Friday, June 8, 2012

Of Mayors and Constitutions

As previously reported, there's a petition circulating demanding a referendum on a change to the Richardson city charter calling for the direct election of the mayor. I've already offered my opinion on this question from different angles.

After the jump, reviewing the viewpoints, and adding a new one.



There's the question of efficiency: the mayor being the chairman of the board, the speaker of the house, the foreman of the jury, it makes sense that he (or she) would be chosen by the body that he will lead, just like all these other examples. The council itself is entirely elected by the voters, including the council member ultimately chosen to lead the council, so it's not like the mayor is some kind of outsider the voters don't want.

There's the question of public harmony: because some citizens think that direct popular elections are the only legitimate form of democracy, and they are unlikely to ever be satisfied with anything else, it makes sense that we ought to, at least, put the question of whether we want to directly elect the mayor to a popular vote. The charter was originally adopted by popular vote, but those voters are almost all dead today. Maybe city charters should come with an expiration date, needing re-ratification every so often.

I've discussed both of these angles before. What I have never discussed is the legal question. Is Richardson's system of having the elected council members themselves choose which among them will serve as mayor legal?

Some argue that the wording of the Texas constitution is as plain as the nose on your face -- Richardson's system is clearly unconstitutional.
ARTICLE 6. SUFFRAGE
Sec. 3. MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS; QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS. All qualified voters of the State, as herein described, who reside within the limits of any city or corporate town, shall have the right to vote for Mayor and all other elective officers.
The only person [in Richardson] that I've heard [publicly] argue to the contrary is Bill McCalpin (see "Direct Election of Mayor" at Rumorcheck.org). His argument boils down to a historic one. The wording was adopted after the Civil War in order to ensure that freed slaves would have the right to vote. In other words, the intent was to ensure that the vote would be open to all. The intent was not to dictate to cities which offices they had to have their citizens vote on. Given that there's no discrimination regarding who can vote for council members, and it's an elected council member who ultimately serves as mayor, the argument goes, the system complies with the constitution.

Given that the Texas Constitution was in place when Richardson and other cities adopted their charters, it's likely that city fathers and voters in past eras didn't see a constitutional barrier to having the mayor chosen by the elected council and not by popular vote of the electorate. Given that there have been no legal challenges to such a system in the decades since adoption, it's likely that no lawyers among us have seen a constitutional problem, either. Even the current advocates of direct election of the mayor are pursuing a referendum rather than a lawsuit.

So, was everybody wrong all those years ago when Richardson's system was adopted? This is less a matter of empirical fact than a matter of interpretation. And interpretation changes over time. Anyone can mine the law to find some clause or phrase that seemingly backs up one's preconceived notion of what should be. I do know that the only way to settle this (as much as anything can be settled in law) is to challenge Richardson in court and let the Texas Supreme Court decide.

On the other hand, there is another way the question can be settled, at least for Richardson. And that's by letting the voters decide. It might not be technically, legally, constitutionally required to vote on the matter, but there's nothing forbidding a referendum either. And it might help keep the peace in Richardson. That's not chopped liver.

58 comments:

Mark Steger said...

Bill McCalpin is the only one in Richardson publicly defending the constitutionality of Richardson's city charter. I don't mean to imply he's the only one who thinks that way. The city lawyers must believe it, too, but they aren't talking.

Here's a thought. If we interpret the state constitution as requiring direct election of the mayor, wouldn't that interpretation also forbid single member districts? A simple reading of the constitution requires that all voters in the city have the right to vote for all elected offices. All voters in the city, not just voters in a single district. I guess all cities with single member districts are violating the constitution, too. Richardson is in the clear on this one!

mccalpin said...

haha! Mark, that's a good one! Yes, a literal reading of the language in the Constitution would seem to require that "all qualified voters" be able to vote for "all...elective officers". But given the number of court cases requiring single member districts, obviously the courts don't read this section literally, but give it the interpretation (if they even considered it at all) that the original authors gave it - that freed slaves should be allowed to vote.

Someone wondered recently on another Internet site why the issue of direct election of the mayor wasn't considered in the last Charter Review in 1987-1989. The truth is that it was - and discarded as not a burning issue.

Even former City Council member (and lawyer specializing in municipal law) Jim Shepherd went on the record in one of the public hearings as saying the the "City Council should elect the Mayor"
(see the minutes of the 2/4/1988 meeting at http://www.rumorcheck.org/MinutesCharterComm ). Obviously, whatever Mr. Shepherd thinks today, he didn't believe that Richardson's arrangement violated the State Constitution in 1988.

