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With all of the Buffoonery He allows, God must have a great sense of humor.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Convention of States concept more terrifying than Obamacare

Posted by Mike O on January 7, 2014

Ever since Mark Levin published his politically naive book, ‘The Liberty Amendments’ there have been those pushing for a Convention of States.  I have personally sat in on several of the presentations of the advocates of this and their political naivety is absolutely stunning.  Their motto is: “Using the Power of the States to Curtail the Abuse of Power by Washington DC”.  I downloaded their handbook and you can read it here.

They are adamant their idea is not a ‘Con Con’ (a Constitutional Convention) but something different in that state legislators will appoint delegates. But their concepts of how that would work- and what kind of delegates you’d end up with- are detached from the reality of the modern political world.

First let’s address what a key fallacy on what such a convention would be like:  they state this (emphasis is mine):  “Two-thirds of the state legislatures pass applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing
amendments on the same subject.”  But this is based on Article 5 of the constitution which reads as follows:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. “

Note a very important point: there is NOTHING in Article 5 to restrict such a convention to topics deemed appropriate by the States!  By the constitution itself, such a convention is unconstrained once called.  And not only that, there is no designation of the rules under which such a convention would operate. That would be up to the delegates.

And what kind of delegates would states send to such an event? The advocates of this approach talk about the number of state legislatures either partially or entirely controlled by Republicans. Currently, the GOP fully controls 26 state legislators, and share control in 6. However, some of these include states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan New York and Wisconsin; hardly stalwarts of conservative philosophy and limited government.  I have been dealing with the Texas Legislatures for several cycles now and desipite 11 of the 181 have R’s by their name, there aren’t 30 of them I’d trust with Constitutional rewrites (and rest assured, THAT is what a convention of States would do).  And Texas is far better than all but about 5-6 states.

And do these Convention advocates think for one minute the socialists on the other side are simply going to sit idly by and let this stuff go on without a serious attempt to take over the process?  Bluntly, liberals play this political game far better than most conservatives and I assure you, their impact will be far greater than even their numbers.  There is word of a liberal group in California all ready to take over any such attempt to change the Constitution.

No, this idea is beyond naive; it is incredibly dangerous. And I will fight it with my dying breath and should such a convention EVER get called, our family will be emigrating permanently from the disaster that will result.

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My Primary Recommendations

Posted by Mike O on April 15, 2012

During the North Texas Tea Party’s TeaApproval process, I had the privilege of meeting with over a score of candidates, most vying for Texas State Representative slots across the metroplex area. The explanation and the results of our Tea Approval process are here;  Jim Bright did an EXCEPTIONAL job running the show and all kudos for it belong to him. His insight honed as a professional headhunter proved priceless.  I don’t significantly disagree with any of the decisions made.

I have some personal commentary to add to specific races and candidates, however.

Of all the candidates we vetted and interviewed, many seem sound in terms of keeping to the Tea Party once in office.   However, two ‘newbies’ stood out as exceptional for conservative leadership potential.

Matt Rinaldi, running in House District 115 (Jim Jackson’s old district in Carrollton) is one.  I consider Matt a leader from the mind: his concepts and explanations of the way governance SHOULD be are iron-clad and convincing.  He is pitted against a powers-that-be type in Ratliff and a special interest candidate

The race that took the most to discuss was the House District 67; 5 candidates, all but one have some sort of conservative background.  But it was Jeff Leach that impressed all of us as the one most certain to remain conservative after reaching Austin.  What first actually impressed me was in a first one-on-one meeting with him, nearly the first words out of his mouth were something that he knew would likely see as a negative, even possibly a showstopper.

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Globalization of the original Tea Party Concepts

Posted by Mike O on November 2, 2011

I have long separated my political activities from my charitable ones; I try not to ‘preach’ my personal political philosophies to my kids in Uganda.  And I even gritted my teeth and brought the pro-Obama books one of them wanted.If they ask, I’ll tell them what I think but that’s a rare thing.  Uganda is not like the U.S.  Or is it?

One thing about Uganda is it actually has a potential for a brighter future; a moderate amount of oil has been discovered in western Uganda, far more that the country could consume itself (but not enough for a full-scale refinery operation).  Also, the country is landlocked, so shipping the oil is problematical (Kenya will rob them blind for pipeline rights).  So there are problems with making use of it. Negotiations as been going on for almost 6 years to figure out the contracting to even get started.  Government corruption, misuse, and waste are a major impediment (no surprise there).

