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August 18, 2010


GREAT summation of the entire saga!! LOL
Mind if I re-post over at the watchdog site as well?!

Sure, Captain. Just give me credit and a link back, OK?

Got it!

Aww man, I was really going for the "Take no prisoners" award.

Ha ha! I didn't think of that one, Mike.

I think the city has to or just took the opportunity to designate a paper because the state passes so many laws where in the law it is written the city must put in legal notices in a local paper. Technically, it could be any paper a city believes reaches a large enough portion of the community.

Interesting post.

Stewart Doreen

I believe you are right about the notice requirements, Stewart, although I doubt that there's a state law requiring cities to specify an official newspaper in its code.

I would suggest that the newspaper petition the council to repeal that provision to maintain its independence, but it would require some research time by the city legal office, and if you ask the city to do anything the council will beat you over the head with and say that's why they need higher taxes.

Thanks for staying in touch. The Newsroom Stew blog provided a valuable perspective when it was active.

We will see. I don't mind the city being specific with its citizens on where legal notices and such will be posted (whether it is the Reporter-Telegram, Thrifty Nickel or OA. It helps point people in the right direction. You would be surprised how many would be critical if they weren't. Some would claim the need for more transparency.
I'm sure City Attorney Keith Stretcher will take the call from any concerned taxpayer.

Thanks for your work. Newsroom Stew was fun, but there's just not enough hours in the day right now. That's why I made the decision to stop doing it. Maybe that will change.

Stewart, I suspect that code provision is there because some politician in the past wanted to honor the Telegram for some reason or other.

As long as it's there I'll assume that its presence in the code is perfectly OK with the Telegram and the city governance.

I think you are reading way too much into it.
If they want to reference us on that point, that is their decision not ours. (again call the city attorney on that) I find it hard to believe some politician back in the day decided on such a thing to honor the paper. If you have evidence otherwise, I would like to know. Until then it is an assumption, that's it.
Lastly, if our name in their city code put us in cahoots with city government (in your mind or anyone else's), then there's probably little we can do convince you otherwise. If it were changed you'd find something else to make that determination.
Sad because there are a lot of city officials who would tell you otherwise.

You're not being thin skinned, are you Stewart? Just as a reminder, this post was intended to poke fun and maybe get a laugh or two.

Well, to be fair to the MRT, the Midland city code does make several references to the "official newspaper" for notice publication purposes. The Dallas code does too, but they don't name a newspaper in the code.

As far as being in "cahoots" that wasn't my wordage, but it certainly seemed to hit a raw nerve.

By the way, I was glad to see the budget Q&A in the newspaper today. Good. Not very timely, but good.

As far as being thin-skinned, who knows? I don't think someone in a position like Jason should go unanswered when he makes such claims (and we shouldn't assume his poor choice of words). He's not some citizen or even just another blogger. He has a lot of influence with his radio audience, and if we don't set the record straight then we just leave people questioning how seriously we take our role as one of those who help keep government in check. In my opinion it is one of the more important things we do.

I can't speak for the city of Dallas people except to say there are more options than the more DMN. There's the Park Cities People for the Highland Park and University Park areas. There's also a set of neighborhood publications for North Dallas, Preston Royal and other areas of town. The city of Dallas for all I know may do legal notices there. Maybe they pick the Thrifty Nickel or the alternative newspaper. Any of those would satisfy some legislature requests for notice. Our city doesn't have as many choices.

Thanks for the kind word about the budget Q-and-A. Seemed like this past week there were more questions than ever, so I think the timing wasn't too bad. Plus there's another hearing Monday.

Thing is I have been writing about bigger budgets and tax collections and what role the Tea Party could have played since April of last year. I am seriously disappointed with local Tea Party leadership that they haven't done more. In one night, four or five of them probably could have gotten most of the info they needed top propose a list of 10 things the city could do to cut $1 million from its general fund budget and get a tax rate like last year. Had they come up with such a list and made it public you put more pressure on the council because it shows there are choices which could be made. I think the public could get behind it.
Tea Party people and others have also ignored at least one other taxing entity whose budget increased but showed no tax rate increase. I guess one Tea Party leader (not you or Jason) was worried about his 9-11 truther theories (my attempt at being funny).

Thanks again for the conversation. I do enjoy your comments.

Thanks for the kind words, Stewart. You were way out in the lead a few years ago when you wrote a newspaper article about blogs and gave us our 15 minutes. I'll always be grateful for that.

As for a budget examination and concrete proposals, that's a nice sounding theory. The city council members also suggested citizens examine the budget and come up with their own suggestions. But the only people who could do that are people who are intimate with it. As I've said before, for every penny a citizen would propose to cut, there's an insider who could make a passionate argument for why they need that penny.

