Thursday, February 2, 2012

Campaign Promise? That Was Then

Perhaps you remember the 2011 Richardson City Council election campaign as being particularly contentious, with the candidates unable to agree on anything, even the benefits of planting trees. Well, memory can be a tricky thing.

Despite the overall tone of contention in the election campaign, one thing that all candidates agreed on, every last man and woman, was that they were open to the idea of a charter review. It's been a quarter of a century since the last time a commission was appointed to review the city charter to bring it up to date.

The man ultimately chosen by the council to be mayor, Bob Townsend, said he would strongly support a charter review. Even the one candidate who expressed opposition to making structural changes to Richardson's form of government, Scott Dunn, even he said that if specific sections of the charter were found to be outdated, he'd be open to review and revision.

Monday night, the city council finally got down to work on the issue. Or not. After the jump, what went down.

The council took up two action items they had agreed on at the beginning of the current term. First was to consider placing before the voters in May, 2012, a charter amendment to allow for the direct election of the mayor. Second was to consider appointing a commission for a more general charter review.

The council rejected the first proposal (6-1, with Amir Omar the lone vote in minority) because they felt that the method of electing the mayor shouldn't be changed without reviewing the effect on the rest of the charter and there wasn't enough time to do that before May. As for the second proposal, the council rejected reviewing the charter as a whole (5-2, with Omar and Steve Mitchell in the minority) because it would take too much time and resources and would distract from more pressing matters.

Frankly, I was shocked with how cavalierly the council dismissed what I had considered to be a campaign promise. Not a promise as firm as, say, "Read my lips, no new taxes" but still, a consensus expressed during the campaign forums that it was time, after 25 years, to look into cleaning up our city charter and bringing it up to date. In one meeting, with no call for public input, with little or no homework evident on their own part, with no wrestling with conscience, the council quickly and decisively disposed of any further discussion of a charter review for this council term.

Let's examine some of the thinking behind the council members' decision. Let's start with the last word by Mayor Bob Townsend. He voted against a charter review because, as he said, he keeps going back to the October forum on the topic sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Richardson. Townsend claimed that forum panelist Robert Lowry, professor of political science at the University of Texas at Dallas, held up Richardson's city charter as "pretty much the model charter." Like I said, memory is a tricky thing. What Lowry in fact said is that Richardson's charter is closely modeled on the classic council-manager form of government, as opposed to a classic mayor-council form of government. Lowry suggested that Richardson voters first need to decide what form of government they want, then many of the details regarding the structure of government tend to fall into place. Lowry did not say that the choice Richardson made fifty years ago should never be reviewed. Lowry did not say that model city charters do not need periodic review to bring them up to date with changing state and federal law. Finally, Lowry did not say he himself had done such a review.

Amir Omar supported appointing a charter review commission (good for him). He also was ready to rush forward with a ballot amendment for direct election of the mayor (not so good, as you'll see). Omar offered no arguments in favor of direct election of the mayor other than it's popular. He predicted that it would be approved by 80-90% of the voters. It probably would. But how many of those voters could explain the difference between a council-manager ("weak mayor") form of government and a mayor-council ("strong mayor") form of government? Not many. That's why we have representative government. We elect representatives who'll take the time to research the pros and cons of various forms of government and make an informed decision about what's best for Richardson, and then, educate the voters on why it's the best decision, even if it goes against the preconceived notions of 80-90% of the voters. If voters want a council of weather vanes, we could dispose of the council altogether and replace it with a public polling firm. Maybe Omar can make a reasoned case for direct election of the mayor, but he didn't make it Monday night. But at least he was consistent with the position he took during the election campaign.

[Update: The above paragraph was inartfully worded. I do not assume that 80-90% of the voters are incompetent to make an informed decision. I have faith that the electorate, if informed, will make reasonable voting decisions. I'm simply saying that "everybody else thinks that way" is not a convincing argument for me to think that way, too. I'm going to try to reason it out on my own.]

Speaking of taking the time to research pros and cons, I was shocked that none of the council members seemed to be aware of the research already done by Bill McCalpin. McCalpin made a quick pass through the city charter and identified over two dozen areas possibly in need of change, either because of conflict with changing state law or because of confusing or ambiguous wording, the kind of situation that leads to embittered citizens, at least, and lawsuits, at worst. I was shocked that the council would dispose of this action item without, at a minimum, directing the city staff to draw up their own such list for council review. Depending on the result, the council could then make an informed decision whether further action is necessary.