One of the older girls I’ve worked with is Ritah Namwiza and, out of all the ‘kids’ (now young adults) that I work with over there, Ritah is one of the most impressive. Intelligent, resourceful, caring, and guaranteed to be a success in life.  I was NOT surprised when she got got picked by UNAIDS to work with them.  She is spending time in Geneva and Sweden at the moment and will go back to Uganda soon.  But in all our dealing, politics really hasn’t come up very much at all.

SO imagine my surprise when I read this from her on Facebook:

As a Ugandan tax payer, I am pledging to hold the government accountable for every penny they spend. Ugandans pay the government to deliver good leadership and we expect nothing less of that!

With the Global Economic Crisis closing on to the rich countries who have been aiding Africa, it is time for African leaders to wake up. Can we put our money where it is most needed? Can our parliaments stop thinking i-pads and start thinking health care?  Can we cut government expenditure on say entertainment and invest in agriculture…..

I had to comment to all of this, after I was done laughing.

That makes you a charter member of the Ugandan Tea Party! 😀 No matter what ugliness the media tries to paint the Tea Party, this is EXACTLY the kind of declaration that started us and is our primary focus.

Have to use different symbology though; the Tea Party yellow of the Gadsden flag matches your president’s color. But do NOT discount the need of coming up with an effective imagry to mark your efforts. Our stupid little Teapot in red white and blue with ‘TeaApproved’ across it was detested by the local establishment, for it now represents their first defeat in 25 years.

If you girls want to get started in what we call grassroots activism, I’ll be happy to help all I can.

It looks like my next political campaigns after 2012 will be in Uganda;  their election cycle is 2015 and that gives us time to get Ritah and similar sharp, bright go-getters elected.

And my ‘daughter’ Irene Birungi has also chimed in on the effort-  as a member of the ruling party cadre, no less! (Going for change things from inside).  She insisted I make the following image- which used the text from a bumper sticker on the Ugandan flag- as a sticker that she can distribute.  I told her, I hope the bail isn’t too high if she gets jailed for this.  🙂  She also had me create a T-shirt with it.

So now I’m aiding efforts to fight the professional political class on 2 continents.

Posted in Politics, Uganda, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Message to the GOP ‘Get-a-Longs’

Posted by Mike O on August 10, 2011

The North Texas Tea Party meeting tonight was interesting; we had a handful of party ‘get-a-long’ types trying to sell the Party machine line.

Folks, look at the graph below:

The GOP has got to clean up it’s OWN house as well because the increasing spending in the GOP years in control also added to the problem.  And the leadership settling for the third, watered-down package in DC help lead us to the downgrade.  The ‘get-a-long’ crew refuses to recognize the math.  And that also goes for those in Austin as well.  This last state budget was every bit as much full of fictitious numbers ans the budgets in DC; that HAS to change. Math is NOT subjective and making it so leads to far greater pain down the road. It is THAT reason we have to fight through the good-old-boy network, and replace enough people to get them to listen to cold , hard math and their constituents over the professional political class.

This battle is not personal, folks; it is on principle and on who the representatives actually represent; us or the ‘Austin machine’.  It is not a personal insult to challenge a long-term incumbent in a primary; it is a decision that someones else’s policies would be better and to let the voters make that determination.  I personally like many of the people to be opposed; I just want different policies.  Things have to changes, or our grandchildren will emigrate to get jobs and get away from our bills, as I have warned about for well over 3 years (even before Obama).

I am sure the ‘Tag-a-longs’ reported back we are ‘unreasonable’.  It ain’t us; it’s the numbers.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments »

I Can Call them

Posted by Mike O on August 6, 2011

I wrote this 3 years ago, predicting our kids will start considering emigrating in 5 years- even BEFORE Obama’s election. And I am beginning to hear such talk from some youngsters. The picture is of a grocery shopper in Zimbabwe- is where BOTH parties are taking us.    I also wrote another commentary about the same time on so-called GOP ‘Leadership’; both the assessment and the possible source of better people is applicable.  This was an interesting post I wrote about our economic choices in the 2008 election between Obama’s quick economic death and McCain’s slow one.  Again, pretty good predictions.  And this shows that I was just as ugly about Bush’s socialism as I am about Obama’s

In current news, the only thing that one can say about the administration plan to print more worthless money in a QE3 in response to the first ever downgrade in American bond ratings:  The U.S. administration has given us final, undeniable proof that they are insane at the rubber-room level.

