Circling the Dwaine, Countdown to Cara-watch, Day One, So It Begins, And ... Go

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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Time to start a watch. I hereby declare this the beginning of the "How Totally Useless Are the Dallas City Council and Mayor?" watch.

Day One.

I wrote here yesterday about the huge dilemma City Hall faces with Dwaine Caraway, the council member who is next in line to fill the mayor's shoes should the current mayor take a powder. Do you remember any of this? I pointed out that Caraway is next in the succession to become mayor only because his fellow council members, at the urging of the current mayor, elected him "mayor pro tem," an honorific title.

The current mayor, Tom Leppert, is, in fact, about to take a powder. He wants to run for the United States Senate, and he needs to get running. He hasn't officially done it yet, but, believe me, he will. Soon.

Leppert_Caraway_Merten.jpg
Sam Merten
So that will make Dwaine the mayor of Dallas.

What's the problem? Uh...Dwaine. Dwaine is the problem. The councilman from District Four in recent weeks has been experiencing some kind of terrible acceleration in his faux pas rate, speeding up from about one really bad embarrassing faux pas every couple months to about a faux pas every three or four days.

If we project Dwaine's faux pas rate out into the future and draw a line across it for when Leppert leaves, by the time Dwaine is the mayor he'll be doing a really bad faux pas about every hour or so.

I gave them the solution yesterday. They're the council. All they have to do is vote. Make him not the mayor pro tem no more. Give the title to somebody else. Crisis averted.

But, of course, they can't do it. And why not?

Race, of course. There's all kinds of complicated math about which race gets to hold which meaningless honorific office at what time, and there is going to be some especially strong racial math going on if the honorific office-holder gets to be the real mayor for a while.

So they're paralyzed. They all want to strip Caraway of the pro tem title. But they can't agree on who gets to replace him.

If City Hall were the Titanic, this would be a bunch of people out by the rail about 20 seconds before she goes tail up and straight down, arguing about which race gets to jump in the life boat first.

The white ones are just as bad as the minority members, maybe worse, because they're so incredibly chicken. Everybody knows what needs to be done here. Get him the hell away from the wheel house.

And why can't they do it? Because they are USE-less. Totally USE-less.

How totally USE-less? That's what my watch is for. This is Day One. Join me. How totally useless are the Dallas city council and mayor?

Come with me on this journey, and we shall find out.

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38 comments
Harrisons90
Harrisons90

Jim, Great Job! Can you do a re-cap on JWP breaking legs, Lipscom paying people off. How many went to jail for corruption? Feilding, Gonzales, Hicks. just do a laundry list so everyone gets a good picture of our past officials..Lord help us get some people who don't back downto fear, intimidation or corruption.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Jim ,it does not matter what they try and do to Caraway's position,next person in line for Mayor would be Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, so says City Charter,If the Council dethrone Caraway,Pauline would become Mayor,Council would than elect new mayor Pro Tem and Deputy mayor Pro Tem.I don't know what all the hoop -la 's about .We are talking 90 days tops.There should be more important things on people's mind, with budget shortage,election,broken levee's and more, than who will become Mayor ,in a City Manager form of government.I'm becoming sick of people saying ugly things about Caraway, when he 's out in the trenches with the people , night & day helping find kids,picking up stray animals,getting heat and water for elderly,building golf course and club houses for Northwest Dallas,and a list of other improvements.Those of you who only know about,Archie and Arthur,and disturbance at home and Vick's key need to take a chill pill,what has your Councilperson done to make your life better,good or dad. Until he becomes Mayor ,if ever,or you move into District 4 ,than what you say is irrelevant.I have witness ,Mayors and others doing things to hurt the Citizens ,even when Media reports,not a word from the people,Caraway works ,so give him a freaking break.

i'm just sayin'
i'm just sayin'

Judging peoples abilities to hold office solely by the color of their skin is all well and good and a fine tradition to uphold, but, and please correct me if i'm wrong here, Dallas hasn't had a midget tranny mayor yet, no? It's long overdue this overlooked constituency be brought out of the shadows.