If we can just set aside this bogus claim that Richardson's method of electing the mayor violates the State Constitution, then perhaps we can move forward with an adult conversation on the subject.

Bill

Sassy Texan said...

"Adult" conversation seems to always be in the eye of the beholder, doesn't it.

mccalpin said...

Interesting, Cheri. You make no comment about how a literal reading of the law would seem to disallow single member districts, you make no comment about how the Charter Commission in 1988 thought about direct election of the mayor then dropped it, and you make no comment about about even former City Councilman Jim Shepherd didn't have a problem with the mayor being selected from the council...instead, all you can comment on is "adult" conversation.

I and everyone else will take this to mean that you are yielding on all the other points I've made. Good! Now we're getting somewhere!

Bill

Andy said...

Who the hell cares about 's viewpoint. If it is such an important question, let the voters decide.

Andy said...

Oh great, interpret the carrots..... that blank was "previous political office holder"

mccalpin said...

Andy, Jim Shepherd was not only a City Councilman in Richardson, but is also currently a City Attorney under contract (as many are) to one or more cities in the area. In addition, his website states that one of his areas of expertise is in municipal law. Cheri should know this, which is why I reminded her about it.

My purpose in this discussion is to point out that the claims that the City Charter is in violation of State Law are false. This issue should be decided on its merits, not on false claims of wrongdoing by the City.

Bill

dc-tm said...

I look forward to seeing your name on the petition, Bill, especially since you feel this issue should be decided on by its merit. What better way is there to allow that than by letting the voters decide?

mccalpin said...

As always, David, your responses are simplistic. This is not a single step process of "how would you vote?" but a multi-step process. The first step is deciding if we even need or want to vote on this. After all, elections are not free. We taxpayers have to pay for them.

This is where the so-called Richardson Citizens For A More Democratic Government (or, perhaps, Alan North and a few hired hands) is pulling a fast one on the public. You see, Mr. North isn't discussing whether or not we need an election - he's, by dint of his (or someone's) deep pockets, trying to force the City into an election, even if the majority doesn't want it.

Oh, you say, but all those people signed the petition voluntarily. Really? How many of the people who signed the petition even READ the amendment language and noticed the defects in it? And how many signed the petition because of what the petition taker told me - that the City was corrupt and that direct election of the mayor is the only way to make him/her accountable? Both statements are false, yet without a doubt, people will still claim that the petition drive was valid.

No, this whole process has stunk from the get-go...secret source of money, deliberate hiding of names of supporters, late and improperly done government filings, hired hands making false statements...no, David, deceit and piles of money will in no way lead to a "more democratic government".

Bill

dc-tm said...

It seems a very simple thing-should the voters elect the mayor or have it done in a secret backroom deal. How much more simple could it be?
I would be willing to bet that the majority of voters in Richardson would approve direct election at the poles. People like to have control of things like that. You are right, it is a simple thing and I have a simple view of it. No need to make it complicated.

mccalpin said...

This is what's simple:
1. The Form 8871 was filed, but didn't list any members of the Board of Directors, in violation of the IRS instructions.
2. The Form STA was filed late, and listed Alan C. North as the person appointing Chris Cutrone as campaign treasurer.
Obviously, at the very least, Mr. North's name should have appeared on the 8871.

But, in Texas, a political action committee can't be one person, so there must be other board members besides Mr. North, whose names don't appear on the 8871 either. Why not?

Why hide the names of the people behind this petition drive?
Why complete required forms improperly and/or late?
Why does the PAC not have a website?
Why do neither Alan North or the PAC's executive director answer emailed questions about the group?
Why does the PAC's executive director refuse to talk about the group on the telephone?
What are they hiding?

Bill

dc-tm said...

You are funny and I get a real kick out of your points. But you probably have plenty of time to track all of this down, all the while ignoring the issue at hand. You seem to want someone to shoot at much more than someone to have an argument with over a policy.
But maybe the really simple answer to all of your questions about "secrecy" is that they know you and your ways. Look at where your focus is. It is on personalities not substance.
:0)

Sassy Texan said...

Bill, you know what happens when you assume......Most arrogant of you.

Sassy Texan said...

Bill, you are most unqualified to know what I think, believe or understand on any topic. I am most clear on who I am in the world. And I certainly believe you are incapable of interpreting Jim Shepherd. Especially in light of all the underhanded and at the very minimum, disrespectful way your RC group treated him. Those actions are more reflective to me in who you and your buddies are more than anything else. But that in it self is another topic and not for this.

