And Why Do You Want to Be Dallas Mayor?

Categories: Schutze
Tom_Leppert_TJ3_Merten.jpg
Sam Merten
No, you're not having a flashback: Ex-Mayor Tom spoke before his would-be replacements took their turns at Thomas Jefferson.
Who says the four Dallas mayoral candidates haven't distinguished themselves from one another? Last night at that forum at Thomas Jefferson High School, the first question they had to answer (and the best question of the night) was why they wanted to be mayor.

Dallas city council member and entrepreneur Ron Natinsky said, "I'm running for mayor because I think it's one of the greatest opportunities one can have to lead the ninth largest city in America."

He wants to be mayor because he wants to be mayor. Good reason.

Former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle said, "We have had the CEO mayor before, and I don't think it has worked so well in the past. I believe that somebody who is not indebted to anybody and can make decisions based on what's the best decision makes a better choice."

Who on earth could he be talking about?

Mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings said, "I was CEO of the largest advertising agency in the South. Spent 20 years in the advertising business."

Rawlings talked about working to improve minority opportunity there. "I then became president of the largest pizza chain in the world."

Candidate Edward Okpa told his life story, a moving tale of immigration to the United States and brilliant personal success. He said his motto as mayor will be "All Hands on Deck" -- troubling, perhaps, for its association with the Titanic, but there you have it.

At the end of a long evening, the warmest response was for Kunkle. He did his usual shtick with a business book on successful leadership in which he was singled out as an exemplar for his leadership of the Dallas Police Department.

"But I have to confess," said Kunkle, who is sometimes faulted for a soldierly style of address, "that the guys who were the most successful were socially awkward and charismatically challenged, and I may have some of that working for me also."

Applause and laughter.

"But I do appreciate your support."

So basically everybody agreed with Natinsky. But in very different ways.
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Arthur Smythe
Arthur Smythe

It'll be interesting to see who replaces Leppert. I think he was an exceptional Mayor, and did some great things for this city. I hope whoever replaces him is also concerned with fostering job creation and keeping our economy moving forward.

Dallas is a great city and it deserves to continue having a great Mayor!

Joanne R
Joanne R

You crack me up.I hope you are paid well. Because it probably takes you all evening to get that big brown spot scrubbed off from under your nose.

heavy metal church lady
heavy metal church lady

Oak Cliff Res, you're probably right. My mind is made up. I live behind a levee, Kunkle has been the only candidate the voice skepticism regarding the reevaluation of schemes that are not scientifically sound. That counts for a lot.

Rawlings appears as a detached CEO who looks for results, but hasn't a clue about human consequences for those outside his milieu. For an extreme example for what can go wrong with a CEO-mentality applied to governance, see Donald Rumsfeld.

cp
cp

Erhm... we ALL live behind a levee....

heavy metal church lady
heavy metal church lady

A few words about Kunkle, Rawlings, and the times we are living in. The days of big fancy dreams is over (Just Fix the Damn Levees). We need a realistic, pragmatic approach. Kunkle's background tells me what he is concerned about the most is the human condition and keeping everybody on an even keel. This is what peace officers do, they perform in extreme conditions to bring things back to the middle--day after day after day.

Rawlings may think his background in advertising scores him points. Wrong. And judging by that mailer I received with the sepia-toned City Hall image, he doesn't understand much about visual language. It's all about making a fast impression and hoping nobody applies analysis to what is being sold. (Truly, that image told me that a big bad tornado was coming and architecture is oppressive. Perhaps the wizard of foul weather has made City Hall control center for orchestrating natural disasters?) Also on this blog, I've read people discuss his present employment as being involved with one of those big paycheck cashing operations. So when he says he meets a payroll, maybe he really means he helps the impoverished class cash their checks for an unreasonable fee. Perhaps a fee that allows CEOs of such operations to live a nice lifestyle while keeping others locked into cultural habits that are oppressive.

I would really like to know more about Rawlings current job, not the former life as a flimflam advertising man or head honcho among pizza flippers. What about the check cashing operation?

