Vote No! Starts Making Sense
by Sam Merten    Sun, Nov 4, 2007, 01:48 PM

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Stop. The. Press.

Laura Miller said a 45-mph parkway is better for the environment than a high-speed toll road.

Dr. Elba Garcia said this was sold was a green area, and she won’t support any highway in between the levees.

Veletta Lill said the toll road is a hulking mass and a visual obstruction.

Ed Oakley said he doesn’t like the idea of a concrete canyon going down the river.

Mark Housewright said he was confused as a voter in 1998 and wasn’t sure if the road was going to be a tollway or not.

Is it really true? Have all these Vote No! people suddenly seen the light and joined Vote Yes! just before the election?

No. They haven’t raised the white flag. However, that is what they were saying in May 2002.

Now take a chill pill all you Vote No’ers out there. I realize that a lot has changed in the 5 ½ years since these comments were made, most notably the adoption of the Balanced Vision Plan. Yet I’ll argue what was said then hasn’t lost any of its meaning and is actually more powerful today than it was then.

So let me take you back to May 29, 2002. It was a special briefing of the City Council called the Trinity Summit. Notable attendees were Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan, Director of the Trinity River Project Rebecca Dugger, former TxDOT District Engineer Jay Nelson, former NTTA Executive Director Jerry Hiebert and North Central Texas Council of Governments Director of Transportation Michael Morris.

It was former Mayor Laura Miller’s 101st day in office. Her goal was to get a consensus as to where the road element of the Trinity Project was going to go, she said. Joining her were all 14 council members, including several prominent figures from the current Vote No! and Yes! campaigns. 

“I’m going to commit heresy and throw a little editorial comment into where we are,” Miller said.

She explained that the council was briefed on the Trinity Project for four years and given pictures of what was going to be done. Miller said she was never given the invitation as a council member to decide if what she was seeing actually worked. She then encouraged the council to “think outside of usual parameters of conversations.”

Hmm…sound familiar? This sounds a lot like Angela Hunt’s story of beginning to learn about the Trinity Project through PowerPoint presentations that contained pretty pictures but lacked actual information.

Miller said she determined that putting the road on the Oak Cliff side was a bad idea. She made it clear that while the speed of the road and other things couldn’t be determined at the briefing, it sure would be nice if everyone could agree that the split alignment, which would have roads on both the Oak Cliff and downtown sides, was naughty. Before yielding the floor back to the council, she offered up this for consideration.

“Is there a way to design a good-looking road that’s not just a standard, huge, concrete box tollway? Is there a way to move at least 80,000 cars a day off of Stemmons, but put it on a road that’s aesthetically attractive that will compliment the inside of the river bottom and the lake? Is that possible? Why isn’t that possible?”

All fabulous questions -- ones that she eventually tried to address with the Balanced Vision Plan. Yet Dallas is still stuck with a standard, huge, concrete box tollway in its floodway.

Let’s move on to Alan Walne. I have to hand it to him, at least he’s consistent. Walne has been saying that he voted for the 1998 bond because of the transportation element, and that’s what he said in 2002. He also said he promised his constituents that making the road a tollway would get them back their $84 million and accelerate the Canyon/Mixmaster reconstruction.

Texas Transportation Chairman Ric Williamson has already busted the myth that the removal of the Trinity Parkway would derail the reconstruction of the Canyon/Mixmaster, but it turns out former TxDOT District Engineer Jay Nelson already did so after questioning from Walne.

“Jay, if in fact the roadway were to become a non-toll road and become a free road, would that affect TxDOT’s commitment on the acceleration of the Canyon reconstruction?” Walne said.

“There is a way, engineering wise, to reconstruct the Canyon/Mixmaster without the reliever, but the expense would be considerably more and the impact would be considerably more on people driving through the facility. And you’d see a lot more diversion of the traffic into the city street system.” Nelson said.

Nelson also added that he couldn’t recall a statement made by TxDOT saying there would be an acceleration of the Canyon/Mixmaster reconstruction.

Whoops. There goes one of the promises Walne made to his constituents. Now what about that $84 million?

“What we were told and what I went out and told the public was we’re going to get paid back $84 million,” Walne said.

Sandy Greyson disagreed.