Bottom line is the Texas Constitution reads the way it reads. When the League of Women's voters had their meeting on the charter, Dr Lowry said answered my question that a charter/ordinance/resolution could not trump the Tx Constitution. Even when Ray Noah danced around the question. It is on tape. I am sure Mark's wife could get you a viewing of the video. Heck, let's all go back and look at it.

You act as if the council has never violated any law and continually making the wild justifications that you think connect and seem reasonable and they just don't. They have violated several and the proof is in their own documents. This is just another one, though minor in it's hierarchy.

As far as your lame comment that my not fighting with you is some kind of admission to your way of thinking is just as juvenile as your illogical reasoning. We get that no matter what the subject or issue, you are on the side of what ever you are told by the city. Not worth having a debate with you because there is no common ground to have a genuine and authentic conversation with you. If I said the sky is blue, you would argue with some odd response as you do quite often. I have seen the pattern with you too often.

You need to be right over doing the right thing. We get it Bill, you can go home now.

Sassy Texan said...

Breathlessly awaiting what McCalpin writes as to why he is against the Texas Constitution!!! Because that is what he is saying! Texas had to be a Republic to be a part of the United States and one man in Richardson, TX thinks he can dispute that. Does it make you wonder if he can really read?

Sassy Texan said...

Isn't it interesting everything McCalpin accuses are exactly what the RC and all those behind the scenes manipulations have done for years now. Personally, I have not had a problem speaking to Mr Cutrone or Mr North at all. Maybe they read your blog, Bill, and understand you much better now. Just a thought.

Sassy Texan said...

To me, it is what what my granddad used to call 'giving and inch and they're taking the proverbial mile'. Had a brother who pushed that boundary alot growing up.

mccalpin said...

So, again, although it's obvious to everyone, you're not disagreeing with what I said.

Bill

Sassy Texan said...

See below.

dc-tm said...

If a person does not state they disagree with something you say, it is assumed they are in agreement with you? Gotta say, that is pretty arrogant of you, Bill.

Does that also mean that since you did not dispute Cheri calling you arrogant, that you are conceding she is correct in her assertion that you are arrogant?

Using your logic, that seem to be the case.

Just another example of why people do not take you seriously, Wild Bill.

dc-tm said...

I am surprised to find we agree with each other Andy. The voters should decide. But your buddies with the coalition disagree with you, as does Wild Bill.

mccalpin said...

Your first paragraph is nonsense. I am quoting exactly what the minutes of the Charter Review Commission said that Mr. Shepherd said, word for word. This was in a public forum. I don't hear Mr. Shepherd denying it (whatever he may think now). Your objections are baseless.

Your second paragraph is also nonsense. The Texas Constitution reads the way its AUTHORS intended it to read, not the way YOU want it to read. In 1997, when the last substantive change was made to that section, do you really think that the legislators from the cities that select the mayor from the Council really intended to force their city charters to be out of compliance with State law? When the vote in the House was 137-0? Are you serious? Of course, no one in 1876 meant the language to mean what you want it to mean and no one in 1997 meant it to mean what you want it to mean. It is unbelievable that you try to maintain otherwise with a straight face.

As for your third paragraph, it is the most ridiculous of all. Where are all these violations of the law? Oh, yes, Richard Tanner accused the Council of violating the Charter of selling debt without voter consent. Too bad that the State has obsoleted that part of the Charter 41 years ago - http://www.rumorcheck.org/SellingBondsWithoutVoterApproval.html

Oh, how about Nathan Morgan accusing the City of violating the Charter by refinancing bonds? Oops, the Charter explicitly allows the City to do that! See http://www.rumorcheck.org/Refinancingbondsisillegal.html

Well, how about David Chenoweth accusing the City of running a $20 million operating loss over the last 4 years, when the truth is that he printed data from the City's annual report with the text descriptions altered from what was in the CAFR? See http://www.rumorcheck.org/ChangeInNetAssets.html

Or even how about you, who accused the City of not having a balanced budget even though it was "required" by the accounting standard promulgated by GASB 34? That was a complete fabrication by you - on this blog, no less - which you have never owned up to.

Don't lecture me about all these violations when they exist only in the fevered minds of a little group of conspiracy nuts.

As for common ground, you're right, we don't have any. I present solid evidence (such as on your error on GASB 34) and you refuse to admit it. The nice thing about blogs like this is that your absolute refusal to admit the truth is obvious for everyone to see. It's too bad, Cheri, that you associate with people who make a religion out of false statements and slanderous accusations...those people are NOT your friends!

