Monday, April 22, 2013

Richardson's China Town

It appeared Laura had Richardson's china town for herself. But, not so fast. Looks like the Chinese community is about as split on the choice of mayor as is the rest of Richardson.


The DMN had an article about the election on the front page of the Metro section.
Staff Writer
Published: 21 April 2013 10:45 PM

For nearly 60 years, Richardson City Council members have chosen one of their colleagues to serve as mayor. But last November, Richardson voters changed the city charter to allow residents to directly elect the city’s leader.
And the choice they face in the May 11 race is between two City Council incumbents.
Laura Maczka said she would work to build consensus on the council, while Amir Omar bills himself as someone who’s known for asking the tough questions.....


  1. Laura always mentions consensus. That is what is important to her. Consensus should should not be the high priority item. Good sound decisions should be the priority. I don't think she gets that from what she continues to say at every opportunity.
    I definitely place a higher priority on tough questions to get answer to be able to make good choices. With some of the less than brilliant individuals like Dunn and Solomon on the council, I would care what they think, consensus or not.

  2. When some councilpersons forward email from constituents asking for personal opinion directly to staff, ask them to draft an answer for them, then forward the answer - WHICH INCLUDES THEIR ASKING FOR THAT ANSWER - WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

    First, it means they don't want to think about an answer. Second, it implies even if they thought about the question, they couldn't give an answer. Or third, they are so caught up in "consensus" they want to make sure the answer is what staff wants them to say.

    Most of these people ask no questions about what staff proposes, just accept it, raise their hand when their name is called and vote for it.

    That is not policymaking. That is not OVERSIGHT.

    A flock of sheep could do the same thing. But sheep don't make policy, they don't lead - they follow.

    Consensus is most definitely NOT always leadership.

  3. Building consensus sounds like secret meetings.

  4. Observation of Work Sessions - where some members ask not a single question - certainly implies they have heard staff proposal(s) previously. And have been convinced they are correct and supportable.

    It is correct that the staff is knowledgeable, it is correct that most of them are long term employees. It is also correct that most of the time their proposals are valid and workable.

    However, what is bothersome is that seldom is there only ONE way to achieve a goal. A Council should insist that staff (who are hired to execute) provide more than just one proposal to create policy. Then the Council's job is to choose WHICH policy they belive will best serve the citizenry and the City.

    The staff should execute the policy chosen by the Council, not provide the only policy sugggestion and insist on its approval as what happens too frequently now.

    The Council also has a duty of oversight of policies already put into place by management.

    Remember when the public's widespead request for televising Work Sessions and Council meetings? Management's answer was "We could do it but it would be expensive. Maybe $150,000 for just doing Council meetings alone." The Council had rather intense public pressure applied to them on this issue and finally bowed to that public input; management's cost objections magically disappeared. What about the golf course contract being unfair to to the course and too good to the contract holder? For almost five years management told Council that "everything was OK" in spite of facts that showed differently. Finally the public pressure on the Council forced management to backtrack and revise the contract. What about the taking of accrued vacation pay in cash every year? Richardson stands pretty much alone in allowing that. Most cities only allow payment of vacation pay when an emmployee retires. Vacation is in place for to give an employee time away from the pressures of his job, not provide a means of increasing his/her income. Where are the Council's questions on this "policy" and more importantly, where is the authorization for it?

    The Council should't just act from public pressure. They should act as they are elected to do - be the servants of the citizens and THEIR best interests, rather than being the non-questioning approval givers to management.

    Put some of that energy expended in going to paid breakfasts, free parties, free Eisemann events, "factfinding" out of town trips to do your job - make policy and ask questions. Yes, management is talented, but your job is not to accept everyting management proposes. Question and Verify, please. Just because you are unopposed doesn't mean no one will notice when you are silent, and raising your right hand to approve every management proposal or explanation.

  5. >the staff is knowledgeable
    >management is talented

    Really? Based on what?

    I watch work sessions and whenever they (especially Mr. Magner) discuss neighborhood vitality, they show NO understanding of real estate.

    What objective measurement is being used to shower the city staff with unadulterated praise?

  6. Anon @ April 23, 12:02 PM

    Wowsers!!! Appreciate your comment, and don't think you believe that Richardson City management is unknowledgeable or devoid of talent. By and large, the staff is knowledgeable and has talents. Surely some individual management personnel have episodes where their conduct leaves a lot to be desired. However, if they were without those skills how could they have created such favorable situations for themselves - more executive management than necessary, higher salaries than cities much larger than Richardson, perpetuating the aforementioned 20 plus year golf course contract boondoggle, or taking for themselves the cash in of accrued vacation pay?

    Unadulterated praise is not what I intended in my remarks. Heard enough of that exagerated praise for management from our Council at most work sessions, and are as offput about it as you are. I just meant the Council must take back the control management has usurped.