Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Richardson's Uncomfortable Truth

Last week we saw how Richardson City Council member Kyle Kepner endorsed two other candidates for no other reason than they are Republicans, in possible violation of the City of Richardson's Code of Ethics, which calls for a policy of maintaining a nonpartisan city council. Kepner also endorsed four candidates for Plano ISD school board because they were endorsed by the Collin County Republican Party. That leads us to an uncomfortable truth about our city that voters must confront. The truth was spelled out by none other than Kyle Kepner himself, in an answer to a candidate questionaire from The Dallas Morning News when he first ran for Richardson City Council in 2019.

What is an uncomfortable truth about your city that voters must confront?

Kepner: These races are becoming more and more partisan. All citizens should be voting for people that run as non partisan. Bringing political parties into local elections can only divide us. The main duties of the council in no way relates to national party politics.

"All citizens should be voting for people that run as non partisan." So tell me who the Kyle Kepner of 2019 is telling the voters of 2021 who not to vote for.*

That's not the only answer the 2019 Kyle Kepner gave that ought to prove to be an uncomfortable truth for the 2021 Kyle Kepner.

What role, if any, should the City Council have in policing the social media comments of its members?

Kepner: Everyone on city council is an adult and should monitor themselves on social media. We are civil servants. Broken down: Civil means we should be civil to everyone especially to those we disagree with the most and servant means that we serve on behalf of our constituents. When using social media, city council members should all be mindful of the impact it has on those we represent.

"Everyone on city council is an adult." Well, technically he was not yet on the City Council when he gave that answer, so maybe he's off the hook on that one??? But monitoring themselves? Kepner himself has shown us how that goes.

Elsewhere, when talking about the Code of Ethics, Kepner used much stronger language about the need to strengthen the Code of Ethics, saying we need to rewrite it to make it "ironclad", "with teeth and consequences." Yet in 2020, after he was on the City Council, he and the other council members spent all of five minutes reviewing the Code of Ethics. Finally in a position to do something about his pledge, Kepner had lost his determination to strengthen it.

There's one more answer that screams for a chance at a follow-up question or two. To the boilerplate, softball question about arrests and bankruptcies, Kepner admits to a DWI conviction (which city council member doesn't have a youthful DWI on his record?), two bankruptcies (what did he fail to learn from the first?), and then he said this: "I was the only American working at a restaurant and signed some documents that I should not have." Whaaaaat???

That's Kyle Kepner, City Council member and Richardson's own uncomfortable truth.

* If the State of Texas allows us to vote, that is.

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