Bill

mccalpin said...

As for your post at 12:51, it is also complete nonsense. The authors of the Texas Constitution did not intend the law to read the way that you want it to. I have presented evidence to this effect whereas you have presented no evidence for the opposing view.

Fortunately, this country is founded on laws and history and precedent, not on the whims of people who choose to read the law to suit their own personal agendas.

Bill

mccalpin said...

Before there is any vote on direct election of the mayor, there is the issue of the petition. It is clear that the petition process is deeply flawed. Suitcases of money from who knows where, a secretive group that refuses to identify its members, improperly filed governmental forms, a hired gun from Austin to help hide the group's real membership, paid signature takers from everyplace but Richardson, and false statements designed to fool the public.

No, it is shameful that you have heaped all sort of abuse on City government for years when this petition drive is guilty of all the crap that you have accused others of being guilty of. When are you going to be honest and admit that the petition drive is itself corrupted? Oh, heh heh, I know why...

Bill

mccalpin said...

Cheri (at 12:59), over the years I have learned that when you are accused of some bad behavior, it's usually because the other person was already guilty of that bad behavior and is desperately trying to deflect attention from it.

The truth is that the gotcha gang has been accusing the City of lying, cheating, and stealing long before the Coalition even existed. So what does that say about the gotcha gang? It's obvious, even you can figure it out...

Bill

mccalpin said...

David, it is not arrogant to prove your points. This is what I do. It is the height of arrogance to not provide any evidence for your points yet continue to insist that you are correct.

What is arrogant is that you think the public is so stupid that they will be fooled by you. It didn't work very well in the last election, did it? The more you badmouthed the City, the more people voted against you. I imagine that certain candidates are probably not even speaking to you, for ruining their campaigns.

As I have said before, David, your behavior is the best friend that the Coalition has - the more you mouth off, the more people vote in the other direction...oh, look at http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/TX/Dallas/30600/45230/en/summary.html in case you have forgotten the huge loss you inflicted on your own candidates...

Bill

Sassy Texan said...

1) Bill, I have no agenda other than to read what the words say. Verbatim. That's is it!
I am the only one who knows for sure my intention.

2) I fabricated nothing on GASB 34. I read what is there in the method to report source of shortfalls in the budget. Here is the link to the coalition's topic that the budget IS balanced. This is what started the whole bru-ha-ha discussion YOU twisted. See, it is even underlined for you, just in case you cannot read it clearly!! http://www.richardsoncoalition.org/news/full-editorials.html#2011deficit
There is absolutely no reason to fight with you on this. It is dumb because you are the one stuck and unwilling (as I have said before) to have a discussion. You want to be right. That is it. I get it. Except you are not. End of discussion

3) Nathan's discussion of the bonds. There you go again misconstruing what he said to fit your snarky attitude. As I recall you took that discussion out of context too. But since you are talking about Nathan, he is the better one to speak to your BS on this. Haven't spoken to him in a while, but will change that tonight and let him know you are challenging him again on this.

4) David Chenoweth and budget shortfalls. Well Bill, those operating shortfalls came directly from the city's documents. It's called the CAFR. It is too bad this latest CAFR the operating shortfall was $20mm in 1 YEAR!
But since you called out David on this one it is totally inappropriate for me to speak for him. I will call him and he can answer you directly too.

4) Richard Tanner and debt without voter approval - There you went AGAIN and twisted what he said. I will drop a line to him too and he can answer your malarky if he is so inclined.

5) I can call Jim Shepherd tomorrow too. I have no idea how he feels about this, but one thing I know for sure is the conversation will be a pleasant one as they have always been. Unlike those with you.

6) It is hard talk with a person when someone is unwilling to listen. Like YOU. I openly and blatantly have no desire to listen to you. I don't read you page. I don't like you. lol Oddly, I did try to figure out you perspective in the beginning until I began to understand you. You are creepy!! But who cares!

YOU were the one wanting "adult" conversation on the issues, yet you don't. Duly noted over and over and over and over again. Your arrogance to think your making an assumption and judgement on who I deem as a friend again makes you a martyr of epic proportions! The only person who deem as a good friend But who cares! I don't.

6) What are you, a mouse in my purse following me around the country to determine who my associations are? I think that is called stalking. But I will go check that out with our middle son who a police officer. You know, just to verify.(In case you cant figure that out, I am being sarcastic)

And of course the last post at 12:51 was nonsense. It was intended that way. (CHUCKLING)
I think you are the one interpreting it the way you want to. I am just reading what it says. End of story.