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Yes Railings first was HIRED to Tracey Lockwood advertising firm and through his WORK and LEADERSHIP was then made CEO. And then CEO of Pizza Hut. But what about his work as the Homeless Czar and not all this recent be over Cliff Manor but back in 2006 when no one wanted to even talk about the issue, Mike stepped up and lead the effort and it was because of him that we have The Bridge. And guess what Kunkle got paid to be an officer, Rawlings did it for free.

As far as the check cashing company and his present employment. He is one of four partners of a company that basically by majority ownership (stock) in other companies and grow them and eventually sells them for profit. One of the companies he WAS involved with was ACE but his company got out of ACE over five years ago...

David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy

Speaking of getting facts straight - I've never heard of the Tracey Lockwood agency, and I work in advertising. I think you mean Tracy-Locke (which is two last names, not a person).

Either way, as someone that has worked in advertising for many years, I would never, ever ever ever ever want an ad-man to be mayor!

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Sorry for the misinformation. I'm not the guys rep I just took notes from what he said when I heard him speak that's what I thought I heard. Either way the job of the Mayor is to advertise and promote the City, show not only businesses why they should move to Dallas but show businesses why they should bring their conventions to Dallas, why people would want to come and visit Dallas, why suburban area folks who work in Dallas and take their tax money back to Cedar Hill should want to live, eat and shop in Dallas. Not write traffic tickets and investigate crimes. You seem to be like Kunkle and always say what you are against. So you say you don't want an ad-man to be mayor and that's your choice, what kind of person do you want as Mayor?

heavy metal church lady
heavy metal church lady

Thanks for the additional info. First, great that Rawlings helped with housing and services for the homeless in my neighborhood. Doesn't he live in the far north? And hasn't there been rumblings about the disparity between the placement of these services in the southern sector of our city as opposed to the north? And what you say about his affiliation with ACE is even more disturbing. It points to a record of making his money and getting out.

Well, I looked up ACE and their website says they're one of the largest specializing in activities the Texas Lege is out to regulate this session if they have any success.

"In some cases, charges by payday lenders in Texas reach an annual percentage rate of 500 percent."

Kelley Shannon, "Texas senators' proposals to limit payday lenders get hearing," 22 Feb. 2011, Dallas Morning News

As far as Kunkle getting paid for being in law enforcement, that tells me he has devoted his life to public service as opposed to a career of swift returns based on people consuming products and services that aren't really in their best interests. We each should vote our values.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

At first I thought that you were a real concerned citizen with a question. I know see that you already had your mind made up and it's a shame that they are based on incorrect facts. No, Mike lives in Preston Hollow, not far North Dallas (that's Natinsky), and the rumblings as you put it have nothing to do with homeless shelters they have to do with low incomed housing (there is a big difference). Low income housing is for people that already have places to live. Mike created a place to live for the homeless.

Back to ACE. What ACE was when Mike got in and even when he "got out" is no where near what it is today. Not sure if you remember but ACE's name is ACE Check Cashing. It was originally established to simply cash checks and Western Unions. Although recently, and around the time when Mike "got out" is when they have started these Pay Day Loans. And its a big thing to leave when something is bad like how Kunkle has been married and divorced 5 times and leave when you have been successful.

I'm not even going to address your double talk on Kunkle getting paid. Everyone is devouted to their check on Friday. Not all are willing to even open a door for an old lady let alone serve on a board for free.

Lee Rognlie
Lee Rognlie

Pulling for Kunkle. Not a politico and has good intentions. Unfortunately we have a crappy mayoral system that gives them no more power than a council member. Think about that, Carolyn Davis has the same voting power as the mayor. Can we fix this finally!?!?

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

What are Kunkles intentions exactly? That's right, nothing... Even he said it himself, he is running bc he doesn't want the "establishment" to have at the next mayor. He doesn't have a platform he only has PR from his wife. And news flash we fixed the system when 14-1 got passed.

Hannibal_Lecter
Hannibal_Lecter

Fixed the system, but destroyed the city.

HiHo
HiHo

14-1 is bad for the City of Dallas.

Richard Morgan
Richard Morgan

"At the end of a long evening, the warmest response was for Kunkle."

Yes, Kunkle's use of humor got the best response, but in no way should that be taken to mean he had the most support. Just in case anyone reading might get the impression that somehow Kunkle was the crowd favorite. From attending and listening to others after the forum, I definitely did not get that impression.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

See the plant in front of the stage?I wonder if that's one of DISD's traveling plants.