“They made it very clear to us, through the Tollway Authority, that we may get paid back. May. After the bond holders got all their money back, after all other financial commitments had been met, we may get our $84 million back. That was always made abundantly clear to us. It’s not a certainty.”

Miller asked if $84 million was the reimbursement number and if it was all of the money that was going to be given back. Rebecca Dugger answered, “Except for right-of-way costs for the NTTA.”

“And if you don’t have a toll road, you’re not going to get paid back any of it, regardless of the actual percentage was,” Walne said.

So at this point, Walne had already broken both of the promises that he sold to his constituents. He was just told that there was no way all of the $84 million could ever be paid back. Yet Walne continues to sell this, as I heard in a debate in Lake Highlands. Councilmember Ron Natinsky made the same statement about getting the $84 million back in a North Dallas debate.

When I asked Mayor Leppert about the statement by Natinsky, he dismissed the statement, saying it wasn't a guarantee. He said certain things needed to work out.

However, what Leppert, Walne, Natinsky and anyone else refuse to admit about the $84 million is that there is a guarantee. The City of Dallas is guaranteed to get back exactly $0.

Why? Well, because the Mayor said so. At the Temple Emanu-El debate, Leppert quoted the right-of-way acquisition for the current alignment at $88 million. He was actually trying to use this in a strange way to compare the Trinity Turnpike and the extension to the Dallas North Tollway, but he failed miserably.

So if right-of-way costs are to be subtracted from the reimbursement amount, which is explained in the ILA, then let’s see…84 minus 88.

Back to ’02 where some free flowin’ discussion started going back and forth about whether people knew it was a 45-mph road or a 55-mph road. Outta nowhere, Miller dropped this bombshell.

“You know, a 45-mph parkway is a whole lot better for the environment and air quality than people going 70 mph on a tollway.”

I think I rewound the tape and listened to that one a dozen times. I don’t care if she said that in 2002, 2007 or 1997, she can’t hide from that one.

OK, scratch that. I guess Vote No! has been doing a good job of keeping Miller in hiding throughout the campaign.

Miller also exposed some strange thinking on behalf of the council when Jill Jordan was asked about cost estimates. Jordan said the cost for a 45-mph six-lane parkway would have been $300 million, while the cost for the combined eight-lane toll road was $620 million.

“Then if you take out the NTTA’s $150 million [from the ILA] and the city’s $84 million, then that is about $386 million that TxDOT would have to pick up versus $225 million if we do a parkway, not a tollway. Right? So it’s a $125 million difference.” Miller said.

OK, so Miller was using some fuzzy math. The $225 million should have been $216 million, with a difference of $170 million, not $125 million. But, hey, what’s $45 million?

Here’s my point. Miller just showed everyone that the 45-mph parkway that she said earlier was better for air quality and the environment would require $170 million LESS in funding from TxDOT, and the response from the council was…crickets.

Along with Walne, another person who was remarkably consistent in their statements in what they said then and what they’re saying now was Sandy Greyson. She said there had to be a better way than to build the road between the levees and the recreation component of the Trinity Project, which is what she sold to her constituents, would be damaged by a tollway.

Greyson said she hoped the council wasn’t so focused on building the road in the levees that alternate routes weren’t explored. She also expressed her willingness to take this issue back to the voters.

“It almost sounds like a forgone conclusion that we’re going to have a road and the only thing we’re going to decide today is what side of the river the road is going to go on and what speed the road is going to be. I think that’s a real shame. I think we have a huge opportunity here today to take a look at what we want our city to be in the future.”

OK, you’ve been patient. You’ve been dying to hear from Veletta Lill, who has been regularly debating on behalf of Vote No!

Lill made it clear that she was not a fan of the toll road in between the levees. She said her constituents voted for the recreational amenities, and she was concerned about the visual clutter and infrastructure that would detract from those amenities.

“Mayor, I’m sorry you weren’t here because my concern, and apparently you had raised it, about the combined parkway is that the large, hulking mass and I am very much opposed to any kind of…you love it when I use…”

“Well, hulking mass…” Walne said.

“Well, it’s a visual obstruction and people don’t want to be around those kinds of things and then you have stuff that gets up underneath them and people graffiti them. And people just don’t want to be around them and I think that is a disincentive for development. We are putting a Calatrava Bridge there that should add great beauty and it would detract from that great beauty. We do not want to spend those kinds of dollars to do anything but create a framework around it which enhances it.”