For anyone else reading this.....

Lastly, it really does not matter whether Bill is right or not. Or whether I am. I have never claimed to be a lawyer or judge or professor, but I have asked questions of those in the professions noted. I can just read.

The citizens have a legitimate right to decide whether they want to vote on this issue or any other topic they want in the charter. Without Bill or anyone else's approval. And that is turning out to be the case by the huge response of people willing to sign the petition. Just go tell McCalpin to get over it. This going to happen.

mccalpin said...

Cheri, it is unbelievable that you deny the obvious truth!

1. You DID insist that "a friend" told you that GASB 34 required a balanced budget for the City, and then when it was pointed out by both me and Mark that the link you provided didn't say that, you never backed down. You obviously believed it, but you were wrong. See http://www.marksteger.com/2011/08/speaking-english-balanced-budget.html and http://www.rumorcheck.org/GASB34.html

As for me misconstruing what Nathan said, that is laughable. I quoted him EXACTLY - please see http://www.cornews.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=580:kick-the-can&catid=68:taxing-a-spending&Itemid=58
for what Nathan said, then please see http://www.rumorcheck.org/Refinancingbondsisillegal.html
for proof on why Nathan was wrong.

As for David and the budget "shortfalls", David or you or somebody (but David printed it on his website) took numbers from the CAFR, then deliberately changed the text description of the totals. This is undeniable, as I show at http://www.rumorcheck.org/ChangeInNetAssets.html
screenshots that prove this to be true.
I am sure that to this day that John DiMattia is furious with you RCA guys for fooling him into repeating this obviously doctored data at two candidate forums. Had John not been endorsed by the RCA, I am positive he would have done better in his race.

How can you deny the screen shots that I have on the website???

As for Richard Tanner, I not only quote him exactly, but everyone can watch his speech for themselves at the City website (see http://www.rumorcheck.org/SellingBondsWithoutVoterApproval.html
for the link). Claiming that I twisted what he said when everyone here can watch him and hear for themselves shows how desperate you are to convince people that what you say is true - even when it flatly contradicts the evidence.

As for Jim Shepherd, I guarantee you that this is what the minutes of that public meeting said he said. Since you've obviously never looked at those minutes, you actually have no idea what he said, but you continue to irrationally insist that he must have said something else.

You are wrong in every case, and everyone here can see it. How sad for you, to destroy your credibility like this!

Bill

mccalpin said...

As for you not liking me, well, that's too bad. I actually thought that there might be hope for you, especially when you emailed me to tell me that you never told anyone to put your name on the list of directors of the Richardson Citizens Alliance (note to readers: in the form that designates a campaign treasurer, someone put Cheri's name as one of the directors of the group - but Cheri later denied that she ever gave anyone permission to use her name - see http://www.rumorcheck.org/RCA%20Filings.html
).

Unfortunately, you have decided to continue to insist that every false thing that has been said is true, even when everyone else here (except David, of course) can see from the direct evidence that it's not.

Sad sad sad...

Bill

Sassy Texan said...

Problem is Bill, you have no idea what is flawed or what isn't. And that hired gun from Austin....I have no idea whether Chris packs or not. But, I can call and ask him for you if you are interested in knowing the truth.

Suitcases of money, huh. What a creative descriptor to try and create doubt about something you have no verified information on. In due time I am sure we will all have information you can try to distort better than the job you are doing right now. lol By the way, are you paid handsomely to create this BS?

And there you go again, speaking another lie. I keep telling you I am part of no gang, gotcha or otherwise. And I am pretty darn clear that you have no idea who I am or whether your globalized meta model noted above of who you think I am is true or not.

Remind me once again, that Richardson Citizens for Charter Change......how many citizens signed a petition, contributed suitcases of money to carry out the contrived mission of that action committee run out of the Chamber of Commerce? I just cant remember at the moment....hmmmm. You know I bet you know just how to find that out and we can compare notes. Then again, with you, why bother.

Sassy Texan said...

And really it is too bad you lost hope in me. I really would love to thank you for that. My life is much better without you! lol

Sassy Texan said...

Hey Bill, I just thought of something. Wasn't Richardson Citizens for Charter Change created as a special PAC just for that issue before those 4 or 5 people went out and created the Richardson Coalition? I was never privvy to that saga but heard about it.

dc-tm said...

;0)

dc-tm said...

