Monday, April 29, 2013

The One With My Endorsement for Mayor

After weeks of growing despair at the increasingly negative tone of the mayor's race in Richardson, after going from being very happy with both candidates to beginning to wonder if Richardson would be better served by having a third choice, the time to vote is finally here. Early voting begins today. The general election is less than two weeks away, May 11. My weeks of waffling are over. I have to decide how to vote.

After the jump, I come down off the fence.



In the end, when I couldn't procrastinate any longer, I found my original thinking on this matter to still be compelling. Below is a paragraph from a blog post from February, 2012, that contains the key idea. (Do read the whole blog post for the full argument.)
I've long thought of the Richardson mayor's role like that of a chairman of the board, a speaker of the house, a foreman of a jury, a captain on a football team. That is, a leader chosen by his peers. If he doesn't have the trust and confidence of the rest of the team, teamwork breaks down and the team falters. No outsider should pick the team captain and expect the team to jell. In the case of the mayor, the voters may pick the members of the team, people who have their trust and confidence, but the council should pick its own leader, someone who has their own trust and confidence.
Source: The Wheel.
Despite that thinking at that time, I used that same blog post to announce my support for the charter change introducing direct election of the mayor. The logic for that was summarized in my conclusion.
As the saying goes, "When mama's not happy, nobody's happy." And mama's not happy in Richardson. If she won't be happy until she can directly elect her mayor, then let her directly elect her mayor.
Source: The Wheel.
So, despite my conviction that Richardson's system of selecting its mayor was wisely decided a half century ago, that system is clearly not popular today. The 3-1 margin of victory for changing the charter was proof of that. So, the voters have spoken. We now have direct election of the mayor by the voters. Well, I'm a voter. I get to decide, along with everyone else. And I choose to decide based on my original thinking. That is, the mayor's role is like that of a chairman of the board, a speaker of the house, a foreman of a jury, a captain on a football team. If he doesn't have the trust and confidence of the rest of the team, teamwork breaks down and the team falters. So, I endorse the candidate who has the trust and confidence of the five incumbent council members who will be serving on the council in the next term. For that reason, I endorse Laura Maczka.



P.S. The title of this blog post, "The One With My Endorsement for Mayor," was worded that way deliberately. All of the episode titles of the long-running television series Friends took the form "The One With..." I'm hoping that even though ultimately I had to make a decision one way or the other, we can all remain friends.

5 comments:

Sam Wilson said...

I'm hoping Richardson will soon change out the team as well as the leadership method, starting with the mayor in this election. I see no proof that Richardson Coalition has been any good for the city.

Sam Wilson said...

I would argue that it is the team as a whole that has long since broken-down and faltered, despite having one of their own as mayor. I'd like to see a more or less complete change-out, but I'll start with mayor, if that's what I can get. That's why I'll be voting for Mr. Omar.

Paul Peck said...

Is it "the one" or is it "the six".

Stephen Wright said...

Richardson Coalition hand picked the candidates, including Place 5 which all 6 candidates are unopposed. The consultant for Richardson Coalition is also the consultant for Laura. Laura thinks of Richardson as an "inner city" by youtube quote. I don't consider us an inner city and don't care for her 100,000 which are lots of vacant lots built with home as far as Beckenridge and multi-town homes. Laura may have the 6 other candidates but they are bought and paid for by the Richardson Coalition or the old guard and doesn't like we had to have an election for Mayor (thanks to Alan North and his petition).

glbeach said...

Mark,
I appreciate your willingness to step forward and say who you are endorsing and why. I must admit you surprised me, but I respect your perspective, insight and forthrightness.