A new season of Richardson Idol premiered last night from Mohawk Elementary School, hosted by the JJ Pearce HOA. This season there are thirteen fresh contestants vying for the grand prize, a seat on the Richardson City Council. As the format requires, it is up to the audience (and by audience, I mean me) to eliminate one contestant each week until we have a council.
The "Loose Cannon" award goes to Dennis Stewart. You never know what he's going to say next. First he suggests building a wall on the south side of West Spring Valley Road. Then he suggests translating city council meetings into Spanish and televising them with SAP or closed captioning.
The "Can't See the Nose In Front of Your Face" award goes to the several candidates who said Richardson was already doing a good job of increasing demographic diversity in civic affairs. The irony of saying this to an audience almost exclusively white-skinned and white-haired was lost on all. (To be accurate, there was one pink-haired woman providing diversity.)
The "Good Luck With Making That Case" award goes to Diana Clawson for saying vote for her to increase diversity on the city council. Her opponent, Amir Omar, who would lose his seat on the council if Clawson is elected, is a Persian-Arab-Muslim-Aggie-American.
The "Rote Libertarian" award goes to Karl Voigtsberger. (Q. How many Libertarians does it take to change a light bulb? A. None. If the government would just leave the damn light bulb alone, it would change itself.) Voigtsberger's rote answer for blighted strip shopping centers and run-down rental homes is to depend on the self interest of property owners not to let that happen.
The "Having Your Cake and Eating It Too" award goes to the several candidates who complained, on the one hand, that the city didn't take adequate inputs on the 2010 bond proposal, and on the other hand, urged the city to quit with the public hearings and staff reviews already and just get on with the West Spring Valley Corridor redevelopment.
The "Didn't Do His Homework" award goes to Karl Voigtsberger for his confused answer to the question about the senior living center in the panhandle. He said government should not be involved, apparently unaware that the property owners were the ones asking the city to rezone the property to build what they wanted. He then said he didn't know if the center was approved or not, thereby admitting he really didn't know squat about the issue.
The "Best Avoiding of the Elephant in the Room" award goes to William Gordon for finding time to tell us he used to love eating at Bagelstein's but never finding time to tell us he's been suing the city for the last four years.
The "Best Inadvertent Good PR" award goes to the RISD. Commenting on how warm the room was, someone said the RISD must be good stewards of the taxpayers' money for turning off the A/C after hours.
The "Cheryl 'It's Miller Time' Miller Passing-the-Torch" award goes to Diana "I Eat Nails For Breakfast" Clawson.
The "Understatement of the Night" award goes to Bob Townsend. After listening to several candidates tout how long they've lived in Richardson, Townsend said, "I feel like the old man here."
Finally, the time has come to pick the candidate who will be sent home. Remember, someone has to go. Being first should not necessarily be considered a dishonor. Drum roll, please. ... This is it. You've been patient. The votes have been tallied. Richardson has spoken. Laura Maczka, you are ... safe. I'm sorry Karl Voigtsberger, that means you are going home. Thanks for playing. Tune in next week for another edition of Richardson Idol.