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The Illegal Alien Problem and the True Source

Posted by Mike O on July 24, 2011

It isn’t the poor sod who ‘swims the river’ and brings little education, no English, but a solid work ethic with him.  It isn’t the family he either brings with him or creates here.

It is the system that makes use of him or her.  And that system does not like to be messed with, as we recently saw in the Sanctuary Cities fight down in Austin.

This was a most complex Kabuki theater played out in the State Legislature, a choreographed dance. The bills were crafted in both houses- and scheduled in such a way- to allow the GOP machine to vote for the bill in each house.  This allowed the GOP regulars to supposedly earn immigration bonafides for the next election, but because each bill was different enough, it went into conference committee where it was essentially ‘chubbed’ until it was too late to pass a consensus bill.

But the Governor messed it up for the Austin Machine by giving in to the pressure from the ‘Great Unwashed’ and putting it into the special session at the last minute, leaving no time for the subtle sleight of hand.  As discussed HERE and HERE, it came down to orders being issued by just a handful of big donors NOT to pass the restrictions on Sanctuary Cities. Bob Perry of Perry Homes (who donated over $3 MILLION to state candidates last year),  HEB’s Charles Butt (almost $500K last year) , Dr. Steve Hotze of the supposedly Conservative Republicans of Texas (over $700K last year), and Norman Adams of  Texas GOP Vote.  Four men said that Sanctuary Cities will remain, even though only 17% of Texans support their existence . Money over the clear wishes of the citizens.  These guys don’t lay out that kind of money out of the kindness; it’s to guarantee they get what they want out of Austin.

Understand, these mega-donors are a major reason the Texas legislature is as conservative as it is.  When the have no skin in the game, they lean to the conservative side.  However, principle gives way to what they feel their business needs; and what they feel their business needs is a large pool of semi-slave labor.  Labor that does not have the cost and complexity of disability coverage, medical benefits, and labor law restrictions. Essentially, some parts of the old Southern plantation constructs have returned; but these are in violation of the Rule of Law.

But the biggest problem is this: the customer base has come to tolerate and even expect the use of illegal labor to keep direct prices low (The cost of basic medical care and some other benefits are hidden- paid by government in various illegal immigrant support programs.) .  And the individual American citizens use illegal labor themselves for lawn work, cleaning, and other services. American citizens cannot possibly compete with these costs, even in our current desperate unemployment; at least not legally.  Only by entering the ‘underground economy’- where income is hidden from the government- can an American join in.  One has to wonder how many people currently collecting unemployment ARE working- but keeping the income ‘off the books’. (This opens up another large topic on the degradation of personal morality; another time).

Even in the more technical fields, the H1B industry is still booming while millions of technically-train American citizens have been unemployed for years.  Many would even take the jobs at the cost factor of the H1B and the consulting firm, but it is the employee-related costs involved that make it preferable to continue the charade of ‘we can’t find Americans with these skills’ that is played here.

And the situation was made MUCH worse with the passage of Obamacare; the major increases in costs and employer  regulatory costs will drive MORE of the economy underground- and to using illegal and ‘off the book’ labor.

The solution HAS to come one source- the mirror.

We MUST grow intolerant of illegal-labor usage in our economic decisions and must be willing to pay more for legal labor.  I, for one, eat more often at our local Taco Bells after they put up their E-Verify signage and Our lawn is done by a Chinese LEGAL immigrant. Until we do that, it is hypocritical to demand illegal immigration enforcement legislation.  And we must advocate for legislation the at least allows us to know companies have done some basic due diligence in hiring (E-Verify) and make it simpler and cheaper for companies to actually hire people.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment »

My thoughts on Plano City Politics and the City Elections

Posted by Mike O on May 1, 2011

In the city political landscape- both in the council and the school board- something has long been lost and that is adequate supervision of the respective administration by the elected officials. Both administrations are very good; however, their viewpoint is that from a bureaucracy, not necessarily that of the taxpayer.  Most of time they do very well, but far from perfect.  And the elected officials should be willing to spend the time to look at the details and challenge- respectfully- everything and anything that doesn’t make sense in terms of fulfilling the core services and the most bang for the buck.  This is especially essential now in these hard economic times, where the over reliance on high growth rate and flourishing economies is coming to bite BOTH entities.

