Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coming to You Live from the Cancerous Armpit of the Inner City …

The list of descriptions for Southwest Richardson continues to grow. Southwest Richardson is a cancer of the city. Southwest Richardson is this or that. Now, Southwest Richardson is part of “an inner city” according to Laura Maczka.

From Amir's latest mailer

I remember being told about a meeting Gary Slagel attended. One of the city staff referred to Richardson as an “inner ring suburb”. I was told Slagel got read faced, popped his top and demand that staff never again be referred to as such a thing. Apparently it didn’t really matter whether it was true or not, he just didn’t want staff referring to it as such. It seems Laura has come up with another description that would set off Slagel again.

Southwest Richardson is a cancer. In various ways I have heard southwest Richardson referred to in this manner. Probably it was most heard from Barry Hand and Andrew Laska, presidents of Richardson Heights and Cottonwood Heights.

The southwest portion of Richardson has deteriorated much over the past few decades. It seemed that southwest Richardson was on a completely ignore list at City Hall. I don’t know the whole story to it, but Barry and Andrew worked hard to get the city council’s attention and worked to stop the spread of blight. If anyone deserves any credit at all for the change in direction it is Barry, Andrew and those that worked with them to set out a new vision, an improvement for this section of the town. It seemed the city council had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, away from their previous attitude of ignoring this part of town. It is very easy to see who the leaders were and who the reluctant followers were.

Another interesting development, in recent years the city staff and city council have taken kindly to the notion that in Richardson we need to stack ‘em and pack ‘em. We need high density living. There are some people who seem to want to do away with the leisurely life style of single family home communities. They want everyone to ride public transportation, ditch personal vehicles for travel and have everything you could want within walking or public transportation distance. That is an idea I am completely mystified by.
Apparently there are some disturbing things (at least I think they are disturbing) some people would like to see come to Richardson. On a Facebook page John Murphy said something that startled me. He expects to see 10 or 20 story apartment buildings for apartments at the DART station just west of the Spring Valley station.

Maybe Laura Maczka is onto something we don’t know about yet: Richardson is going to try and become Texas’ Manhattan or what Detroit use to be, an inner city. As for wanting to become an inner city, what has happened to an inner city 40 or 50 years later? How is that working out for Detroit? No so good apparently, unless you consider blight a good thing.

 My seeing the future the future of Richardson and what I would want Richardson to be does not include becoming like the big cities up north where there are far too many people living too closely to each other. I enjoy being able to drive across Richardson in a car and go where I want with ease. It is freedom to me. Being stuck with only buses and trains for transportation is not what I envision for Richardson future.

Brick Row was built with city funds and private funds. Probably the reason for the use of city funds was that if it were to be built with only private funds, no one would build it. And as it turns out, Brick Row was nothing close to a success. For it to have been a success project, claims John Murphy, it would have had to have higher density. Some people want high density, some people don’t, myself included. Traffic is already bad enough, water is already on short supply and from what the candidates are saying, this time, water rationing is not going to ever go away. High density seems to add to the problems.

Just in case you have not seen the video of the council meeting where the topic of direct election of the mayor came up, here is a video of the discussion. It might be worth asking yourself who is for positive change and allowing the resident of Richardson a choice in their future, and who wants to hold back the residents and limit their choices.


  1. I wasn't at the Forum but if you believe Richardson doesn't have some inner city dynamics you simply haven't been paying attention for the last 10 years. At least she is willing to finally acknowledge it and possibly get the ball rolling on some further revitalization.

    I find it funny that Amir is using apartments as the scare tactic yet he voted for EVERY apartment proposal he saw in the last two years - while Laura did not. Amir was quite active during the hearing in trying to broker a bonehead deal for the bonehead land misuse on Collins/Greenville Avenue. Thanks to Laura and a few others the developer was forced to return and at least improve the product. Check it out for yourself. Oh, and wait until you see the dog slated to be built at the Shire. Yep Amir led the charge on that one too. And if you live up on Bush around Canyon Creek? Amir loved it. Then there is self storage. Amir loves it.

    SO, if you want a city that is built upon the whims of developers for apartments and self-storage you will LOVE living under an Omar regime. Just pray it doesn't happen out YOUR back door.

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  3. I like to think of us as testicular cancer actually. Ya know, since we're hangin' around down south...

  4. What is Laura doing about "inner city" problems? At every forum, she voiced against Richardson needing a narcotics unit, which every surrounding city has. So her "innovative" solution is to pretend that Richardson doesn't have any crime issues?

    I've been to 5 forums and often watch city council meetings and work sessions. She often mentions the city's aging housing stock or need for revitalization, but has she come up with any specific ideas? If so, please let me know because I'm not aware of any.

  5. OK. Let's get down to some definitions.

    inner city
    an older part of a city, densely populated and usually deteriorating, inhabited mainly by poor, often minority, groups.

