Friday, February 20, 2015

How Unpopular Is Palisades, Really?

At first glance, it looks like Mayor Laura Maczka might be ripe for a challenge in the upcoming Richardson elections. After all, when she ran for mayor in 2013, she left no doubt on where she stood: "When it comes to apartments, you know that Laura has always said we do not need more apartments near our neighborhoods. Period."

When the Palisades development came before the city council, a reported 651 people turned out in opposition; only 1 member of the public registered support. (I can't vouch for the numbers, but it sounds about right.) It was a tailor-made opportunity for Maczka to deliver on a campaign promise by voting "no", right? Well... Maczka led a 5-2 majority of the council voting "yes," handing the Palisades developer the right to build a thousand or so apartments next door to Maczka's own Canyon Creek neighborhood.

Surely, a huge majority of her neighbors would see this flip flop as a betrayal of her own neighborhood and be ready in 2015 to throw Maczka out, right?

Well, maybe not. We are close to the end of the filing period for city council races and so far, no one has stepped up to challenge Maczka. Maybe Maczka knew more about what the residents of Richardson want than might have been predicted by the 651 to 1 ratio of people opposed to Palisades who came out that night. Maybe those among the 10,172 people who voted for Maczka in 2013 who weren't upset by Palisades didn't bother to come out at all. Maybe they didn't base their vote on her promise of no more apartments. Maybe the lack of a challenger (so far) is a sign that most of those 10,172 are likely to vote for her again, despite her flip-flop on apartments. Maybe it's the 651 who opposed Palisades who are out of step with the voters as a whole. Maybe.

Or maybe not. There's still time for someone to step forward, challenge Maczka, and prove how unpopular the planned Palisades development is by booting Maczka from office for supporting it. I'm not holding my breath.

Full disclosure: I supported Palisades, in general if not in all particulars. I also endorsed Laura Maczka in 2013, despite her stated opposition to apartments.


David said...

Maybe the reason Laura is likely to run unopposed is that prospective opponents saw what the Coalition did to her opponent in the last election and don't want to subject themselves to character assassination, etc.

Mark Steger said...

"David," please identify yourself. Anonymous comments are subject to removal or not being published in the first place.

Sassy Texan said...

Well, David, that is a good point. Look at the tens of thousands of dollars others have spent to bring balance and fairness to Richardson. Has anyone ever really asked the question of who started the Coalition and why it's membership is so tightly tied to city hall? Everyone knows, but no one says it out loud. :-)


Mark Steger said...

"CDH," please identify yourself with your full name, not just initials.