Please Read This: To Addison Residents
I went to Town Hall yesterday (Saturday, March 28) for two reasons:
- To show support for Ms. Lea Dunn as, regardless of her “resignation”, she remained our City Manager until the Council walked back their illegal Tuesday evening meeting where they “accepted” her resignation.
- To evidence my disdain for the style and manner that most members of this Council practice when they determine issues, “debate” the facts, make decisions, and communicate the results to the public.
What I saw was incredible Mayoral arrogance, disingenuity, an unbelievable display of councilmember complicity or, perhaps, duplicity, and the triumph of “zero sum politics” at Addison Town Hall once again.
How do we handle dissent and disagreement among those on council who challenge the Mayor’s decisions? The Mayor simply “cuts” them out of the process. Just ask retiring, four-year councilmember Chris DeFrancisco, who all but pleaded for the opportunity to participate in selection and planning process for a new City Manager. He was told by the Mayor that because he chose not to run for reelection, was a lame duck (only 43 days left in office), had other committee assignments, and was busy that he would not be allowed to participate! The Mayor neglected to acknowledge that these same factors applied to the Deputy Mayor Blake Clemens, who was named to a committee, however is an undisputed ally of the Mayor. Unfortunately, the newly hired City Attorney either could not or chose not to try to constrain the Mayor’s behavior.
As for real-time dissent in public meetings, since the Mayor creates the council’s public agenda, he and he alone determines when it is legal for a citizen to speak up in meetings. When challenged, he hides behind the agenda as published, citing the illegality of any deviation from it as a violation of the “72 hour rule”, e.g. no public comments unless published, i.e. allowed for, 72 hours in advance. A new resident openly castigated the Mayor for his agenda management and disingenuity, stating that she had never lived in a Town where the public was not allowed to “talk” to the Council. Another shameful example of his editorial style is the weekly newsletter, where he chooses to spend more print space, i.e. time, praising the faux and/or inconsequential “accomplishments” of his councilmember allies (or colleagues as he refers to them), than he does documenting the achievements and contributions of Ms. Dunn to the Town of Addison during her 18 years of service.
Finally, the only reason the Mayor and Council continue operating with impunity is that they feel safe in their knowledge that most of Addison hasn’t awakened to these events and the consequences they foretell. Want some outside and impartial perspective? Read the article on the first page of the Metro section in today’s Dallas Morning News! Entitled “Fireworks erupt at Addison Town Hall meeting” by Staff Writers Allison Wisk and Taylor Danser, the authors chronicle the tone, tenor, and consequences of our Town Circus. And remember, these are the people we entrust with managing our Town; it’s employees, and our future. As Charlie Brown once exclaimed, “Good Grief!”
How long Addison?