Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Council Recap: Tactics

Source: DALL-E

At the November 6, 2023, Richardson City Council meeting, the Council adopted its tactics for the 2023-2025 term. According to City Manager Don Magner, these were developed with direction from the City Council and inputs from Boards and Commissions, residents and businesses. But let's face it, they were essentially drawn up by Magner. They read like a (long) scorecard by which his performance will be able to be graded.

Let me say, up front, that I very much like the comprehensiveness of this list. It shows just how much is going on at City Hall. There's no comparison to the (relatively) meager list of tactics brainstormed by the City Council at its Saturday morning unrecorded meeting on September 16. But given that the City Council's list might indicate just what they think is important, let's compare it with what the City Manager presented Monday night.

Below is the City Council's list from that September 16 meeting. Checkmarks indicate whether the Council's item made it explicitly into the City Manager's list.

  1. ✅ Dorian wants to see continued investment in Spring Valley Corridor. Yay!
  2. Dorian wants to continue attracting business, especially to Richardson Square. Yay!
  3. ✅ Dorian wants to equally distribute capital improvements across Richardson.
  4. ✅ Justice wants to establish a Community Engagement Board. Yay!
  5. ✅ Justice wants to establish a virtual attendance policy for Council.
  6. ✅ Barrios wants to discuss environmental initiatives Yay!
  7. ✅ Barrios wants to make diversity an economic driver. Yay!
  8. ✅ Barrios wants clear processes for Council training and committee placement. Yay!
  9. ✅ Corcoran wants to engage in regional homelessness initiatives. Yay!
  10. ✅ Corcoran wants to consider housing grant opportunities. Yay!
  11. ✅ Corcoran wants to see zoning changes that promote diversified housing. Yay!
  12. ✅ Corcoran wants to pursue Silver Level Bike-Friendly designation.
  13. Hutchenrider wants discussion of the placement of a new fire station.
  14. ✅ Hutchenrider wants to review roles of boards and commissions.
  15. ✅ Arefin wants a Diversity Board. Yay!
  16. ✅ Arefin wants a publicly accessible GIS product. Yay! Rest of Council isn't interested.
  17. ✅ Arefin wants a concrete repair strategy. Rest of Council isn't interested.
  18. ✅ Arefin wants more multicultural events. Rest of Council decides it's already covered.
  19. ✅ Mayor Dubey wants to advocate to state legislature for local control. Yay!
  20. ✅ Mayor Dubey wants more celebrations for City employees.

By my count, 18 of the 20 careabouts on the Council's list made it into the City Manager's list. Of the two, one (attracting business to Richardson Square) might be considered covered by a general tactic to "target businesses for relocation to Richardson". And one (a new fire station) might be a detail in the City's planned work on a Fire Services Master Plan.

Councilmember Ken Hutchenrider requested another tactic be added to the list, and Magner agreed: "Coordinate discussion with TXDOT to examine options to realign geometry of the eastbound PGBT direct connect ramp to southbound US 75."

Altogether, I still find myself encouraged by this list. I hope for three things: 1) that City Council use it as a scoresheet, 2) that the City Manager's planned reports to the City Council use this scoresheet to grade the City's performance, and 3) that everything on this list actually gets done.

"Comprehensive list,
City Hall's bustling rhythm,
Tactics on display."

—h/t ChatGPT

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