Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mayor's Conflict of Interest

Maczka conflict filing

Two documents have been filed with the City of Richardson that demand further explanation.
  1. Local Government Officer Conflicts Disclosure Statement by Mayor Laura Maczka
  2. Conflict of Interest Questionnaire by Mark Jordan of JP Realty Partners

In the first, filed March 19, 2015, Mayor Maczka discloses a business relationship with JP Realty Partners involving "leasing, marketing & communications." In the second, also filed March 19, 2015, Mark Jordan discloses that Mayor Maczka is "receiving or likely to receive taxable income" from JP Realty Partners.

OK, what makes this especially interesting is that JP Realty Parners is the developer behind Palisades, the planned multi-use development between US 75 and Collins Blvd, near the Canyon Creek neighborhood. That's the controversial addition of about a thousand apartments near one of the most politically influential neighborhoods in Richardson. Laura Maczka ran for mayor on a campaign platform that stated "we do not need more apartments near our neighborhoods," only to flip-flop and become one of the biggest champions of Palisades on the city council, which approved the rezoning request making it possible. (Full disclosure: I supported the rezoning.)

Now, a little over a year later, Mayor Maczka files a conflict disclosure statement revealing a business relationship with the developer. Like I said, this relationship demands further explanation from Mayor Maczka. Given that she is running for re-election on May 9, that explanation needs to come sooner rather than later.

(h/t Jack Hardeman)

P.S. I'm ba-ack.


Mark Steger said...

In a Facebook post, Laura Maczka has said, "I have made the decision that I will not serve as mayor for the 2015-2017 term and intend to submit a declination of such office at the city council meeting at which the election canvass will be conducted."

Mark Steger said...

More on this story from The Dallas Morning News, including when Maczka started working for JP Realty Partners (Wednesday) and that she has gotten a divorce ("I have to support my family.").

Mark Steger said...

Story's moving fast. From the Richardson City Charter:

Section 3.01. City Council to be composed of six (6) members and a Mayor

Section 3.07. Vacancies in the city council, where the same do not exceed two (2) at any one time, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council.

Mark Steger said...

The City has outlined the process for replacing the mayor. The new council will select a new mayor pro tem, who will become mayor because the mayor's position will be vacant (Section 3.03). Then, the council will appoint a new council member to fill the place vacated by the mayor pro tem, now mayor (Section 3.07). There will be no special election.

Section 3.03. Upon a vacancy in the Mayor's position, the Mayor Pro Tem shall fill the unexpired term. The Mayor Pro Tem's council position then becomes vacant.