The district sends plants to schools when they're hosting VIPs or, in the case, mayoral forums.

I don't fault the district for the traveling plants; they amuse me.

When we see The Plants in our building, we know someone is coming...

Harvey
Harvey

If they'd only keep the plants outside alive.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

how come they're all green (in the picture in article)? Did Leppert do that to them?

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

It's people! Soylent Green is made out of people!!!

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Because my camera is jacked. Or I'm a terrible photographer. Either way, my apologies.

cp
cp

Your camera has a great mind....

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

i think you and your cameral are okay.

Republicans show up green in camera eyes. This is a safety measure built in.

Shwhitley
Shwhitley

that's okay, you're hot....we forgive you:)

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Ex-Mayor Laser Eyes has reduced the crowd to ZOMBIES!

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I thought maybe there were just turning green right before they throw up.

Marc
Marc

They want to be mayor so they can lead the City.

What are they talking about. Do none of these 4 men not know what the role of mayor is here in Dallas.

The Mayor doesn't "lead" anything. The mayor is not in charge. The mayor has no "powers".

They want to be Mayor because of the status symbol, the perks they get, the ego trip, the high ranking status feelings, that stuff...but they're not leading the City.

So, we just need to decide who is the better smoozer, who will BS people better, who will go do our ambassador sales pitch stuff in Washington DC or on fancy expensive trips to Orient, and other world cities.

I think Rawlings is the only one with the personality for this job.

Kunkle would freeze like a deer caught in headlights if he had to go smoozing w/ royality or heads of states of other countries.

Natinsky's such a greesy slime ball, I'd hate to trust him with my car keys, let alone our City's keys....Okpa, well, probably not him either. I like Kunkle for city council, but for ambassador type stuff, I prefer Rawlings.

HiHo
HiHo

Marc,

I partly agree. It is an ambassador job, but it is also a job of cheerleading and shaping of public opinion. On paper, Rawlings would be better suited to this job if he is truly more charismatic. My fear is that he will cheer lead for the same types of boneheaded projects that Mayor Tom championed. Specifically, grand projects that have unsound business models or are simply not sustainable by the City of Dallas.

I will vote for the person who I think will persuade the electorate that we need to replace 14-1 with a municipal political system that reduces fraud and waste, and increases accountability.

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

If his ads are any indication, Rawlings has no personality at all. When he's been on TV, he has all the charisma of a stuffed moosehead hanging on the Citizens Council meeting room.

elbueno
elbueno

Does the mayor really need to go smoozing w/ royalty or heads of states for other countries?

He would better serve the city by focusing on local matters and local economy development. Its time to quit worrying about imports and be more concerned about exports.

tpintx
tpintx

Just think if Dwaine Caraway were to keep the "title" of mayor of Dallas.....god help us all!!!!

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Hold the phone Jim..... Now I wasn't there last night so this really comes off as a question, but are you trying to tell me that at the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (which you modestly didn't report and said "that forum"), the one that Kunkle stired the pot over, the one with the nice Mercedes and BMW driving, pin stripped suite wearing sell-out Hispanic Republican's forum. The forum that had Ron Natinksy who was one of the guest speakers (Tom Leppert) golden boy and even Okpa (another sell-out Republican) that Kunkle before both of them, after a long evening, received the warmest response????? Either that is truly the momentum shifter for Kunkle or you need to start billing Steven Woolens for these articles.

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

So someone else sees what is going on. I can't understand why they don't be straight forward and just endorse Kunkle. It would be the honest thing to do.

Richard Morgan
Richard Morgan

I was there, and it was his use of humor that got a warm response--not necessarily him as a candidate or his platform. I agree--the wording here is very open to mis-interpretation.

MattL1
MattL1

This is one of the most difficult questions that can be asked of a political candidate. It's virtually impossible to come off as anything other than a) indecisive, b) arrogant or c) sanctimonious.

Just once, I'd like to see a candidate give an honest answer.

"I want to be mayor because it puts me the best possible position to help my friends get city contracts." "I didn't want to be mayor until I saw who else was running, and I knew SOMEBODY had to stand in the way of one of these idiots getting elected." "I want to be mayor because I'm power-hungry my ego needs stroking."

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