I think this is what you are refering to: http://graphics.dc-tm.com/CORREDINKAnalysis.pdf

It is something I posted on my blog. It came from http://dc-tm.blogspot.com/2011/04/more-budget-simplification.html

It sure does look like Richardson spent about $20 million more than they took in, Revenues - Expenses = Operating Shortfall/DeficitPosition.

Now Bill, I know this is asking way too much, but can you at least try to keep it "simple" and stay on topic?

are the numbers listed, total revenues and total expenses, accurate for those years listed? (Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, and don't complicate it with $3 words, or try to change the subject, or try to explain why we shouldn't look at the real numbers, ortry to explain it away with some convoluted, twist false logic or reaoning?)

The number are the numbers.

As to your curiousity and musings about how the personal relationship between me, Cheri, John and whoever else you might want to let your imagination run wild about, how about basing your statements on facts instead. You want to know how John gets along wiht me or how much he hates me, make a phone call or go by his shop and ask him. You imagination is way over active and leads you down the wrong road to wrong conclusion about interpersonal relationships we have.

Ask, don't imagine.

And ditto to all that Cheri has said!

:0)

dc-tm said...

"... Suitcases of money from who knows where, a secretive group that refuses to identify its members..."

Suit cases of money? Really? How many suit cases? How much money? And a secretive group to boot?

If you know about the suitcases of money you must be one of those in the secretive group!

You have such a vivid imagination! Or is it deliberate misleading on your part. I am assuming you have proof about the suitcases of money. :0)

Nathan Morgan said...

I can always count on Willy to twist and bend with the wind in his opposition to doing what's right for the community while attempting to justify errant behavior by public servants.

Sadly, my hopes he had found some place else to harangue well-intentioned people have fallen short of my dreams.

Well, Willy, you are back and still haven't internalized the values and principles of the founding fathers.

When good people stand up for what's just and right, they often encounter those who bully their way with boisterous rhetoric and baseless claims to propriety of the truth.

What is true is that you are attempting to hold hostage the democratic process. And that, my friend, is the attitued and behavior of a despot.

mccalpin said...

Yes, David, the numbers are the numbers...the problem is that someone modified the words from the CAFR. The total of (10,102) for 2007-2008 in the CAFR is described at "Increase (decrease) in net assets". However, in your copy of this same information, this total is described as "OPERATING BUDGET SURPLUS/DEFICIT POSITION".

These are not the same thing. You are clearly confused by the terminology used higher up in the table of "Revenues" and "Expenses". You mistakenly believe that these are cash revenues and expenses, but they are not. They are a combination of cash and non cash items. I made this extremely clear in the Postscript.

The problem is that the GASB standards require the City to do these tables this way, even though the terminology is quite confusing to the average citizen. As I pointed out elsewhere, the CAFR is intended to be read by Certified Government Finance Officers, bond dealers and investors, and similarly trained individuals. You may not like that, but I can't help that - the CAFR is not intended to be read by people like yourself who don't have a background in government accounting standards.

So, to put it simply, yes, the numbers are the numbers, but the text isn't the text. It doesn't mean what you think it means, although since you understand nothing about government accounting, you don't understand that. Hey, how about doing what I suggested you do before - get someone with a CPA or a CGFO or similar credentials to state publicly that you're right. Then we would all pay attention to what you're saying...but the fact is that you never named the person who wrote that document, and you never provided the name of a professional who agreed with you.

If you had had such a person, you would have said so...but you don't.

Just admit it, David, somebody falsified the text from the CAFR, and you got caught...

Bill

mccalpin said...

David, how would I know how much money and how many suitcases? The entire backoffice operation is being kept a secret. But based on the hiring of an out-of-town political consultant and the statements of the petitioner takers, it seems clear that the PAC has already spent several thousand dollars.

Or is Mr. Cutrone lying about being the executive director or are the petition takers lying about being paid between $0.50 to $2 per signature, with several thousand signatures already collected?

Bill

mccalpin said...

Nathan, you continue to "bloviate" (your favorite word). You constantly make statements like "I can count on Willy to twist and bend" blah blah blah, and never provide any specifics or proof...yet when I point out that you made a specific false accusation about the actions of the Council, you never make any defense at all, except to resort to personal attacks.

Do you realize how happy the City as a whole is that you left Richardson two years ago? Please do everyone a favor and keep your bloviated thoughts to yourself in San Antonio...or maybe actually PROVE that some accusation you've made is actually true.

I'm not holding my breath...

Bill

mccalpin said...

