candidates think the time investment to serve on city council is "a couple of hours on Monday nights." Really? Which candidate thinks that?

The "Jerry Springer Fan Club" award goes to William Gordon. In explaining why he decided to run for city council, he said he did not hear enough debate during council meetings and did hear too many 7-0 votes. Look up William Gordon vs City of Richardson, Trial Cause #07-12698, if you think his disdain for 7-0 votes is just campaign talk.

The "Pizza Pies Not Silicon Wafers" award goes jointly to Dennis Stewart and John DeMattia. To Stewart for saying the city should give fewer tax abatements to big companies to attract them to Richardson and give more incentives to attract small businesses. To DeMattia for specifically criticizing the abatement given to Texas Instruments to entice them to build their latest wafer fab in Richardson. Unexplained was how Richardson would have been better off without the TI fab and with money given to, say, Papa Murphy's instead, which opened a store in Richardson anyway despite the lack of incentives for small business.

The "Don't Tell Moody's" award goes to Karl Voigtsberger. He compared the city's debt to an individual running up fifteen credit cards to the max and making only the minimum monthly payment.

The "What about Walmart?" award goes, once again, to Diana Clawson. Talking about the development planned around the Bush DART station, she said she hoped it wouldn't all be upscale clothing stores and instead would be "businesses that we can shop at." Maybe she means like Walmart, which she fought to keep out of Richardson.

The "I Miss Pris" award goes to all the candidates. Each and every one professed support for Richardson's recycling program and efforts to expand it to apartment and commercial properties.

The "You're Dreaming" award goes to Karl Voigtsberger. In relating his dream for Richardson, he said Richardson was a car dealer selling Lexus cars, not Fords, and Lexus dealers don't offer incentives to attract buyers. He doesn't think Richardson needs incentives to attract businesses, either. We're a Lexus, see?

The "Who Is 'Us'?" award goes, this week, to John DeMattia. He complained that the city council doesn't listen to "us." The "us" can't be the voters that keep re-electing council members who run for re-election, or the voters who approved the 2007 city charter change, or the voters who approved the 2010 bond election. If not the people who vote, who is "us"?

The "Breakfast Ham" award goes to Diana Clawson. There's an old saying that the difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs: the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. Clawson showed her commitment to Richardson when she said she's going to die here.

The "Father Knows Best" award goes to Dennis Stewart. He again offered his father's homespun wisdom. This time, it was that to get a job, you have to ask for one. Stewart then appealed for our votes.

The "Hospitality" award goes to the producers of Thursday's show, the Turquoise Council, for the delicious food spread offered to guests.

Finally, the time has come to pick the candidate who will be sent home this week. Remember, someone has to go. Not going on to the next round is not a dishonor. Drum roll, please. ... This is it. The votes have been tallied. Richardson has spoken.

Bob Townsend, you once told us that you felt like the old man in the room. If re-elected, you will become the longest serving council member on the new council. True, you are still within the City Charter's term limits, even if we go all the way back to your start in 2001 instead of starting the clock with the 2009 adoption of term limits. And there may be some benefit in having that long experience around to warn the newer council members when they are about to repeat old mistakes. Bob Townsend, your songbook tends towards the old hits and not new stuff, but those old hits are still easy to dance to, so ... you are safe.

William Gordon, on first play, your tunes are slick and catchy, but do they hold up to a closer listen? Your absence from two of our shows last week raises questions in the judges' minds about your commitment to our show. The announced excuse, that you were in Fargo trying to recruit an important business to Richardson, was glib. Still, missing two of our shows didn't cause the judges undue concern. It was your performance when you were here that caused concern. Your dislike of 7-0 votes suggests to the judges that your voice will never harmonize with any choir that comes out of our show. The judges can't get out of their minds the mischievous smile you had when you told us of your long-ago run-in with our city. Told that if you didn't like it, you could sue, you snickered, "So I did. Eh heh heh." I'm sorry, William Gordon, but "A Boy Named Sue" is not a song that impresses our judges (at least, not when sung by anyone other than by Johnny Cash, and William Gordon, you're no Johnny Cash). You are out. But thanks for playing.

Tune in next week for another edition of Richardson Idol.

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