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

Can the charter be interpreted to read that it applies only in the mayor's absence vs vacated. If the Mayor vacates the seat, then the council can vote on a replacement to fill the term. If so just nominate another council member. In the alternative, i wish Dwayne would agree to flip titles with Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline, keep his Mayor Pro Tem Office Space, Pauline becomes the first Hispanic Mayor because as it is now, Dwayne will NOT have the votes for Mayor Pro Tem in June for the 2011-2013 Mayor Pro Tem. The alternatives for black representatives are not any better.

Abuckley1970
Abuckley1970

to answer the question, do we really have to have a mayor? from the charter:

"The city council shall elect one of its members as mayor pro tem, who shall perform the duties of mayor in the case of the absence or inability of the mayor to perform the duties of office, who shall, during that time, be vested with all the powers belonging to the mayor. The council shall also elect one of its members as deputy mayor pro tem to act in the absence of both the mayor and the mayor pro tem and to exercise the powers of the mayor during that time. (Amend. of 11-8-05, Prop. No. 13)

scottindallas
scottindallas

Wow, no one has mentioned the possibility that Dwayne is the perfect recipient of bad tidings. The only problem is, can he be effectively sold as the scapegoat for the Trinity fiasco? Can Leppert make a come back, with his building cred. Leppert can blame this whole fiasco on that utterly discredited corrupt fools, Dwayne, Don and the gang. But this presents a new opportunity. We can build a river front, with Restaurants, Solar Powered water taxis, the whole bit, brought right into the levee walls! The levee walk!

And, it's not a crazy idea, and it doesn't require TLep to come back, some great white hope can do it. If we can just cut some waste and pass a bond. A bond to bring the Superbowl Back! Let's give Jerry another shot, surely they will have those seats straightened out in 2021.

Can they use Dwayne as a scapegoat? He's fatter than any sheep I'd think it halal to slaughter, but if the people will buy it, he might allow us to address the levees directly.

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

I have been saying the for years to whoever will listen: all it will take one non-traditional candidate to step up and defeat one of these Monarchs before a whole new generation of leaders here in Dallas can take our rightful place in City Hall. City Council elections are right around the corner. Will you step up to the plate and participate in a local election for once, will you take 5 minutes of your time between now and May 14th to vote against the City Council? You may never go out and vote FOR a local candidate, but this year many will vote against. I hope you will, because without your participation, they win every time.

rumpunch
rumpunch

Jim, I have an actual question. In the short term, are we required to actually have a mayor? Basically, can we legally let the seat remain empty until the election? Besides having no one to authorize the distribution of keys to the City, are we only talking about the master of ceremonies for the council meetings?

Joshua
Joshua

Our city council needs to experience its own rolling blackout.

Cowtown
Cowtown

Ah yes, Dwaine Caraway, John Wiley Price and Dave Brown. Dallas will have hit the trifecta. Enjoy!

Ray Who
Ray Who

NO CONTEST.............they are all totally useless. If Mayor Tom takes a powder before his term is up (and I hope voters remember him abandoning the sinking ship), call for a special election.........NOW...........

Beau
Beau

So, uh, what about Mubarak? He's free. And if that toll road didn't work out maybe we could get a Nile-themed thingy going, a Karnak temple park or something. Plant a lot of papyrus. Big old limestone condos overlooking the reed boats.

Plus, he'd solve the whole race, too. Not white, not black either. And the perfect visionary for a city that never quite manages to plan ahead or get all he details ironed out.

"It's Hosni For Me, See?"

rumpunch
rumpunch

JIm, how about Carolyn Davis? Relatively harmless, plus great youtube and reporter fodder. Dallas might even get a reality show. She will get caught up in relatively small things. Point in fact, a mayoral legacy project such as replacing the MLK bridge is a lot cheaper than a floodplain tollway or convention center hotel. However, she might be motivated by the other parts of our infrastructure which was built in the "late 1900's". (Does kinda sound old until you do the math.) Therefore she might float a bond to replace everything older than 11 years.

John_McKee
John_McKee

Convince Carolyn Davis she has a real shot at this, let her nominate herself and then someone nominates Angela Hunt. Carolyn Davis being a bumbling moron would overshadow any question of a racial motive in selecting Hunt.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Jim, you bring up the issue of race as it impacts the functionality of the council. I am interested in what you think a reasonable, and achievable, solution to that particular problem might be. I am not being facetious; I am really interested.

