Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thinking Like a Mayor

Perhaps I’ve learned to think like a mayor. This morning I opened up the Dallas Morning News and saw that Mayor Tom Leppert had announced a new proposal to improve the way Dallas handles requests for zoning changes—the issue at the heart of the problems I wrote about in my blog yesterday.

Leppert’s approach is substantially more sophisticated than what I suggested (maybe I’ve only learned to think like a small town mayor), and has three main provisions:
•Requiring paid lobbyists to register with the city.

•Prohibiting people with zoning cases before the city from giving campaign contributions to council members for 60 days before and 60 days after their case is considered.

•Requiring a zoning case to have the signatures of three council members before the full council can consider it.

See, the rest of article in The Dallas Morning News for August 25, 2009 here:

Apparently it’s not only the Mayor and I who have been thinking about this issue, because on Monday, August 24, 2009, Councilperson Angela Hunt sent a letter to the Tom Perkins, the City Attorney, that was also signed by Council members Jerry Allen, Pauline Medrano, Ann Margolin and Linda Koop, asking him to look into what the City of Dallas could do to improve the transparency of its system:

“Recent court cases have pointed out some flaws," she said Monday. "We want to reduce the appearance of any impropriety."
I am particularly pleased to see among this list not only Jerry Allen, my current council member, but Angela Hunt, who will represent me when I move downtown to CityWalk@Akard next year.

Any person interested in Dallas politics will tell you that it’s a rare occasion when the Mayor and Councilwoman Hunt agree on an issue—and when they do that you don’t want to be on the other side of that issue. If your representative hasn’t already gotten on board, then I hope you will urge them to do so. If they have, then I hope you will let them know that you appreciate their work.

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