Wow. I almost fell out of my chair on that one.

I’m sure Lill would say the road is no longer the “hulking mass” and “visual clutter” that it once was in 2002 because of the Balanced Vision Plan. But c’mon. This is going to be the Dallas North Tollway running alongside the downtown Trinity Park. It will be a hulking mass and will provide visual clutter. It will detract from the beauty of the Calatrava Bridges.

Not to be outdone by Lill, Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Elba Garcia sounded like she was in the Yes! camp as well. Garcia, a freshman council member at the time, said the Trinity Project probably started as a way to relieve traffic, but it was sold as a green area and a recreational park with amenities. She referenced an email from one of her constituents urging her to “preserve, restore and enhance the natural balance of the Trinity River.”

“And we have to be sure that that is a guarantee because if we do that, people will come. Otherwise, we’re just going to have another barrier that is going to divide the North from the South. I think Ms. Greyson expressed it very, very well. Once you don’t take care of your natural elements, we’re doomed. And I will not support anything inside the levees, no kind of highway.”

As with Lill, I’m sure Garcia’s excuse would be that soooooo much has changed since 2002. I mean, the Balanced Vision Plan changed everything, right? Well, I don’t think anyone would dispute that the Dallas North Tollway is a highway and since that’s what is being put inside the levees, then I’ll label Garcia a hypocrite.

After some rambling from Maxine Thornton-Reese, John Loza took the floor. Loza said the recreational component is what attracted people to this project and why the bond package passed. He said he was skeptical of making the road a tollway all along, and if there was going to be a road, it needed to be a low-speed road and not a tollway.

Loza said putting a toll road in the levees would run the risk of making the recreation so unattractive and inaccessible that no one would use them. He also echoed Sandy Greyson’s statement of bringing the issue back to the voters.

“If we fumble this opportunity to do something with the Trinity River corridor, it will take generations of Dallasites to undo the mistakes that we have made. And we don’t want to do that.”

Mark Housewright said he originally got involved in the Trinity River Project because he was “a firm believer in keeping the roadway out of the floodplain.” Of course, I think he should have been much more concerned about the road being in a floodway, but I’ve already covered that.

Housewright said he wanted to see the road go down Industrial Boulevard, and he pushed for that “until it became painfully obvious that it was going to be very expensive” and he would never see the result. He said he switched over to putting it inside the floodway for time and money reasons.

Isn’t that admirable? He was so gosh darned concerned about putting a toll road in Dallas’ floodplain that he fought until money and time got in his way. I guess the new policy at City Hall should be: The Quicker. The Cheaper. The Better.

What amazing inspiration from Housewright, who admitted he was confused as a voter on the Trinity Project during an exchange with Jill Jordan.

“At the point that the referendum was held, we were discussing going to the tollway, but there was no clear-cut decision at that point, was there?” Housewright said.

Jordan said although the agreement between the NTTA and City of Dallas was signed after the vote, newspaper articles and city materials said it was a toll facility.

“Then I’ll have to say I was a little confused at the time as a voter, wasn’t privy to council hearings and that. The tan booklet does say that we may be in a joint venture with the NTTA, but then it goes on later in the descriptive narrative there to say that it was under consideration. And I as a voter wouldn’t have taken that at the time to say that we had made a further determination either way.” Housewright said.

“As I said, we didn’t sign the agreement until like a year later.” Jordan said.

So if you’re a little exhausted after 2,500 words, I understand. Take a break. Grab a snack. Then come back for the rest.

All right. Welcome back. More from Veletta Lill still to come if you can believe it.

But I’ll start with Ed Oakley, who didn’t say a lot but didn’t sound like much of a fan of the toll road.

“I don’t like the idea of a concrete canyon going down through the river either. I think if we could eliminate it and just throw that piece of it out, the rest of the pieces of the puzzle are great pieces.”

Boy, for someone who didn’t like the idea of a “concrete canyon” in the floodway and wanted to toss the road out of the project completely, he sure didn’t do a damn thing about it when he was the chair of the Trinity River Committee.

“But where do you put it? How do you build a road project that relieves the kind of necessity that we have to out of the Canyon? I don’t know. I’m not a road expert, but they’re sitting here telling us to make a decision because the cost only escalates.”