    Economic Development in Inner Cities
    Past approaches to revitalizing economically distressed inner city communities have defined the problem largely in social terms, to be addressed with social programs. Efforts to foster economic development in inner cities have been based on heavy subsidies and on distorting or blunting market forces. To build healthy and sustainable inner city communities, however, it is necessary to create healthy economies in and near the communities themselves.

    So MSN did an article a couple of years ago. 9 ways to know if you're middle class.
    1. You make between $40,000 and $100,000 a year
    Yep, we qualify as a city collective.
    2. You shop at Target
    The average household income of a Target (TGT) shopper is $61,069 a year, according to the research firm BIGinsight.
    Sometimes we do, thanks to Dallas
    3. You're saving for college
    Did that. Our guys have no debt
    4. You go on vacation
    Used to more pre 2008-09 financial dump to these days of economic rollercoaster.
    5. You own your home
    Almost, but city will always have a chokehold and their biased opinion on it.
    6. You have a secure job
    Alas, no job is completely secure and there is big unemployment
    7. You have health insurance
    Obamacare has changed that picture
    8. You lean Democratic, but not all the time
    There is no party anymore. you get government rape without labels
    9. You invest for retirement
    That is becoming a much harder game with the the greatest thief of all time-inflation.

    So, no I do not think Richardson meets the criteria of an inner city. Nor do we have the density of poor. Well, wait a minute. Maybe we kinda do on W Spring Valley. It is the same area 4 decades ago the City pitched to have these glorious condos to revitalize the area. Sounds familiar doesn't it.

    What I do think is a city hall with heavy control issues that pushes away the NATURAL economic growth we could have had, has effectively caused much of the problem. Richardson was created and built as a middle class bedroom community. And what I see is a very small group of people (RC-Eisemsnn-City Mgmt)want to turn it into an inner city. And have accomplished some of that by forcing buildings to stay empty in an attempt to control any development.

    You see that with the demolition of the Continental Inn and some future idea of a restaurant row. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won't. In the mean time we are on the hook for a CO of approx $3mm based on the Feb 2012 bond sale.

  6. We are still down $900k+ for the REVITALIZATION of Beltline and 75 that did not work. National chains just do want to play in Richardson.

    How about the whole moratorium of W Spring Valley over a year ago. Maybe 2 years. My how times flies. Anyway, in secret, someone wanted to REVITALIZE a property they purchased and was working with the city to make sure they did things properly. Except the City Hall control of oversight, opted to call a moratorium on any development in that area. CPC was honored by the appearance of the illustrious city attorney to let all know that the declaration was only a notification and advised the CPC not to answer any questions. It was an interesting evening. KHA people said it will cost upwards of $180mm in future debt so stay tuned. I suspect there will stricter guidance and it will get worse before it gets better to justify the expenditure. Mitchell may love that lake planned behind his house, but I wonder if he will like someone 20 stories up looking down on his family?

    Whether they want to admit it or not density brings what they are claiming to cure. But it does bring the instant gratification they so urgently need. I surmise they do not want to admit it.

    The Renner/Plano Road development hearings gave you the answer to that when one of the developer insiders stood up and said the plan as presented was decided 15 years before and there was nothing more to talk about. City had already spent $23mm to prepare the area in the mid 1990's. The Project Manager finally admitted he was hired to coordinate the privatization of the Cottonbelt around all these developments to DFW. Guess that did not work after the legislature canned the idea a couple of years ago.

    Another idea must have surfaced prompting the City to generate a resolution to say coom-by-ya to the COG and go about the whole thing under SB 1048 with other cities. Except FT Worth has now backed out. SB 1048 is that whole Agenda 21 thing the Tea Parties have been fussing about. Going around the voters in their demise is just not cool!

    So April 27, 2013 at 9:37 AM - you really cannot point all of this to any kind of leadership on Laura's part. She is just carrying the same torch of the prior Council and CM. The Chamber vision was Telecom Corridor in the 1990's is the catalyst of what you are hearing today.

    And as a good team player she got the Regional Transportation Council on her first term over Mitchell. Its a non governmental agency, and Slagel's love of transportation for some reason. It is a sub division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Another non-governmental entity acting like one, and Murphy's precious. It is now called a Recommended Governmental Entity. Right.....

    You can agree with the plan or not and I question whether it matters. Only thing is can they SELL it to you without tipping any hats. Whether you like it or not, this will destroy the neighborhoods. Laura can tout all day long she is pro strong neighborhoods and in the same breath claim inner city and revitalization. You can't pregnant and male either.


  7. April 27, 2013 at 5:07 PM...
    Tony the Tiger says you're Grrrrrreat! And CDH, you're no slouch either. In order to save what is left of this city, the Coalition needs to go. And that can only happen if Amir is Mayor. Then thenext drama we will have to endure, is when the remaining Bozo's on the council try and get him removed. Mr. Omar, I hope you are ready!!

  8. CDH, what are the two candidates positions on Agenda 21? For some reason this very important issue has been kept hidden. Thanks.

  9. That would be a great question to ask both of them and report back on what you have gleened from their answers based on your perspective on Agenda 21. Then we can have a dialog on the topic.

    I look forward to your reading your findings.