In hindsight, maybe I should not have been surprised by the council's decision. Last September, when the council drew up its list of action items for the term, the top four action items were all focused on Richardson's biggest challenge - redevelopment. (Full disclosure: I thought they had their priorities right.) Holding work sessions to discuss community interest in having a charter review just barely made it into the council's top forty. So, I should not have been surprised with Monday night's actions.

Council members agreed with Laura Maczka's concern that a charter review would consume a lot of time. Amir Omar conceded that the city had more pressing matters. Mark Solomon went so far as to say that rather than spend money on a charter review and election, he'd rather spend it "on a [water] slide" at the new Heights Park swimming pool. How much money has Richardson spent defending itself in court because, in following the Texas Open Meetings Act, it inadvertently found itself in violation of its own older charter? My guess is that if the city had reviewed its charter more than once every quarter of a century, such a lawsuit would have been avoided, saving enough money to pay for the charter review and a water slide.

The votes of Amir Omar and Steve Mitchell demonstrate that their election campaign support for a charter review was not just talk. As for the others? Well, I guess that was then.


Nathan Morgan said...

You misrepresent the facts here. Direct election of the Mayor does not constitute a change from council-manager to mayor-council form of government. That's a straight-face lie used to distract from the people's right to elect their own leaders...and not by proxy!

An election is an official polling of the public will. That's the nature of democracy. The people do not abdicate their God given right to register their choices on matters of public business for the entire term of an elected official. A recall is always an option!

Don't be silly. The "city staff draw up their own list" for council review??? Give me a break. The staff benefits immensely from the status quo. Their boss is the City Manager, for crying out loud! He writes the rule book and gives out the bonus checks and free tickets. He plans the parties and distributes the rewards and punishments to his followers and detractors. This would not change, even if the people did directly elect the Mayor, because that doesn't change the form of government.

I'm sure Bill McCalpin took the trouble to spin his take on charter changes needed. Given his propensity to err on the side of autocracy, one would have to take his opinion with a large grain of salt. Of course, that sort of postulate would pander to the status quo and may well get him the seat on the charter change commission for which he's been vying.

The thing that really gets me is all this talk about the time it would take to do the right thing. Isn't that what the Council was elected to do? Would that not be the best thing for Richardson society going forward? Why do Council members think they can hold the citizens' charter hostage to their personal schedules?

Yes, Mark. You should not have been surprised by the lack of action on the part of Richardson leadership with regard to the dire need to revamp the charter.

My guess is that they don't want to do it because, #1, it will serve to expose some of the misdeeds they've been perpetrating. And, #2, the process will awaken the sleeping citizens to what city leaders really think and do on their behalf and just how good they are at lying in response to citizen questions during the candidate forums.

Mark Steger said...

I did not say nor mean to imply that direct election of the mayor alone would constitute a change from council-manager to mayor-council form of government. I sincerely regret if anyone inferred that.

Sassy Texan said...

"We elect representatives who'll take the time to research the pros and cons of various forms of government and make an informed decision about what's best for Richardson, and then, educate the voters on why it's the best decision, even if it goes against the preconceived notions of 80-90% of the voters."

You take a big stretch to think any of these councilmembers do more than accept the decisions of staff most of the time. How many times have you heard that from them through the years. It is most amusing when someone in the community brings an topic to light the council has been unaware of, even beinig a council member.

Most importantly though,it seems rather condesending for YOU to ASSUME 80-90% of the voters are incompentent to make an informed decision. Yet there is truth in the inabiiity to make an informed decision with the information that has provided. Something has always been omitted from the discussion to the public.

As I recall Dr Lowery did say a council-manager form of government is subject to some abuses. We are acutely aware of that fact.

Maybe, just maybe, the council understands McCalpin's research is just his own ramdomness, not theirs.

Point taken on the lawsuit aspect. Anything can be worked out except when one side refuses to admit it.

Mark Steger said...

I did not assume that 80-90% of the voters are incompetent to make an informed decision. I have faith that the electorate, if informed, will make reasonable voting decisions. I sincerely regret if anyone inferred something else.

Mark Steger said...

Dr Lowry may have said a council-manager form of government is subject to some abuses. I know he said that the council-manager form of government arose in the late 19th century as a reform against the abuses of the mayor-council form of government. There's no one answer right for every situation, for all time.

mccalpin said...

Mark, to clarify what Mayor Townsend was probably referring to...