A simple example: The city of Plano, after several years of serious shortfalls, still retains a position of ‘urban forester’, who apparently spent a great deal of time this last year determining the GPS location of every tree on public land.  Never have I seen a job better suited to a couple troops of Boy Scouts- at considerable taxpayer savings- than this one.  It has been pointed out several times- and yet the position remains.  Bureaucracy over common sense?  Probably.   And NOT ONE City Council candidate has had the guts to stand up and say the Arts Center is a bad idea at this time and should NOT be funded.

I do not call these recommendations, simply because I am not completely satisfied with ANY of them in term of bringing an effective, objective eye on the City Council or even the School Board to represent the average taxpayer with focus on fiscal restraint.  Not one can claim to be a ‘Tea Party candidate’ (for good or ill).  However, some represent at least some change in the way things have always been done, and will give fresher eyes to look at things than we’ve sometimes had in the past.  Possibly we’ll even get som split votes out of some of these, and something other than mindless rubber-stamping of the administration’s recommendations.

In my OWN decision, it is actions and not words that bear most weight.  The action that carries the LEAST weight is calling a perceived Tea Party leader at the last minute and ask for a meeting to pitch their candidacy; that totally ignores the primary dynamic of the Tea Party movement; we are grassroots organized and without being available to make your case to the group, your case can not be effectively made.   That group might establish a vetting committee (when it has the time and resources to do so), but it is still more than one or two people doing the research, asking the questions and coming to a decision for the group.  Currently, our group is trying to rest its primary resources for the much bigger fight to come next year; fights over billions and trillions, not millions as in the city races.

So here are my personal picks: if you don’t like them, tough: they are my picks and no surrogate sent- from within or without the Tea Party movement- to argue me out of them will be successful.  I have not spent as much time on them as I normally would like; trying to fight Austin from afar, do organizational things, keep my kids going in Uganda through 100% inflation there (and now, bullets and tear gas associated with full-scale riots), and working for a living does limit my time for city stuff these days.

 Plano City Council Picks

 Place 7: Greg Myer is my pick here.  He seems to at least recognize the need for fiscal responsibility, even though he is honest about his continued support for the Arts Center. He has come many meeting of the Tea Party and certainly got an earful.  He spoke to a couple of us on the roundtable leadership extensively and seems to have some good ideas of what needs to be done.  Matt Greer, who I’d seen speak, in an event or two, called me late, wanting that meeting.  Our discussion on the phone was far more him slamming Greg than talking about what he envisions for city government.  Greg is, as I’ve already said about all of them, far from an ideal candidate. But he spent quite a bit of time listening to average taxpayers; and that counts for a lot.

Place 5: Russell Head for a couple reasons.  Russell seems to actually listen, not so focused on selling himself.  In some ways, I doubt he is the most conservative candidate in the race; but, since none of them are solid conservatives, I’d rather take one of them in it for the right reasons.   He is cautious and seems to be looking for a lot of answers, not willing to take things on faith.

Jim Duggan is a nice guy and dedicated to the city; but he- more than any other candidate on the ballot- represents a continuance of the way things have been.  He talks a good game of fiscal responsibility, but he simply would not have had the position he had if he DIDN’T play ball with the powers that be.  Just the expression on his face when I mentioned the possibility of not funding the Arts Center; it was clear I was speaking heresy.  Agree or disagree on this, but because a few powerful people want something despite the financial times, does not make it the thing to do.

Matt Lagos comes across in a big way as primarily interested in one thing; Collin Creek Mall.  It is an important asset, but not the MOST important.  And I would strongly urge him, if he’s going to go to the Candidate Forum held by the Democrats and send a surrogate to the Tea Party Candidate forum instead, send someone who at least knows his name (the fellow said Matt Duggin at least twice before being corrected.)

Jim Duggan also went to the Democrat forum rather than the Tea Party one; apparently he made an earlier commitment to theirs.  Matt apparently likewise.  I heard the Dems had maybe 15 Plano residents while the Plano Tea Party had 50-55 (One of the biggest forums, I gather).  The ‘chose poorly’.

Place 3:  Cathy Fang, reluctantly.  Like many others, I am deeply concerned about the problems she’s had since her last campaign in terms of due diligence in her accounting business.  Certainly nothing criminal; just inadequate due diligence.  Had I known about this SEC stuff and the like earlier, I just might have filled out the paperwork and run myself (and taken a verbal beatdown from the wife for doing so; if I went into this she knows it would take even more of my time than I spend now.)

