Now that Richardson's mayoral election is over, there are a few loose ends to tie up.
The most important loose end is a need to document the promises Laura Maczka made in her campaign for mayor. Here are the promises made at just one candidate forum, the one held on April 2, 2013, at RISD's MST Magnet School, sponsored by the Highland Terrace NA.
Selection of Mayor pro tem: Maczka promised to support the selection of the next mayor pro tem in open session, versus the prior practice of doing this in closed, executive session. (This promise has already been fulfilled ... kind of. The council did not use executive session to privately deliberate their choice for Mayor Pro Tem. But they didn't deliberate in public, either. There was one nomination, no discussion and a quick unanimous vote.)
City Charter Review: Laura Maczka promised to support a full city charter review in the next term.
Changes to council agendas: Maczka promised to add a regular agenda item at the end of each council meeting for the council to discuss and propose future agenda items.
Zero-based budgeting: Maczka expressed support for the idea of zero-based budgeting and a top-to-bottom departmental financial review. Maczka fudged her answer enough to give herself wriggle room later as to exactly what that means.
Less trash collection: Maczka gave trash collection as an example of an expense in the city budget that she would look at to save money. She says Richardson residents enjoy four separate collections on a weekly basis: two for trash, one for recyclables, one for bulky items. She promised to look at this, perhaps reducing the number of collections or adding a fee for some collections.
Less tree planting: Maczka gave the cost of watering the trees planted as part of the "Tree the Town" program as an example of an expense in the city budget that might not be the best use of Richardson tax money.
Change pensions to 401k: Maczka expressed a willingness to look at the possibility of converting the defined benefit pension system for city employees to a defined contribution 401k-type system. She did not promise to make the change, only to look at it. Maczka promised that any changes would apply only to future employees, not current employees.
Crackdown on speeding: Maczka promised to crack down on speeding on Grove Rd. "Absolutely," Maczka said. Lucky you if you live on Grove Rd., or not so lucky, depending on your driving habits.
What Maczka will *not* do:
Narcotics squad: Maczka opposed fund and staffing a narcotics squad within the Richardson Police Department.
RISD Natatorium: Maczka opposed partnering with the RISD in sharing facilities like natatoria. In a different forum, she expressed interest in a public/private partnership to provide such facilities.