The meeting opened with Judge Noah and Dr. Lowry making opening statements. Dr. Lowry discussed the history of city governments and how the rampant corruption in cities with strong mayors led to a reform movement. There were many results of this push for reforms, one of which was the Model City Charter by the National Civic League and its predecessor, the National Municipal League.

Thus, when Mayor Townsend said (in your words)"...that forum panelist Robert Lowry...held up Richardson's city charter as "pretty much the model charter." ", he was likely referring to the Model City Charter by the NCL for the council-manager form of government - the form that Richardson actually has. After all, it was Dr. Lowry who said "Richardson is close to [the] perfect 'reform style' government." (quote from my notes)

It seems to me that when you wrote your words quoting the Mayor, that you assumed that the Mayor meant "pretty much the best [of all possible] charter[s]"...however, the Mayor, in the context of the discussion that evening, was probably thinking of the statements that Dr. Lowry about model charters and council-manager form of government. In that context, the Mayor was quite correct in his statement.

Does that make sense?


Mark Steger said...

Bill, thanks for adding your notes. I think you and I are saying essentially the same thing and if that's what Mayor Townsend was saying, too, then that's three of us. My point remains: Dr. Lowry did not say that that means Richardson's charter isn't in need of periodic review. Yet Mayor Townsend used Lowry's words to justify his own vote to cease discussion about the topic.

mccalpin said...

Other Lowry statements noted by you in this post:

"Lowry suggested that Richardson voters first need to decide what form of government they want, then many of the details regarding the structure of government tend to fall into place."
Yes, this is exactly what he said, referring to the 4 issues he was told to prep: single member districts, direct election of mayor, term limits, and staggered terms.
Choose your form of City government, he said, and these issues sort themselves out...interestingly, he said that if you chose the council-manager form of government, there wasn't much call for single member districts and direct election of mayor, and he felt that term limits only gave more power to the city manager, perhaps not a wise choice when the city manager already effectively runs the city.

"Lowry did not say that the choice Richardson made fifty years ago should never be reviewed."
True, he did not say that, but I imagine that it will surprise some to hear that he said that the review period should be every 12 to 16 years (he said with a shrug, indicating that this was approximate), just not every 2 to 4 years. In his mind, surprisingly, the City is not horribly overdue for a review.

"Lowry did not say that model city charters do not need periodic review to bring them up to date with changing state and federal law."
No, he didn't...but that's not what any Council members said either... be fair, Scott Dunn specifically brought up 4.01 and its obsolete boundaries for the Council Districts, and clearly was concerned about the presence of obsolete language in the Charter. And Laura Maczka also didn't say that the Charter didn't need any work - she clearly indicated that whatever work it might need, though, was not as critical as a number of other near term action items.

"Finally, Lowry did not say he himself had done such a review."
I am not sure why this is relevant.


mccalpin said...

Mark, our last two posts were cross-posted, so my last post was not a response to your last post...

It's true that the Mayor made his statement about the model charter as a positive reflection on the Chart as it stands. One could reasonably infer that whatever was "wrong" with it, in his eyes it is an extremely good Charter.

But to go the extra step and infer that the Mayor implied that there was nothing wrong with the Charter and it never needed to be reviewed is again reading more into the Mayor's words than he actually said. Remember that at some point in the evening, someone (sorry, I don't remember who) pointed out that the City Attorney had been asked if anything needed to be changed in the Charter, and his answer was "no" (second-hand, of course).

Of course, the City Attorney answered as an attorney, not as a politician. While there might not be anything that legally needs to be changed, as I have noted elsewhere, there are a number of things that could stand being cleaned up.

I am sure that the Mayor had this in mind when he made his statement..."the Charter may not be perfect, but it's close to perfect, and I want to move on" if I may paraphrase him...


mccalpin said...

"Mark, our last two posts were cross-posted, so my last post was not a response to your last post..."

heh heh, since you have now withdrawn your last post, my statement above doesn't make sense...well, I am going to stand back and let you answer so that we don't cross-post any more ;-)


Mark Steger said...

Bill, yes, cross-posting sucks.

Everyone agrees that the charter contains things that are out-of-date, confusing or ambiguous and could benefit from being cleaned up. You documented over two dozen instances. Yet, by a 5-2 vote against, the council decided not to update the charter. All of the arguments made against a review could have been made last spring before the election. But they weren't. Then, everyone (even Scott Dunn), when running for election, said that they were open to such a cleanup. I don't know how else to characterize this but as a reneging on a position taken during the election campaign.

Sassy Texan said...

