Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas Card and a More Comprehensive Mailer From Amir Omar

It is Christmas time again. Once again I have neglected to send out Christmas cards. But there is someone in town that did manage to find the time to send them out, Amir Omar.


Click on image to enlarge

In addition to the Christmas card he has sent a mailer this week out to make his case for why he should be elected mayor.

He points out that for direct election of the mayor in Richardson to become a reality, it took citizen action to make it so. The city council has had plenty of time to effect this change and has shirked its duty. For even more years and after promising during campaigns that they (the city council) would have a charter review, that still has not happened. Amir Omar proudly points out that he was the only one who boldly voted in favor of both of those items when it came up at a council meeting back in January.

It has been over 50 years since the citizens of Richardson have directly elected the mayor. There are many reason people have for and against direct election of the mayor, some reasonable and some not so reasonable. If you have observed the council meetings over the years, you will have probably notice there is very little contention over issues that pop up. Some like it that way, where everything seems to run smooth and where the council members appear to all be on the same page.

I happen to like something of the opposite, a good debate over the issues. In the past, you could count on former councilman Jim Shepherd to clearly express his thoughts and opinions and they were not in lock-step with everyone else. His debating of the issues was a plus. Over the past several years the same could be notice of Amir Omar. When he didn’t agree, he would express why he thought differently than others. He does set himself apart from the other members on the council by doing this. The more public debate, the better the choices will be made.

Also enclosed in his mailer is a partial list of those who are supporting Omar. What strikes me when going over the list of those supporting Omar is that his endorsement list contains a bigger list of just “normal citizens” of Richardson rather than a list of who the connected insiders are in Richardson politics. Reviewing the list Laura Maczka has put on her website contains only former officeholders, in other words, only political insiders.

In his closing he points out that his is principled and independent. That can be seen from his votes over the past few years.

While he would probably like to have the endorsement of the Richardson Coalition he will not be getting it. That is a big plus in his favor. The Richardson Coalition has already signaled who they will be supporting and endorsing for mayor when they sent out two emails on Laura Maczka’s behalf using their email list. I am still curious if the membership of the Richardson Coalition feels some betrayal by the actions of the coalition leaders in doing that after claiming they were not going to endorse anyone until after the filing deadline.

After what the Richardson Coalition has done to some candidate over the past few years, I am surprised that anyone would value or desire their endorsement. The further a candidate is from the coalition the better it would seem to be for the candidate.

Amir Omar is appears to be running a campaign unlike any other is Richardson’s history. It appears it will be a very good and effective campaign. After the last election, where he knocked on lot of doors making contact with many people, he knocked on doors even after the election. He seems to be very prepared which seems contrast fairly dramatically with what I have seen from Laura Maczka. Weeks into her campaign she still has not completed sections on her website including the "Issues" page . While Laura she may have lots of good ideas and things to do to make Richardson better for the citizens, at least on her website, she has yet to articulate those ideas. It is still a little over 5 months until the election so there is still time.

By Richardson standards, this will be a long campaign. I am looking forward to hearing not only from the two so far who are running for mayor, but also the rest of the council candidates. Maybe after this election, the council candidates will remember that if they do not hold true to their words during the campaign, the citizens will again take it upon themselves to initiate actions the council shirks.


  1. >What strike me when going over the list of those supporting Omar is that his endorsement list contains a bigger list of just “normal citizens” of Richardson rather than a list of who the connected insiders are in Richardson politics.


  2. Ms. Maczka's supporters seem to be the same individuals who were opposed to electing the mayor by citizen vote.

    Ms. Maczka was the person to be annointed by the Coalition and others in the "back room" as Mayor in 2013. No effort, little money, and no suggestions of any different compass heading other than the present one espoused by management would have landed her in the office. Except there was a petition that garnered enough signatures to force an election on whether the mayor should be elected by the people - which passed 3 to 1.

    It now appears Coalition members and those individuals who didn't want the mayor elected by the people now support Ms. Maczka for the office. Whose email list is Ms. Maczka using besides her own? The Coalition's. Who supports her campaign? Those who didn't want a freely elected mayor.

    The appearance that Ms. Maczka is the candidate of the old guard and its old ways of controlling city affairs is pretty evident.

    What initiatives has Ms. Maczka put forth? On what staff decisions has Ms. Maczka differed and asked for specific reasons?

    Ms. Maczka does need the Coalition email list, but doesn't want people to know she's using it. She doesn't want the regular citizens to know she needs and wants the support of past elected officials who want to keep control. She doesn't want regular citizens to know that support perpetuates allowing staff to choose the one way they wish the Council to act, rather than offering several choices for the Council's decision.

    Think about this: Plano is twice our size. Their executive management staff consists of a City Manager and two Deputy City Managers. That's THREE people.

    Richardson with barely a one hundred thousand population has a City Manager, a Deputy City Manager, and three Assistant City Managers. That's FIVE people.
    Does Richardson really need TWO more highly paid executives to run Richardson's city government than Plano needs to run theirs? It doesn't take a genius to answer that question. But was staff publicly questioned on the necessity of hiring additional executives and what their salary and benefit costs to the City would be?

    I didn't hear any of those questions. That's because there weren't any. And that's just one of the reasons why having the City run in the same old way by people with the same old ideas needs to change.

  3. Everyone likes an underdog story. And it certainly appears that the "normal citizens" are being set up as an underdog when compared to the "Connected Insiders". My take on this is order to be a connected insider it usually (not always) requires the person to give a lot of their personal resources (time, energy, and money). These Connected Insiders are then much more engaged and informed than the "normal citizens" who are usually much more apathetic and uniformed. This is not always the case, but I think it is usually the case. Therefore, I conclude that having a large number of Connected Insiders endorsing a particular candidate should be viewed favorably. In the case of Amir and Laura, I think you will see a large number of Connected Insiders and "Normal Citizens" lining up to support their particular candidate...which is why I think our City will be well served with either of these 2 candidates as the mayor. Unfortuneatly, Richardson ends up losing out because one of them will lose and no longer be on the Council...which I think is short-term setback created by the Direct-Elect initiative.

  4. Your post is reminiscent of Steve Mitchell's attempts to straddle both sides of an issue.

    You seem to have ignored that there are a number of Richardson citizens whom have given a lot of their personal resources to effect change in Richardson that are most definitely not "connected insiders."

  5. I like Laura and amir. But... Some of these connected insiders have views that are outdated. I doubt many have actually watched council meetings where these council members just rubber stamp what the staff brings. It is obvious most do not do their homework. I see the connected insiders endorsing because they are endorsing someone they feel is in their camp much like people blindly endorse a political party.

    Laura is being endorsed by a group that still thinks it is the 1990s. The decisions they are making all look like the 1990s. Does everyone realize how many apartments have been approved for just north of canyon Creek? This group is asleep. Amir is selfish and Laura is too wimpy.

    Richardson will look back at this time in 20 years as the time that made it or broke it. Looks like we are heading the broke direction. Things are getting shiny now but it won't last.