No, Cheri, no one pays me to do this...my sole motivation is that I deeply resent people who deliberately make false statements, falsely accuse good people of unethical or criminal activities, and resort to cheap insults and personal attacks with no shame.

No matter, the more David and Mac and gang slander people, the less likely they will succeed at anything they try...

Bill

mccalpin said...

As for the RCfCC, I don't know enough about that to form an opinion. I will tell you, though, that when I looked at your lawsuit, there was only one element that seemed to have any merit, but it wasn't that. Maybe someday when we're on better terms, I'll tell you about it...

Bill

dc-tm said...

The numbers are the numbers. At least you don't dispute that. They spent more than they took in, $20+ million over 4 years. Simple stuff.

dc-tm said...

Well, Bill, you must not be able to keep track of what you say.
June 13, 2012 8:55pm you said “... Suitcases of money from who knows where, a secretive group that refuses to identify its members…”
And now you are admitting that you don’t know if they have “suitcases full of money” after first making the claim they did have suitcase fill with money.
Now why don’t you ask yourself why you made the false claim there are suitcases full of money flowing into the petition effort?
You’re over active, wild and juvenile imagination seems to have gotten the better of you, once again.
:0)

dc-tm said...

:0)

Sassy Texan said...

Now that surprises me. You know nothing about Richardson Citizens for Charter Change. And it is so easy to go look up. You like the truth so just go look at all those contributing citizens.

And a mirror might be in order for you in the area of false accusations and cheap insults of good people.

mccalpin said...

No, David, again you grossly misinterpret what I said. The numbers are the numbers BUT they DON'T mean that they spent $20 million+ over 4 years. Face it, David, you don't know anything about government finances, and every time you write something here, more and more people see how ridiculous you are.

To repeat for the umpteenth time: there are non-cash items in the Revenues and Expenses numbers on that table, which means that the "loss" in any year could be the result of adjustments to future expected revenues or expenses, which, as I pointed out in my RumorCheck articles, is exactly what happened in one or more years.

The CAFR is NOT a cash-based report like the budget is. How is it that everyone understands this but you and Cheri and Nathan?

Bill

mccalpin said...

(clap clap), please, can I have everyone's attention? I want to show you a typical trick of the gotcha gang!

(David Chenoweth): "And now you are admitting that you don’t know IF THEY HAVE [emphasis mine] “suitcases full of money” after first making the claim they did have suitcase fill with money."

(what I actually wrote): "David, how would I know how much money and HOW MANY SUITCASES [emphasis mine]?"

This is what the gotcha gang does - they misquote you, then they criticize you on the misquote. Fortunately, their cheap debate tricks are visible to everyone...rather than providing evidence to prove their points, they resort to cheap theatrics...but the people in Richardson are too decent and intelligent for that...just look at how the candidates that David vocally supported in the last election did (answer: not well, thanks to David and his verbal abuse of the decent people of Richardson)...

Bill

mccalpin said...

Just like David above, Cheri misquotes me, than criticizes me. How typical of the gotcha gang.

(Cheri) "You KNOW NOTHING [emphasis mine] about Richardson Citizens for Charter Change"

(What I actually said) "I don't KNOW ENOUGH [emphasis mine] about that to form an opinion."

If you can't even quote me correctly, I don't see any point in responding...and your cheap shot about the mirror will be understood by everyone reading this blog for what it is...a cheap shot...

Bill

Sassy Texan said...

Well, you seem to be full of opinions on other things you "don't know enough about". May that be the minor correction more to your liking. Your lack of comment was most odd for you. And entirely more fascinating you took that comment as something other than what is was. Surprise you had not looked at it.

Now what the number of citizens in the Charter Change spec PAC as you pole vault to something else is amusing. I think I know what is in my case more than you. And yet you have an opinion on something you know little about.

If you were void of cheap shots there would have been no need for the comment.

Sassy Texan said...

I forgot to add false accusations to that last comment.

And I keep telling you I am in NO gang, quit lying!

Sassy Texan said...

Is that "City as a whole" mean the Municipal Corporation, ie City Hall staff, council and boards? Or do you mean the City, as in a community of almost 100,000 people? There is a difference, you know.

Sassy Texan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sassy Texan said...

Bill, I re-read your post at 8:55pm on the "suitcases of money" thing. I have to agree with David on this one. That is exactly what you wrote. Why lie about that or call it a twist of the truth? Can't you admit that is EXACTLY what you wrote???? This is very odd of you.

Sassy Texan said...

Well, here you go again. This is really old. Yes, Bill, I do understand the difference between cash and accrual accounting. What a stupid assumption you have made once again.