I am not from Dallas and have lived in a number of other cities. I have never seen quite the arrangement that we have here. If you just take a look at the council and commissioners court, you almost have to laugh. Most of the folks who are in positions of (supposed) leadership act like some strange mix of semi-functional moron, little kid running for 4th grade class president and Asperger's sufferer.

The fact that the behavior of many on the CC and council is even tolerated by the people of Dallas is alarming in and of itself.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Dwayne being made the mayor will do great things for cities of Irving, Fort Worth, Arlington and any place not withing his grasp.JimS -- you may get your dream of affordable housing downtown as anyone who can move will.

Cowtown human
Cowtown human

As a life-long arrant county resident, I just want to thank Dallas for the decades of hilarity. A city government couldn't possibly suck more.

Shotgun
Shotgun

You can thank Chris Kook for the ousting of Dwayne Jim. He is the new Sheriff in town.

Guest
Guest

I thought that's what Laura was.

Abuckley1970
Abuckley1970

the mayor is more than the master of ceremonies. The mayor is the 15th council seat or "place" with a vote.

"(a) The person elected as member of council, Place 15, shall be the presiding officerof the city council and the mayor of the City of Dallas. The mayor shall have a vote on all matters coming before the city council, other than confirmation of appointments by the mayor, unless otherwise disqualified, but no power to veto. The mayor shall be the official head of the city government."

JimS
JimS

Rumpunch: excellent thought, here. The office of mayor in Dallas is like the office of Queen in England. Everybody thinks we have to have one. But what do they really do? It would be an excellent test to see what happens without one for a few months.

JWP
JWP

Why's it gotta be a blackout, why cant it be a whiteout?

really...
really...

And, sure as the sun rises, there's a cracker in the wings, ready to cross the line at the slightest opportunity.

My Name is
My Name is

Actually, i think middle easterners are officially classified as caucasian, so count him out i guess.

Jay D
Jay D

When will Kwame Kilpatrick be available again? This council seems dead set on morphing Dallas into the new Detroit, why not recruit the man, the legend, the felon: KWAME FOR MAYOR (Shoot, Dwayne can present another Key to the City).

cp
cp

15 people sitting around that horseshoe and I cannot believe that in 2011 we are considering the dimmest bulb, on account of skin color.....

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Carolyn Davis? Geez, talk about going from the frying pan into the fire, she doesn't even know what committees she's on.

How about Tennell Atkins? He's black and wouldn't be an embarrassment to the city.

rumpunch
rumpunch

It is this way because you only have to impress those in your District. This is even easier when your base does not think outside of that District. By that do the voters in the District ask "What is the best for Dallas?" or do they ask "What is the best my my neighborhood/community/district?" I think you will find the later. In fact we are all in some way the later.

Point in fact. Carolyn Davis acts like the repairs instead of replacement to the MLK bridge is due to the City's regard to the Black community. Despite the age of that bridge it is one of the newer over the Trinity. Carolyn - the infrastructure of Dallas is old, Dallas is basically out of money and that bridge can be repaired rather than replaced. Get over it.

Guest
Guest

It looks like the districts choose their own representative to best spite the other representatives. Like Dinner for Schmucks, but in the Council chambers...

Ray Who
Ray Who

.....better than any cartoonist could begin to draw.

cp
cp

Because he lives in Southlake.....

rumpunch
rumpunch

I did not use my sarcasm font. I apologize.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I think R. Crumb might have something that might fit, but those would never be appropriate in polite company, just like black-face.

Tarrant County Resident
Tarrant County Resident

The Dallas City Council is so dumb, by the time they figure out Kilpatrick is currently in jail and lives in Southlake, it will be election time. Carolyn Davis is extra stupid so she will never figure it out.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

I'm pretty sure it's going to have to stay with one of the black CMs, not-white isn't good enough if you want to avoid protests (can you imagine the shit storm if during the Cesar Chavez fiasco we tried to mollify everybody by naming the street after Jesse Jackson instead?)

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