Gee, I dunno, Ed. Maybe you look around the room at everyone else expressing concern about having the road inside the levees and take a stand. Maybe you do what you think is right instead of bowing to the pressure of escalating costs. Oakley also said he would be OK with going back to the voters with the road.

This Housewright/Oakley motto of quick and cheap ended up where? A delayed project with escalating costs. Thanks guys.

Mitchell Rasansky, who might be the hardest one to figure out how he ended up on the Vote No! side being such a fiscal conservative and all, was getting his feet wet on the council in 2002 and made it known he needed much more information. However, much like almost everyone in the room, he wasn’t keen on the idea of building this road in the floodway.

“I think it’s important to see what kind of road we want. I don’t think I’m going to support a road inside the levees. I really don’t think I’m going to support that at all. I can see development on the outside.”

Rasansky was smart to be noncommittal in his statements. But you have to wonder what possibly could have changed his mind, especially given what he said about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“I’m not so sure that I concur with the Corps of Engineers. I don’t know. I want some more information.”

After citizens (Bob Meckfessel and Donna Halstead were among them) were given the opportunity to speak, it was Round 2 for the council members. Alan Walne cited the 1.7 percent margin in the ’98 vote and said he believed at least 2 percent of the people voted for the bond package based on the transportation element.

When Veletta Lill took the mic for the second time, she addressed Walne’s comment and provided more quotes you’d expect to hear from Angela Hunt.

“Mr. Walne, I know you believe that 2 percent may have voted for the transportation, but there are probably 10 percent out there that didn’t vote for that project because they didn’t want a high-speed tollway through that corridor and they may indeed be coming over to the fact that if it were a low-speed parkway, they would indeed like that. So we’re still arguing.”

“Maybe you’ll get a chance to put it back to them that way and we’ll see,” Walne said.

“The ballot itself said the Trinity Parkway and related street improvements. It didn’t say high-speed tollway or any of that. It doesn’t say that. And I know we have this belief that we are going to solve the region’s transportation problems and challenges by putting this road beneath them. But, interestingly enough folks, I represent a district where we passionately don’t believe in expanding our roads, and it’s developing at a pretty high rate and has the highest density. So it wasn’t because we had really big roads in there that people came to that area of town -- to a Turtle Creek or to another area of the city. It was because they like Turtle Creek Parkway, the parkway aspect of it.”

Gee, thanks Angela, er, I mean Veletta.

Lill also said she wanted to continue to advocate looking into a lower-speed road.

So what came of this big meeting that lasted past 6 p.m.?

Well, it turns out nothing was accomplished outside of the discussion. Miller was hoping to eliminate the split parkway option to keep the road off the Oak Cliff side, but that was foiled at the last minute when a staff member brought up a concern that forced the meeting to an awkward adjournment.

However, Miller did ask the Transportation Committee to look into options outside the levees, and she also put an end to any thoughts about Industrial as an alternative.

“The thing that could make us move forward a little bit is to say we’re not going to do Industrial. I mean, I don’t think we’re going to do Industrial. That’s not an option, OK? Ed said it, his district, Loza’s district. We’re not going to do Industrial. It’s crazy expensive. It’s too much eminent domain. The property owners will go nuts. We’re not going to do that. I don’t care what the EIS says. We’re not going to do that.”

This meeting also set the stage for Miller’s Balanced Vision Plan as she expressed a desire to hire an outside firm using private money to bring all the pieces of the project together.

This brings us full circle back to 2007.

The Balanced Vision Plan is the thing many Vote No’ers point to as why everything is so great. Look at how the lakes have improved and all the recreational amenities, they’ll tell ya. And the lanes on the road have gone down from eight to six! Isn’t that swell?

Nobody has a problem with the improvements to the park. In fact, those improvements make it that much more important to get the toll road out of the park.

The original BVP restricted trucks and had 12 access points to the park among other things. While it’s unknown if trucks will be using the road, Vote No! sure thinks there will be. As for access points, right now there are five, and it’s not even direct access to the park.

For anyone to act like the BVP excuses their statements from 2002, I’m not buying it. There is still, as Sam Coats would say, a honkin’ toll road in the floodway.

The consensus from this meeting seemed that no one really wanted this road in the park, but the only ones to stay true to their comments were Sandy Greyson and John Loza.