The department heads are the ones who are most capable of trimming expenses. And there were department heads in the audience at the hearings anxious to learn whether they would get the money they requested or have to go back and make adjustments. If they can contemplate it, they can do it.

Sleepless. so as not to just say i dont give equal time to the other sites. thank you for the awards. i even got an email from one individual who said i was a very angry young man and that i should not have dressed down the tea party the way i did.i really appreciated her comment on calling me an angry young man . i might have considered it an insult had she called me an angry old man. if people are really serious about cutting expenses and taxes then someone needs to start the combine city and county govt movement. your site should be the first.

Thanks, Scott. Keep that up and you may end up out of the running for those two awards next time! Ha Ha!

As for combining the city and county, I wouldn't know where to start. That's a government thing, and those of you already in the thick of it are best suited for that job.

Is Scott Dufford considering a run for county commissioner (county judge)?

FYI, when you start trying to combine City and County government functions be prepared for Texas State Constitutional Amendments to do most of what some members of the public want to do.

Remember is was a Texas Constitution based challenge that went to Court several years ago that wound up forcing the County to have four constables.

"Article V, Section 18, of the Texas Constitution uses the census figures to set population ranges to determine the number of constable and justice of the peace precincts a county may have. Tex. Const. art. V, ยง 18. For example, the current language requires a county with a population of 50,000 or more, according to the most recent census, to be divided into not less than four and not more than eight precincts."

The Texas Constitution goes on to define lots of other required County offices and the only way to get out of electing those offices is to get an exception in the Texas Constitution.

Great article! Maybe next episode we can hand out the Ostrich Award (the council member with his/her head buried the deepest). Or maybe the Hear/Speek/See No Evil Award. Mayor Wes Perry would have gotten that award for his statement (to me) that there was no more waste, fraud, or abuse left to cut from the budget.

I walked the streets for days getting lots of signatures and talking to about 250 people on the west side of town. Each conversation went from "hey do you know MCC is gonna raise property taxes on this nice house you got here?" to about a 30-45 min rant from each and every citizen who i came in contact with. Most of the rants were directed to the time of the meetings making it impossible for anyone who works to attend.

We elected the CC members to cut expenses and waste. That's that bottom line. I could careless about what gets cut, just cut enough to not raise taxes. It's not the peoples job to hound out potential budget cuts, that's what CC members are for.

In a representative system, we elect folks to represent we the people, and we the people said "do not raise our taxes" and our request fell on deaf ears. That's what i feel is the real story here.

I heard Mayor WP on the radio today, again talking about police and fire. Really? I mean, it's getting to be like the racism deal when you oppose obama, i call it the "nuke" button. They attempt to neutralize the debate by nuking you w, "omg we gotta fire cops" fine, fire them. The strongest deterrent to crime is the 2nd amendment, not a bunch of off duty cop cars driving their kids to school and headed to jumboritto for dinner.

Look i respect all of you folks, my entire argument when i got up there was to demand a night time meeting so some of the hundreds of people i talked to could attend, and about half of them did. We blew the doors off that building, even I ended up waiting in line to get in as the doors were shut due to it being over packed.

We achieved our goals, we raised awareness and brought more people to this shindig than had ever been assembled for a tax hearing. Even if we lost we still won, resistance is victory! More people are now aware of what's going on concerning the local sector of government.

I see little value in various tea parties around the country chasing down this mosque nonstory. I pretty certain we were the only tea party from elpaso to dallas and from lubbock to the border that actually engaged their city council concerning taxes. Isn't that what TEA stands for, Taxed Enough Already? I could be wrong tho.

People have filed to run against the current municipal regime and some have made statements that they feel the midland city council is not representing the people. Everyone i talked to said "no higher taxes" but mysteriously 60% of the people that called the WP hotline said "please raise my taxes" which is astonishing to me because i sure as hell couldn't find anyone saying that.

you cant win unless you try.

Ospurt - Looks like anyone wanting to go forward with a city/county combo will have their work cut out for them. Those against it will merely point to the initial expense.

Tom Sudduth -- Great suggestions!

Mike Lopez -- It was a full house that night. When I got there it was standing room only, and the Fire Marshal was about to shut it off. If you were responsible for that turn out then you did a heck of a job.

wasnt just me, there are other leaders and a few other .orgs around town that made a showing and brought their people. Jason and the 2 toms i know both did a lot of leg work, 9/12 had members there and i'm sure about 25% of those who showed came because the media.

Thank you. It's a sad commentary about what hppaens when you elect morons to mismanage your great city into the ground. I'd love to document the demise of Toronto at the hands of Mayor David Miller and his socialist city council and publish a book as a warning to other wannabe Mayors at how quickly incompetence, wasteful spending and arrogance can destroy a city from the inside out.

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