I see it as more of a "following staff direction on the topic" kind of reneging. Another one of those issues to "lay to rest" like the golf course. Could it be construed as council-manager abuse of position? I do. One option could have been to put on the ballot a citizen vote for a charter review, but that might be too uncontrollable of an outcome for them. Better to remove all doubt the abuse. The other reasons the council gave for not addressing a collective citizen request were lame at the very least. "We don't have time to do a charter review". "It costs too much". Oh, please!

mccalpin said...

Well, you know, Mark, that I think that a Charter Review is a good thing...however, I did not campaign, suffer all the slings and arrows and abuse from certain intemperate citizens, and get elected to the Council anyway by a healthy margin.

The fact is that the point of representative government is that we the people elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. Sometimes people don't like those decisions; well, either decide that a given decision isn't that big of a deal or get out and show the representative that the majority of residents feels differently (in this case, it's highly unlikely that the large majority of residents either know or care about Charter review, so the onus is on the resident trying to change the representative's mind).

It is true, though, that once anyone is elected to a position, they invariably find that one or more things that they promised they either can't or choose not to deliver to the voters, often for good reason. I scarcely need to point out such examples in every Presidential administration.

The reason proposed by Council members is that the need for review is not as great as the dozens of other things that the Council needs to be doing. Whether this explanation is acceptable will depend on how many other good things the Council accomplishes in the coming year, good enough to make the voters overlook this "lapse".


Sassy Texan said...

Depends how you measure good things and who benefits from them.

Economic Development has been a bit of a flop with the citizens holding the bag. Eisemann Center is sucking the life out of the purposes of the Hotel Occ Tax. Golf Course benefits a party of just one family living in the high rent district. TIF is upside down with a developer resting peacefully. Heights project is already underwater. Debt is up and values are down.

How many more wonderful things could we stand in Richsrdson?

Sassy Texan said...

CAFR will be here soon with more good news!

dc-tm said...

Sassy Texan, you’re just being negative because your focus is a bit off. There is a rumor going around that the Richardson Coalition is offering a solution to help correct the focus of weak minded individuals seem to see only the positive in consideration of Richardson’s financial information and who, unfortunately, are cursed with be able to focus on both the positive and negative results.

To solve that problem, the Coalition offers an amazing new vision correcting device: the “Everything is OK” McCalpin Tunnel Vision Lenses! The new eyewear is carefully ground and manufactured to make sure a clear focus is achieved only on positive information while simultaneously completely blurring out any “misbehaving” negative financial summary.

Be warned, however, there may be side effects on the use of these miracle lenses: Extremely excess verbiage is almost always accompanied by the “lots of hot air syndrome”. But don’t worry too much about those side effects; you have to be weak minded for those lenses to properly work.

William S. said...

What cracker is this same that deafes our ears
With this abundance of superfluous breath?

King John

Sassy Texan said...

Speaking highly of yourself, I see!

Mark Steger said...

William S., please identify yourself. Anonymous comments are subject to deletion.

Nathan Morgan said...

The notion that elected representatives are charged to "make decisions on our behalf" is false, except in Richardson speak.

Representatives of the people are charged to cast votes on behalf of the citizens they were elected to represent.

In these United States, Texas, and in the City of Richardson, we do not elect autocrats.

Every one of the candidates in the last two Council elections knew the importance of gathering the people together in a comprehensive review of the Charter. Yet, they continue to deny the will of the people.

mccalpin said...

"The notion that elected representatives are charged to "make decisions on our behalf" is false..."

Of course, Mr. Morgan is wrong here. If our representatives aren't charged with making decisions on our behalf, why do we even bother to elect them?

I do not say that the representatives shouldn't be mindful of the constituents' wishes; indeed, if they want to be re-elected, they had better be. But on the other hand, the elected representatives also have to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff, that is, the wishes of a large portion of the population from the outsized cries of indignation from a precious self-important few.

I would contend that Mr. Morgan has no idea what the "will of the people" is...for if he did, then perhaps the candidates that he supported in the last Council election wouldn't have lost overwhelmingly at the the will of those same people...


dc-tm said...


The election of a representative should not be a process where by the electorate puts a person into office that then ignores the wishes of the people who put him into office only to become an autocrat. Would it be fair to hazard a guess that you are well enough educated to know what an autocrat happens to be: “A person who has undisputed influence or power” over the electorate who put that official into a position of power.

I would certainly desire that representatives who elected to office be independent, and, at the same time, listen to feed back from the electorate that places them into office, not an autocrat who would think that once the election is over he can stop listening to the people, which seems to be what you argue for.