There is something you are missing and refusing to address with regard to the CAFR. Reduction in Net Assets year over year. But it is interesting Net assets go up ever so slightly in GO issuance years, but falls in subsequent years. I know that because I requested to view CAFR and budgets back to 1992. That was a fun full day at city hall in spite of a little staff snarkiness about it. Issuing CO's greater than the budgeted amount. Issuing CO's to reimburse the general fund for money already spent. Non budgeted items like the operating shortfalls in the Eisemann and Golf Course. The financing of operations with debt. The TIF is upside down. All are very large issues.

What I said on GASB 34 I noted with pages from the CAFR. I am so tired of trying to talk to you about this. I called the GAO and had a long conversation about this and believe Mr Walker told me the truth. End of story.

And just for reference, I have called the TMRS, Secy of State, AG, TML, COG and other orgs and have learned alot from the people I have spoken to on many topics surrounding Richardson. Had to. It got old being lied to so often. Or being told multiple times it was not their job to educate me. So if I have an expectation staff and/or council will lie (either directly or by omission) to me, tell me documents do not exist when they do, make it difficult to understand the intent of anything. Hell YES, I do. And that has nothing to do with David or Nathan or Mac or anyone else. That is based on my own experience.

Hence I read the documents. And the CAFR. The money doesn't lie just because McCalpin thinks I am too stupid to understand it.

Sassy Texan said...

When they spend more than they take in, there is a shortfall. Do you agree with that? (Probably not, lol) Where does the money come from to cover that, Bill? Cause you do understand a financial statement of ANY kind has to have an equal number of debits and credits so it is balanced, right!! LOL Well, there is a page showing that in the early pages of the CAFR and the source of those funds is noted in one of the schedules toward the end of the CAFR. SIGH!! In 2010, it came from CO's greater than the budgeted amount. Budget $10.7m Actual $18.3m. But to hear you tell it, I can't tell a negative number from a positive one. And it is just too complicated for the average citizen like me to understand. BS!! End of discussion. It is there in black and white in the document.

And I still have issue with the lack of a 5 year projection of the budget. The state does it and the federal government does it. Local government code says it needs to be. And per the secy of state, Richardson should do so too. But I guess if I listened to you, the person at the SOS lied to me. lol Maybe it is a secret document no one gets to see. lol So there, I added one more fight there for you. Chomp on it!

And Dee (I think that is her name) from KPMG said in a work session the format of the CAFR is written so a citizen can understand. Well, that is not what McCalpin said above. What's up with that??? Telling someone they cannot read public finance documents and be able to understand is insulting and unreasonable. The whole purpose is to provide the citizens a performance report. It is required by law. But what do I know to hear you talk. lol Why would they generate a report no one understands, Bill??? Defeats the purpose of the core intent. Unless it really is purposeful.

Let's go to those non-cash items you so love to say do not matter. So let's take one item called the underwriting expense for the refunding of debt, even though the cash was expended at one time, it is booked as a pre-paid expense (ASSET) and allocated as an expense over a period of time in the CAFR. That is a pretty important cash expenditure. Where do you see that in the budget?

And how about all those sweeps to the general fund based upon a computer simulated report of what it could be rather than actual time allocated. Bottom line the sweep dollar amounts are multiple times the actual costs of accounting and management. That is an issue.

But why fight with you over this. I learn more and more you seem to like to fight over nothing. And I believe that is purposeful for some inexplicable reason.

dc-tm said...

My quote of you was exact about the June 15, 2012 @ 8:29 AM comment. Did you not make the claim that suitcase full of money were pouring into the petition effort with this comment on June 13, 2012 @ 8:55 PM "... Suitcases of money from who knows where, a secretive group that refuses to identify its members..."
Wild Bill! You seem to be losing your mind and seem to be failing in the ability to keep track of your many incorrect assumptions. The fun just never ends.
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Andrew said...

David, I do not know who Andy is. I was alerted to these comments this morning when someone asked about my "stated public opinions" about all of this. Because I had no stated public opinions I was surprised to hear this and I did not even know these comments were here until this morning.

For the record, I am not "Andy" above, I think independently and my opinions do not follow any other group. They are mine and mine alone. I am available any time David if you are interested if you are interested in those opinions.

Andrew

Nathan Morgan said...

Willy, have you no better sense than to repeat your pathetic rants from years gone bye-bye? They are no more valid today than they were when you first made them. They are terribly stale now. If you can't do any better than that, perhaps you should look for another line of work.