However, my vote comes down to this (and, again, if you don’t like it….): there is a subculture in the political world of Plano that seems to live and breath based on nasty rumor and gossip; personal slander is their trade currency.  If there is blowback on any given rumor, they quickly deny such a rumor ever existed. It is vicious and vindictive group …and it simply hates Cathy with a passion.  Bluntly I suspect some of central characters (which seem centered in West Plano) are the ultimate elitists- with a hint of racism.  The kind of people who sniff at the clothes others wear, the cars they drive, even the builders who built their home here.  They want everybody to play the city government game by their rules: Leadership training, volunteering in the ‘right’ areas, and the like.  And I feel anyone who draws their ire is worthy of a benefit of a doubt.  We are often known for the enemies we draw- and sometimes to be respected for them.  (Ironically, most cities have the same gossipy sub-culture; my mother faced the same in her successful run for City Council- in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1967).

I like Andre as a person- and she hasn’t done a bad job.  But she is NOT one to ever challenge the administrative voice of authority, simply because she has NO background for doing so.   And, sometimes, you need just ONE on a council who actually reads the numbers and asks the questions to make a difference.  Cathy’s possibility of doing this is probably greater than any other candidate.

 Plano School Board Picks

It was stunning with the attitude of the majority of the Board (more than by the decision itself) on the Academy building, which was CLEARLY rushed through to avoid the upcoming new board having a say in it.   I know there is a real need for leadership change here (and that leadership cannot come with someone who showed the arrogance Missy Bender demonstrated that night.)

Place 5: David Stolle. In this race, David is clearly the one more willing to consider making changes and asking the questions necessary to bring back a focus on the basics of education within the economic realities of the day.   David certainly going to ‘play well with others’ on the board; he will be willing to ask the questions necessary for all board members to consider more angles than currently

Place 4: Steve Day is the EASIEST decision of all of these.  Steve will definitely INSIST on having answers to all aspects before committing scarce resources beyond fundamental education in hard time.  He will also most assuredly delve into the details of budgets to confirm the PISD Administration is getting the most bang for the buck.  Bart Ridley is clearly an extension of more of the same.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Political Stupidity Keeps Pulling me Back In

Posted by Mike O on April 20, 2011

I’m TRYING to go on this political sabbatical, I really am!  But stupidity at the level of what went on at the Plano ISD meeting has to be witnessed- and answered.  Here is my letter to the group of arrogant buffoons (Nancy Humphries and Tammy Richards showing the only sanity here):

====================================================================

I can’t say I personally seen such thinly disguised contempt for the viewpoint of the average voter and citizen by an elected body as I witnessed tonight since a 1983 Duncanville City Council meeting where they literally told the audience that the voters got it wrong on the DART election and rescheduled another one immediately afterward (The outcome for the ‘redo’ was worse, and 4 of the 5 council members were out within 12 months.)

Where to start on this hasty decision to spend $6.5 million to buy a new building on an Academy whose very definition is not yet complete?  Even with underused classroom space more than adequate to use existing facilities?

  • The recorded admission that the Board makes non-personnel, non-contractual decisions in executive session- in CLEAR violation of the Open Meetings Act?
  • The restriction of public comment to well under half of those who formally requested to speak on the issue and for a total of 30 minutes, while a Board member felt bloviating for 15 minutes was worthy of the time for a meeting supposedly that was a public hearing?
  • The presentation of the project occurring AFTER public comment, so no one in the public could address the comments to the actual numbers and facility details (See below)?
  • ZERO acknowledgement of the MAJORITY public opposition to the project (Carrolyn’s statement being denied by the people who actually showed up)
  • The argument that you have to trust the staff; a staff dumb enough to accept a 60 day limitation on 100K earnest money, on a building that had been empty for YEARS and commercial property market still in a nightmare of non-movement?
  • The insistence that private companies will come up with ‘pig in a poke’ money- expecting us to ‘trust our betters’ even though a similar ‘betters’ have massively underperformed on private money for things like the Arts Center?  Anyone who expects the same result as in the flush years must believe in unicorns and the Tooth Fairy.

OK: let’s get beyond that and let me give you to just a single point your ‘trustworthy’ staff and committees either missed or are smoke-screening.  Have any of you actually worked in a facility like that?  I spent 2 years in one and I’ve got two words that will prove to be a major unreported expense:

SOUND ABATEMENT!

A school is NOT an office.  Especially one practicing ‘collaborative education’.  The noise level is considerably higher and- without interior work, it will be like trying to do surgery during an artillery barrage (Possible, as my Dad found out in Korea, but not efficient).  The 200K startup won’t get close to doing the job (and considering the building is EMPTY the cost of equipping it wasn’t made clear). Possibly you have been given some presentation on this that the Great Uwashed are not privy to?

