To Anyone Considering a Run for Dallas Mayor: What in the Hell is Wrong With You?
The plot thickens. I told you here a couple days ago that Jeff Siegel at the Advocate had been pushing me to run for mayor. Now he has a very smart item up on the Advocate blog Backtalk in which he hopes Angela Hunt will not run for mayor, because only an idiot would run for mayor of Dallas under existing circumstances.
I've had my pencil and pad out all morning, trying to connect the dots. Only an idiot would run -- dot dot dot -- Angela Hunt should not run -- dot dot dot -- Jim Schutze should run. Dot dot dot?
Hmm. I already said I would run, but then I withdrew the next day, but then the next day I threw my hat back in the ring. But now these dots are causing me fourth thoughts.
I will say this. I absolutely agree with Siegel about Hunt. Current Mayor Tom Leppert, who has announced he will leave office to seek sainthood, is ditching out of here about six minutes ahead of the deluge. The bills are going to come due on his city-owned fun-house hotel downtown and the Trinity River levee repair.
But far worse, as Siegel points out, is the enormous liability Leppert and his puppeteers at the Citizens Council have incurred for the city by deferring maintenance of the city's basic infrastructure -- streets, sewers, normal (not "signature") bridges, etc.
By starving the beast, not collecting taxes during fat years, giving away the store to developers in the form of "tax incentives" and, in the very worst, most irresponsible practice, off-shoring basic maintenance to the so-called capital funds (meaning borrowed money), the Citizens Council/Leppert leadership has set this city up for several years of absolute hell to pay.
That's why they're willing to give the mayor's job to council member Ron Natinsky, who, no matter what he may think, is not one of them. They know the next mayor is going to be a punching bag, and they're too worried about their own faces to risk it.
They would fight to keep the job away from Hunt, out of sheer cultural misogyny. She would fight to take it away from them out of sheer guts. But I hope she won't. She's too talented and worth too much to the city to throw away on a lose-lose election cycle.
I hope she listens to voices like Siegel's and puts it off. Or goes back to lawyering and sues the crap out of a bunch of insurance companies and gets rich. Or this: stays on the council, helps hold together the nascent eight-vote anti-Citizens Council majority and defends the city and the taxpayers from the worst of what is ahead.
Siegel's right: There's a big old ugly boot of a shoe to fall, and it should fall right in the lap of the sons of bitches who left it up there hanging from the wire.
And I have decided that I am insulted again, so I am not running for mayor again. But watch this space. I'm very easily un-insulted.