Voelker's selection wasn't a complete surprise. We had Bob Townsend as the slight favorite (or maybe Mark Solomon, depending on how much fight Townsend had in him), but Paul Voelker was our favorite to come out of a deadlocked executive session. And deadlocked it appeared to be, as the council took almost exactly an hour to decide on a pick. After the clock ticked away, it was no surprise when the council eventually named Paul Voelker as Mayor and Mark Solomon as Mayor Pro Tem.
Here at The Wheel, we are high on Paul Voelker. Here's what we wrote in December, 2013, after the initial approval of rezoning for Palisades.
Paul Voelker spoke the hard truth to those who wanted to cut down on the density: "Maybe the density is not quite enough. Density drives success in projects like this."
Source: The Wheel.
And here is what we wrote in June, 2014, after the second approval of Palisades' rezoning after 20 acres were added to the project's original 59 acres:
High praise. In a sign that his fellow council members were noticing, too, Voelker ended up being their choice for Mayor.Once again, it was Voelker who made the best case for high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented design. I respect his analytical mind, the knowledge he has gained from experience, his vision for Richardson, and his ability to communicate it all. Voelker is a quiet force on the Richardson City Council who deserves more recognition and credit.
Source: The Wheel.
I doubt I'm making Voelker's job of healing the rifts in Richardson any easier by digging up these assessments from the time of the controversial debate over Palisades. He has a tough enough job facing him. But given what I've seen in his first term on Richardson's City Council, Voelker appears to be tough enough to do the job.
Oh, and Paul is an avid fly-fisherman who once said this about his passion:
No wait. That quote is from Paul A. Volcker, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. Still, it's a great quote. I bet Richardson's own taciturn Paul Voelker could give us some great quotes himself if he would just open up a little. Hint.The greatest strategic error of my adult life was to take my wife to Maine on our honeymoon on a fly-fishing trip.