Perhaps the most amusing of your statements is your persistence that the “precious self-important few” seem to have little right to an opinion, which would typically be the view of a individual who deems himself to be, self-important, and value his opinion as more important than those who he would disagree with. There is another word for a person like that. Would you care to hazard a guess as to what that word would be?

Change is coming with the recent departure of Murphy and Slagel and the impending departure of Keffler. One day, sooner that you might imagine, you just might find that you and your opinions will be, how did you put it, a part of the “precious self-important few” and bit you in the ass.

Nathan Morgan said...

Willy, Willy,

You speak with forked tongue when you assume to know who I backed in any election. Unlike your cohorts loyal to the Coalition, I have gone to great lengths to refrain from imposing individual choices on the electorate.

On the contrary, my choices are based on principles and values, not individuals. Those individuals who exhibit good character and solid moral values get my support, no matter which side of the Richardson political divide they choose.

You simply are out of touch with these precepts which form the foundation of my beliefs for good government. And, so, it happens, are many in the simple-minded Richardson electorate who are easily swayed by the illusion of affluence skilfully projected by you and your ilk. With a pile of money to spend on hypnotising and brain washing of the voters, anybody can buy an election. A person would be ignorant to claim otherwise.

Unfortunately, although we enjoy the right to vote, too many should not exercise it because they too easily are influenced by propaganda and know/care too little about what their choices will mean for the next generation.

Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we may die,
But alas, we never do.

mccalpin said...

David, as usual, you ignore what I actually said, and make up something that you can criticize. As everyone here can see, I didn't say that someone, once elected to office, should ignore the wishes of the people. I did point out - as you did in your second paragraph using thoughts identical to mine - that elected officials have to make choices once elected, and sometimes these choices won't please all voters.

And, as usual, you distorted the rest of what I said, as everyone here can see. I didn't say that the precious self-important few didn't have a right to an opinion; indeed, it is the privilege of living in a free country that everyone, including yourself, is entitled to his or her mistaken opinion.

As for your claim that change is coming, you tried that in the bond election in 2010 and failed...then you tried even harder in the Council election in 2011 and failed even worse. Are you the only person in the Richardson who doesn't understand that the garbage and slander that you posted on your blog actually helped defeat the RCA candidates? The more people heard you, David, the more they voted the other way. Believe me, the Coalition - of whom I am not a part despite your many false statements - considers you their best friend...congratulations...


mccalpin said...

So, Nathan, let's see if I understand say "With a pile of money to spend on hypnotising and brain washing of the voters, anybody can buy an election. A person would be ignorant to claim otherwise."

So you're saying that the Richardson Citizens Alliance won the last election? They outspent their main rival, the Coalition, by more than 3 to 1. And given the number of falsehoods in the RCA videos, "brain washing" sounds like a very accurate description of what the RCA attempted to do.

And you also said "Unfortunately, although we enjoy the right to vote, too many should not exercise it because they too easily are influenced by propaganda and know/care too little about what their choices will mean for the next generation."

What are you saying? That the people are too stupid to be entrusted with the power of the ballot? Really? The Council is a bunch of law-breakers, the city staff is corrupt, and the people are too stupid to trust...are you the only person in Richardson - oh, wait, you moved to San Antonio over a year ago - who doesn't realize that calling people stupid is not a good way to persuade them of anything other than that you are obnoxious?

What I think is stupid is an otherwise intelligent man who insists on making false statement after false statement and unjust accusation after unjust accusation - and never admits, even after proven wrong, to his error or ever apologizes.

Shall we start going through all your errors again, Nathan?


Sassy Texan said...

Guess William has gone mute.

Sassy Texan said...

You know what is funny about all of this? We have here one citizen arguing with another citizen. Bill doesn't want to hear Nathan and Nathan doesn't want to hear Bill. Frankly, I don't want to hear Bill because he does not want to hear me.

So let's put this intp perspective. Tax Code is over 71,000 pages today. Rest assured with that many pages, you and me the citizen, are the losers. Texas Legislature has written volumes and volumes and volumes of law. Much more than tax code. It is more than an idle possibility some portion of law usurps and another. I am sure that it does. Go into Pam Schmidt's office and you see volumes and volumes that requires 3 people to manage.