Just one issue, you might have heard about if you’d had any interest in interacting with those paying the bill (including the payments for those ‘free’ bonds.)  I could probably walk through the building and come up with a half dozen more potential ones in 10 minutes.  (For example, bathroom capacity, sewage requirements of significant food service, etc.)  Glossing over the traffic issue didn’t exactly make friends of the site’s neighbors either.

I’d like to thank Nancy and Tammy for their votes for sanity here.  As for the rest, I so look forward to seeing some of your replacements on the Board whoever they may be.  I’ll have them reference the video of this meeting on how not to interact with the public and the voters.

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Contemplations of a Run for City Council

Posted by Mike O on January 28, 2011

As various candidates for city council come to me (as if I’m some sort of Tea Party equivalent to the Godfather- I’m not, folks!)  and, with my previous dealings with the Plano Council, one significant question arises:

Is there no place for someone who is merely representing the average Taxpayer?

Each candidate I have met, many of them very good people, represents some interests that are not the norm for 80% or more of the city.  A large number of them are either professionally or personally involved in local real estate (other than their domicile).  Others are involved in the legal profession, often in areas dealing with the city and zoning.  And these professional, financial involvements- with all of their related social networks- cannot help but influence their viewpoints and decisions.  They deal vastly more day-to-day with those whose profession revolves around the city decisions than their tax statements- and not just as a councilperson.

And then there are the hoops that such candidates are expected to jump through; the ‘leadership training’, service on various volunteer committees, the Chamber lunches, and the like.  Yes, educational and they establish working relationships, but also are intended to ‘mold the potential candidate, to start them down the path of ‘thinking like the rest of us’.  The upside of that approach for most is far greater than the downside.  The city is pretty well served by many who have gone this route.

But is the city served best if these are the only voices heard, the only experiences represented on the Council?  Is the City of Plano served best by vote after vote that is 8-0 (or 7-0 because of someone’s conflict?)  Is the continuing rubber-stamping of whatever passes through the City Manager’s hands really the best thing for the citizens?

There is no question that Tom Muehlenbeck has done a pretty good job overall, but questions must arise, simply because someone who has so long held the position will inevitably develop a rigidity of thought that may not see things from any perspective except the past (which- in Plano- has been filled with ever-growing economic growth and such growth can cover a LOT of managerial sins).  The fact that the ‘found’ $5 million suddenly in last year’s budget cycle should have certainly caused more than offline grumbling by council members.  It should have gotten people significant downwind from Tom up before the council to adequately explain this.

And, with a new City Manager in the offing, it won’t serve the City well to only hear the people shaped by the ‘Muhlenbeck’ experiences with the city, as the high-growth phases gears down somewhat through the normal lifecycle of a suburb.

I guess Ben Harris can be thanked (more likely cursed) for setting my decision in motion.  I decided to visit the Council meeting on one of their more typical days.  Ben came up to me and said: ‘What are you doing here?  We’re not spending any money.”  My response was “You’ve got the lights on, don’t you?  You’re spending money.”  However, while I watched the meeting and reviewed the agenda, I added up  what was there and informed Ben at the end of that meeting, they had spent $1.27 million at that meeting.  He was taken aback by that; it was all routine stuff, so his viewpoint was they weren’t ‘spending any money’. But that amount represented the tax payments of over 1,000 houses just like mine and need to be thought about.  That is the mindset that is troubling at City Hall.

So I have the paperwork to file and I contemplate my options. Three of the four slots I am qualified to run in; let’s see where this all leads.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments »

Forgive Them for They Have No Clue of What They Do.

Posted by Mike O on November 9, 2010

I went to the Plano City Council meeting last night (I was specifically invited by one council member; they are looking into zero-based budgeting, which is exactly what they should be using).  Councilman Ben Harris walked by and said: ‘What are you doing here; we’re not spending any money tonight.” Classic political class snobbery; we Tea Party types get used to it.

At the end of the meeting I ran into him again and told him: “You just voted on spending over $1,270,000; perhaps you need to pay attention to what you do.”  He was really taken aback; he actually didn’t realize it.

The political class, even at the City Council level, really acts like the money just falls out of the sky magically.  That’s one way to tell them from the real public servants; and one thing to look for when looking to replace people on City Councils.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »