Well, At Least One Council Member's Ditching the Mayor's Dinner Tomorrow Night

Categories: City Hall
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Photo by Patrick Michels
Still having a hard time figuring how Mayor Mike or his staff could schedule a dinner with the council tomorrow night -- the same night as one of only two gas drilling task force public hearings. A couple of council reps think it's important enough to mention to their constituents -- like, say, Angela Hunt, who tops her not-working-at-the-moment website with the invite, and Scott Griggs, who sent his peoples the following evite over the weekend:
Tell the task force what you think about gas drilling in Dallas.

Tuesday, August 2
Dallas City Hall, L1 Conference Room
1500 Marilla Street
7 p.m.

A task force has been appointed to evaluate whether or not gas drilling should be permitted in our city. And they want to know what residents like you think. That's why it's more important than ever for you and your neighbors to attend the public meeting on Tuesday and bring your questions, comments and concerns about gas drilling.

This is your chance to make your voice heard. I hope to see you there.
I sent Griggs an note last night, asking him if that meant he was ditching dinner with the mayor. To which he replied, simply, "Yes." Really need to ask Sheffie what his plans are.
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Sarina
Sarina

Scott gets it. It was great seeing him there last evening.  Respectfully listening to the speakers.

whodunnit
whodunnit

Oh, barbeque? I think I'd skip the Mayor's dinner too.

Lee
Lee

Griggs represents the only district where drilling is proposed.  His constituents will have to deal with the environmental fallout, the trucks, the noise, the pollution and the related crap of a drilling operation in their backyards.  The other council members don't need to care.  They can enjoy the BBQ without much of a care in the world.  Griggs has to be at the meeting and all meetings, even if just as an observer, to ensure that the voice of his consitutents is heard.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

"Griggs represents the only district where drilling is proposed."

Not true. Trinity East Energy's lease is at LB Houston, at Luna and Royal, in Monica Alonzo's district. And it's actually on the council's agenda next week:

"Authorize a public hearing to be held on September 14, 2011 to receive publiccomments concerning the surface use of two locations at L.B. Houston Park, from RoyalLane to Northwest Highway (golf course and gun range site) for natural gas drilling andmineral production by Trinity East Energy, LLC - Financing: No cost consideration tothe City."

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Won't be hard to guess where Councilwoman Alonzo will be.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

the city still has not said what doors to use tomorrow night or what parking accommodations will be available for the general public. the meeting room is about 10 feet from the underground parking garage but that's closed to the general rabble. In fact, the city has not said much at all about tomorrow night. wonder why?

MattL1
MattL1

If memory serves, this was one of Scott's big issues during his CC campaign.  Given the small number of public meetings of this task force, he really has no choice BUT to skip the dinner.  It's more important for him to get off on the right foot with his constituents than with the council.  

james
james

Let me see if I'm understanding things correctly here. The council has appointed a task force to hear residents' thoughts on gas drilling. Residents are invited and encouraged to do just that, give them an ear full. Do the task force and Scott Griggs' constituents each know hoe Scott feels about gas drilling? If not, maybe he needs this opportunity to tell both groups what he thinks so each will know, task force as well as constituents.

If they already know, though, what will Scott's contribution at the task force meeting be? Will he help either talk by moving their jaws up and down? Flap more sound into somebody's ears? Lead a chant?

But by being at the task force meeting, Griggs punts on doing what he was elected to do: build political relationships with the Mayor and his fellow council members he can utilize to benefit his constituents. Why is he avoiding this much harder duty? Is he intimidated by Mayor Mike? To be sure, Mayor Mike is a big, hulking dude, and Scott is, let's face it, something of a shrimp.

What to do, what to do....got it: task force, leading from behind! Everyone will buy that!

Mary L.
Mary L.

James, Councilman Griggs will have plenty of "relationship building" hours with the Mayor and other Council members. I admire the guts it took to send the Mayor "regrets" due to a prior commitment with constituents about an issue that is VERY important to said constituents. The Mayor's secretary should check the calendars of all Council members before scheduling such events. Mayor Mike will learn.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

Scott is taking the lead by showing up, when he could have been chowing down on a spare rib at Mike's place. Scott has take the higher road of hanging with his constituents to show his support of their attendance at the meeting.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Well, I think the decider would be whether or not the BBQ is served inside or outside.  I'd take a hearing room over a 107 degree back yard.

Anonymous
Anonymous

There are two options. Either the dinner is meaningless politically, or it isn't. If it's an important event for the future conduct of the new council, then making it closed to press is a violation of the Open Meetings Act. If it's purely social, then you are basically saying that future city business will be conducted on the basis of who has better dinner small talk. But it just can't be both ways. This is not the corporate world where going to the company Christmas party is "optional" but everyone knows you have to show up and flatter your boss and his wife, etc. That's fine where your only accountability is to shareholders. But the public has decided government should not operate that way, hence the creation of the OMA.

Meanwhile, Griggs's presence at the task force meeting is probably intended to show his constituents that he cares about an issue whose outcomes concerns them greatly. 

whodunnit
whodunnit

Check with the Attorney General's Office on this. You'll find that the City of Dallas is one of the most flagrant violators of the OMA.

Scrotex
Scrotex

Perhaps Griggs would rather hear the opinions of his constituents rather than the propaganda from the big, hulking dude.  And who knows, his constituency may actually prefer that over the two mayoral sycophants who have held his job previously.....

claytonauger
claytonauger

On the other hand, maybe it's important for citizens to feel they have the council's ear when thy come to talk about council policy-in-the-making. And maybe there will be points made by citizens that council members don't/shouldn't want to receive as filtered through task force members, who might have their own biases and agendas.

Maybe Scott feels like it's his obligation to be at as many of these meetings as possible so as to be able to authentically report on the process. Instead of leaving it up to a panel he had questions about anyway, he's taking a hands-on approach most of his constituents probably appreciate.

ray
ray

Actions speak louder than words. This shows who has their priorities in the right place.

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