The Richardson City Council caters their meals at their work sessions, so they already have the first two of those recommendations covered. As for getting somebody to love them, politicians might as well get a dog. The electorate may vote you into office, but they'll never love you.The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.Source: Brenda Ueland
So, instead of following Brenda Ueland's advice quoted above, the Richardson City Council came up with their own list of the most important things to do in the world. They burdened themselves with forty.
After the jump, the top forty.
Overall, the council did an acceptable job of prioritization of the grab bag of action items they started with. The 65 items on the original list were prioritized into a top forty. The good news? That action item to "advocate for access points in the US 75 HOV lanes" that I held out as an example of how the city council's process was broken ranked 62nd, far out of the top forty.
The top four action items are all focused on Richardson's biggest challenge - redevelopment. Retail reinvestment, Main Street redevelopment, funding for redevelopment, and repurposing underutilized retail areas came out on top of the collective ranking exercise the seven council members conducted. Not a bad top four.
Programs to address neighborhood decline ranked 6th. Continue the West Spring Valley reinvestment plan was 10th. Consider public/private partnerships for redevelopment was 10th (part of the Spring Valley action item specifically) and 17th (generally).
If the city council focused all of their efforts on just these few items (delegating all of the others to city staff and deferring some altogether), Richardson would still be well served.
Even though the list is generally a good one, I'm not without quibbles. Holding work sessions to discuss community interest in having a charter review just barely made it into the top forty. Given the intensity of issues regarding the charter during the May election (direct election of the mayor, balanced budgets, audits of city accounts, sweeping money between funds, etc.), the city council can't avoid some kind of action on a charter review this term. I also question whether holding work sessions on the public's interest in the city-owned golf course is really the fifth most important action item for the city council. I also question why development of a dog park ranks so much higher than a recreational facility for the Breckinridge Park area. Any why does the city council seem so concerned with hookah lounges? Until the city gets going on redeveloping Main Street, it shouldn't be hassling the one market segment that is actually showing interest in doing something there. Leaving action items like this in place risks diverting attention from the really important issues facing Richardson. But, in the end, I am more confident that the council understands what the priorities should be. Whether they can focus on them remains to be proven.