Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Endorsement: WIlliam Gordon for Place 1

I have reviewed Mr. Gordon's platform on his website and I think it's good. I endorse him for Place 1.

I am pleased that his approach appears that of a pragmatic and economic nature rather than that of a culture warrior. I believe this is the way forward for a successful, responsible/transparent, civil city where all residents get along and contribute to the common good.

I should say that this is an endorsement for Mr. Gordon rather than one against Mr. Townshend personally. I have met Mr. Townshend a couple of times in civic situations and he seems to be a decent fellow. He has treated me fairly and appropriately when we interacted. I appreciate his willingness to serve on the Council.

I have not met Mr. Gordon (that I am aware of) and am endorsing him based on his platform. I also believe his activism in the past has been the irritating sand that began the growth of the pearl -- greater transparency in city governance. Last, and probably least, I've been increasingly willing to "throw the bums out" as they say; inject fresh blood. Try something different. I've heard it said that the definition of crazy is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results."

My concern from a governance point of view is that service on the council in the last few years is nearly indistinguishable from dancing to the Mayor's and City Manager's tune. Not talking about Mr. Townshend specifically, but I want councilfolk up there, not marionettes. I want discussion, not rubberstamping. I want people who actively fight for the minimal, appropriate, informed, and transparent use of taxpayer funds. I'm talking about stewardship of taxpayer resources.

Note: I do not know that an endorsement from a blog like this has any positive value for Mr. Gordon. Since I want his campaign to succeed I would pull this post if he found it to be counterproductive.

Friday, March 11, 2011

more spin/waste at $0.335 per household

As I said before, Mr. Mayor, stop sending us spin on our own dime.

Is there ANYTHING in this letter you couldn't have posted online or sent in your weekly email instead?

Note: only a rough scan of the front side uploaded. I assume we'll all have a copy soon enough, anyhow.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I thought I had written a comment Friday AM on the anti-Muslim email emailed to DC's blog, but I don't see it there.

The main points that were on my mind:

* I moved to Richardson, in part, because of the rich mix of cultures and the ease with which Richardson seemed to absorb them. The not-always-subtle anti-Islam whispering I've heard in the last year is troubling in the extreme. It is beneath us and it is counterproductive. It's not acceptable.

* I have been warmly received by our Muslim brethren when exploring restaurants and markets. I especially recommend World Food Market, Andre Food, and Sara Bakery. For sit-down eating: Afrah, Tovi (the place next to Asel), Ali Baba. Food is a wonderful starting point to learn about and understand another culture. Hey, ya gotta eat anyway.

* My Muslim neighbors are good neighbors; I would rather have them next door than the author of that email.

* Muslim kids are doing just fine academically and behaviorally in RISD. Kids seem to get along with each other fine. (There are many such instances of kids getting along with people their parents shun, but that's the subject of a different post).

* Should I also be alert for Christian outreach in my neighborhood? Of the doorknocking religionmongers on my doorstep (ignoring my No Solicitors sign), 100% have been Protestant. 0% have been Muslim.

* It is fair to ding Amir's politics if you don't like his approach to the Council (or Twitter :-). It is not fair to ding his faith. Off limits.

My challenge to myself and to the community
If you are already accepting of our Muslim brethren, speak out against prejudice and bigotry when you see it. Continue to embrace people of all faiths. Extremists (of all flavors) can flourish only when the moderate population remains silent.
Special thanks to Mark Steger for speaking out so strongly in his comment.

If you are on the fence, spend some time with Muslim folk, eat some Middle Eastern food, shop at the local markets. Your decision will be made from the basis of experience and not of fear or rumors.

If you are anti-Islam, please consider being more Christlike when expressing your concerns.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

$3.25/gal is the cheapest in Richardson

Looks like we're climbing up there.

My 15yo car is averaging a gps- and pump-calibrated 27.8mpg at the moment. Take that, SUV that cut me off in traffic this A.M. with nary a signal... I hope that full-throttle blast cost you $5.