At shortly after 9 PM the Dallas County Election Bureau reported that with 85% of the vote counted voters were rejecting a “Strong Mayor” initiative for the second time this year – although the vote was much closer this time: 53% no versus 47% yes. It would not appear enough votes remain uncounted to alter the outcome.
Although Mayor Miller remained inactive on the proposition’s behalf the defeat can be seen as a second defeat. However, it is also a black eye for the city’s business leadership which put some money and muscle behind its passage after having opposed the “really Strong Mayor” proposal earlier. Those members of the city council who switched from ‘yes’ to ‘no’ in the past few days clearly caught the early direction of the wind.
However, the vote is close enough to deny the City Council much chest beating opportunities. The real winner is City Manager Mary Suhm and her staff whom Mayor recently berated over their handling of the Ray Hunt tax abatement measure. Given the closeness of the vote it is reasonable to assume that the Mayors handling of the Hunt matter may have tilted the vote to the no side and denied Mayor Miller the power to fire the City Manager.