Stay Positive Addison, Even As
The Negatives and Naysayers Continue
Their DESPERATE Search for Negativity
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)
It’s election season, and I’ve been saying for months that the negatives and naysayers are planning a run. The filing deadline is more than a week away, so time will tell. In the meantime, the current Council continues to conduct the business of our Town in their hallmark quiet and professional manner. Their record is impressive, achieved without drama or fanfare. They have returned democracy to Addison, with open, honest and respectful deliberations. The Addison Way is back!
And yet, the negatives and naysayers are still trying to find something negative that will give them traction. The latest effort from the negatives’ designated blogger concerns a Dallas Morning News article regarding a graduate program at the University of Texas at Dallas (“UTD”). The negative blogger would have you believe that the article was about professors giving credits (with a grade of A) to graduate students who did nothing to earn those credits (which is not what the article was about). The negative blogger then directly accuses Addison Police Captain Mike Vincent of accepting his graduate degree under these tainted circumstances, i.e., having received credits for doing nothing (which, as we’ll see, is false). Next comes the usual attack on the Council, by way of suggesting that to prove that they have the “courage” to “do what’s right,” be “transparent” and “reveal the truth,” they must investigate UTD’s practices.
And once again, it’s utter nonsense, including because the description of the Dallas Morning News article is utterly misleading. What this really amounts to is another attempt by the negatives and naysayers to create an “issue-of-the-moment” where none exists, because they are desperate to convince Addison voters that they are somehow relevant. So, let’s apply some TRUTH to the discussion.
First, the Dallas Morning News article discusses the issue of transfer credits for courses taken by law enforcement officers at the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration in Plano (“ILEA”). The article focuses on whether UTD’s decision to award credits for these courses was appropriate and if so, whether the awarded credits should be assigned a grade of A. No one suggested that graduate students were receiving credits for doing nothing.
Second, Addison sends all of its sergeants and lieutenants to ILEA for training. Sergeants attend a four-week training course, and lieutenants attend an eight-week training course that also requires preparation of a significant research project. Captain Vincent and others on the Addison Police Department typically attend these courses after they are promoted. As suggested by their length, these courses are extensive and intensive.
Third, as noted, at some point UTD evaluated the curriculums offered at ILEA, and made the decision to offer credit hours for these courses that could be applied to a graduate degree. Far from getting something for nothing, students like Captain Vincent unquestionably earned their credits. That left UTD with the issue of how the extra-institutional credits would be granted, i.e., graded or ungraded.
Finally, to be clear, Captain Vincent and other graduate students had to take countless other courses to earn all the other credits they needed to qualify for the graduate degrees they received. To smear Captain Vincent under these circumstances is shameful and inappropriate.
This is a non-issue for Addison. The discussion in the Dallas Morning News article centered around decisions made by UTD in connection with its graduate programs. UTD evaluated the courses offered by ILEA. UTD made the decision to offer credits towards a graduate degree. UTD made the decision to give a grade for those credits. UTD otherwise set the requirements for the graduate degrees it offered and conferred on law enforcement officers like Captain Vincent. You might agree or disagree with those decisions, but they are well beyond any duties of Addison’s Council or management. All of which confirms that there is nothing for Addison to investigate.
The negatives and naysayers should take a lesson from this Council. It deals in TRUTH, not faux “issues-of-the-moment” built on falsehoods and innuendos. So, as we ignore the latest nonsense from the negatives and naysayers, let’s also challenge them to have the “courage” to “do what’s right,” and quit misrepresenting things for their perceived personal gain.
Staying positive in Addison means that once again we must see the negatives and naysayers for who and what they are. They will continue to try to find negative issues, particularly if they run a slate in the current election as I suspect they will. That makes it even more important to seek TRUTH in Addison regarding anything they say. After all, TRUTH is the premise on which true transparency must be based, all of which is the foundation for the Addison Way.
Let’s keep the positive momentum going in 2019! The Addison Way is back!