It is impossible for any CPA to know every word of tax code, yet we rely on them to be the expert on our taxes. There was a study done 6-7yrs ago by there Nationsl Assoc of Retired Persons, where they fabricated a moderately complex, middle class tax profile and gave it to several different accounting firms to creste a return. No 2 returns were alike. Question becomes which one was wrong? To believe one man or woman to be the expert on all governance is absurd. For some reason Mr McCalpin seems to believe he is that man. We are all reading the law. I am really unsure why this right-wrong-blame game continues, because at the end of the day his wallet gets lighter and lighter just like ours. And the government still doesn't have to perform with any measure of success or accountability.

Some days I wish I had never requested any documents. Blissful ignorance has it's advantages. But once you look, you cannot go back.

mccalpin said...

Cheri, I can't figure out what you are referring to. What does the Tax Code have to do with anything that was said above?

And how does that lead to "For some reason Mr McCalpin seems to believe he is that man"?

As you can see from all these threads and all the RumorChecks that I have published, that I have extensively documented the evidence that supports my conclusions. Instead of resorting to Nathan and David-like cheap shots, why don't you build your own set of evidence to counter my conclusions? Why do you find it necessary to resort to denigration and cheap shots of a personal nature?

As for me allegedly not wanting to hear you, on what do you base that? I haven't even replied to anything you've said in this thread, not even the pointless "Maybe, just maybe, the council understands McCalpin's research is just his own ramdomness, not theirs."

You know, this is all really stupid. I agree with people that the Charter needs a review. I have not yet stated any stand on issues like direct election of mayor or single member districts or staggered terms, yet people feel the need to assume that they know what I am thinking and to constantly insult me.

Why? Has the level of public discourse become so low that this is all that's left?

Cheri, while I have disagreed with you on issues, I have always hoped that you would not descend to the gutter like certain other people...please stop making this personal and just stick to the discussion...did the Council not deliver on a campaign statement? No, they didn't. Will it be a problem in the next election? It may be, depending on what else they accomplish.

All these stupid, pointless, ridiculous accusations and personal insults are simply proof that some people in this city (and one in San Antonio) have learned nothing from the overwhelming defeat suffered by the naysayers this spring.

Negative campaigning fails in Richardson...Cheri, please don't be a part of that crowd....


dc-tm said...

Now you jinxed it Cheri. He will be back with more hot air. :0)

Nathan Morgan said...

Universal axiom: Unstable people often accuse others of the things they do themselves.

"Ignore and make up" and "distorted" have become central themes in many of Willy's rants.

In Willy's world, the squeakiest wheel massaging the ego of the power brokers gets greased. If you rub them the wrong way, they stop being public servants.

Nathan Morgan said...

There you go again being silly. Discount all the private parties and public resources used to promote your buddies affiliated with the Coalition if you want. Don't expect everyone else to be so stupid, although some you apparently think are.

You can stick you head in the sand and ignore the world around you like many of those who emotionally cast their votes in the last election. That's what I think is stupid.

Meanwhile, why are you so fond of San Antonio? Rarely do you post a contradiction of me without some mention of that place. Perhaps you should consider moving there if you can't stop promoting it. According to R.Ferrara, the corruption there rivals Richardson. You'd be right at home.

Nathan Morgan said...

Oh Willy!
If only your buddies in the Coalition would heed your advice. But that's the way Richardson operates.

It's not Cheri, or David, or even me who chose this low level of public discourse. What you are seeing is the reaction from people who are not going to take it sitting down any longer.

You can call those who challenge the misbehavior names like "stupid, pointless and ridiculous". That fits with the rhetoric that brought us to this debate.

As for the comparison between the law and tax law, it's called a simile. That is a component of the English language which makes a comparison using "like" or "as".

You pontificate about excerpts from the body of law, contriving justification for your position, while ignoring the spirit that the law was written to protect morality, not exploit it.

Sassy Texan said...

What cheap shot did I send? None that I can see. And your egotistical and condesending statement that I "descend to the gutter" is more than a cheap shot.

Seems you did not really read what I wrote or even try to comprehend the dialogue.

There is a stack of docs received from real open records request that tell a different tale than yours. Yet you dismiss the the contextualized reading of city documents and then you call me and others as part of your label "the gotcha gang".

It has always appeared to me YOU, from written prose to actual conversations we have had, you are uninterested in comparing information and having an authentic dialogue. I may not be a rocket scientist, but I do believe I have lived long enough to hold the ability to discern whether someone wants to have a conversation on a specific topic or not.

Hence, I wrote what I wrote. It feels really silly to even have to explain it. lol

Sassy Texan said...

Thomas Jefferson said that liberty and ignorance cannot coexist.