It's City Council Election Time in Dallas. Too Bad Your Vote Doesn't Matter.
Every week, managing editor Patrick Williams disappears into his office and reemerges a cranky, nicotine-addicted, third-person-referring superhero we like to call Buzz.
How about this guy to run City Hall, instead of that crop of Quincy Carters down there now?
Well, hey, would you look at that? There's an actual bona fide Dallas City Council election this Saturday. Sure doesn't seem like that's been getting a lot of attention lately, which is pretty surprising considering that local god Roger Staubach is running. You'd think if ol' Roger Dodger is on the ballot that would be a pretty big ... oh, no, wait. Apparently it's not Roger but some other person named Staubach who's running, according to the roughly 1,378 campaign mailers we've received at home from this Staubach person -- each one featuring a few dozen photos of the former Cowboys quarterback alongside some female. Wonder if they're related.
Trinity East's Vapor Chase
We should probably know this stuff, seeing how Buzz is in the media and all, but let's be honest, does it really matter? Wait! Before you move on, know that this isn't our usual general world-weary cynicism. This is a very specific, 2013 Dallas City Council-weary cynicism that's a direct result of the council's utter fecklessness in the gas-drilling debate.
We won't rehash the complicated details, but let us quickly sum up the past few years: Council says no drilling on parkland. Signs lease for drilling on parkland. Council punts drilling issue to special committee. Ignores special committee. Council punts issue to Plan Commission. Plan Commission punts back and tells council to do its damn job. City manager lies and obfuscates. Council apologizes to city manager for making her lie and obfuscate. Council punts issue till after election. City attorney tells candidate not to talk to voters about vital city issue during election that will decide outcome of vital city issue.
We've glossed over some finer points, but you get the picture: When it comes to actually getting something important done and encouraging civic involvement, we'd be better off placing 15 large potted plants at the council dais. They'd be more decorative, plus plants would consume carbon dioxide rather than generating a load of hot air.
Look, it's an old trope in the Observer: Dallas is not run by elected representatives but by a bureaucracy operating out of sight and in cahoots with the sort of people who can afford to pay a select group of wired consultants. We've always said that, but this year the council has really gone out of its way to smack the city in the face with it.
So vote Saturday or not, citizen. Buzz is probably going to sit this one out and hope that someday we can have an election that really matters -- a vote on city manager. Now that would be some real democracy, wouldn't it? Maybe we could get Roger Staubach to run. Anyone but another punter.