Miller’s statements about Industrial prove it was never seriously considered as an option. Now we know it should have been.

We can’t go back in time and change the past, but something can be done about Dallas’ future.

  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because a high-speed toll road is bad for the environment.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because the 1998 bond package was sold as a green space and you want to keep it that way.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because you think the toll road will be a hulking mass and a visual obstruction in the park.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because you don’t like the idea of a concrete canyon going down the river.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because you were confused as a voter in 1998 and weren’t sure if the road was going to be a toll road or not.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because promises were made about the road that weren’t true.
  • Vote FOR Proposition 1 because elected leaders made decisions on this road based on money and time instead of what was best for Dallas and its citizens.

I’m going to try to crank out one more Trinity column before the big vote Tuesday, so check back for it. I’ll attempt to bring everything together, if that’s even possible. Hopefully I can keep it under 3,900 words, but I’m not makin’ any promises.

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Comments (17)add comment
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written by Already Voted "For" , November 04, 2007

Wow. That's a fascinating read.

What happened to those people?



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written by Branden Helms , November 05, 2007

Holy smokes Sam, it is amazing your wife hasn't left you, given all the time you are spending on this.

Since I know the DMN won't do it, I hope you can. Maybe at some point, you can bring their quotes to them and asked what changed. Specific quotes like comparing Turtle Creek to the ballot made by Veletta would at least get a stammer.

One reason you won't hear for the changed stance is money. I'd bet if you look at campaign contributions to some of these people, you'd find, in some form or another, a Citizens Council contribution.

Thanks again Sam for what you do.



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written by JimS , November 05, 2007

Hey, great work, Sam.


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written by joseph raines , November 05, 2007

excellent article!


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written by sal costello , November 05, 2007

Branden is right, it's about the payolla.

Some folks would sell their own mothers, if you gave them enough greenbacks - as if they could take it with em.



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written by Tucker Willis , November 05, 2007

Sam:

I don’t think anything that you or I or anyone else writes or says at this point will have any effect on how a person will vote on Tuesday, so now it’s just chitchat and ruminations.

You cited many examples of crosscurrents of thoughts and changed positions as this project has developed over the last decade. It makes no difference to me the many curves in the road to get to the end plan. All the elected reps in the City, with the exception of Ms. Hunt, our reps in the County, the State, and the Fed govt. believe in this project. That is the combined wisdom of people who know this City well and are dedicated to its best interests and who helped put together all the myriad pieces. It may make you feel good to categorize them all as a bunch of fools, but maybe you outta look in the mirror.

The only reason I wrote a comment on this web site and the Observer was that I became exasperated with Ms. Hunt constantly referring to the proposed Trinity Park as our Central Park, and comparing the Trinity River to the Hudson River, the Williamette, the Colorado--rhetoric with no substance--totally ludicrous—complete hogwash. I am very much in favor of a park, but for a park I know can be made in the floodway, not some airy idea of grandeur that is pure fluff. NO ONE, not you, not Ms. Hunt, zip, will talk about THE park, what it can be, how it will be used, what are its limitations. I wrote in a comment how I envisioned the park. Not you or any of your readers took exception to any aspect of what I wrote. I am pro-park and I am pro-reality.

The roadway and the park are interwoven. If we don’t solve the traffic mess with the roadway, then there is not much reason to build a roadway at all--there are many other ways to create access to the floodway off the existing bridges. In about a couple of years you’ll be blogging about all the bickering in the City Council over what, when, and where and complaining that that’s not what you meant when you voted yes.

If we don’t proceed with this plan then I can write off seeing much happen in my generation. It has taken too much collective time and energy to get to this point. The Audubon Center and Equestrian Center in the Great Trinity Forest will be completed. But the 2,000 acres downtown park area will have to be rethought, reargued. The momentum that is in such evidence at the present moment will dissipate as everyone has to go back to the drawing board and some people will throw in the towel. Only the Dallas City Council will have a direct interest, and it has many other items competing for its time and money. Our Dallas County, State, Fed reps will wait years for new proposals for their consideration and they, of course, have many other constituents in cities other than Dallas soliciting their time and energy. The do-gooders have many worthwhile projects at their doors other than this. The developers who have current concrete ideas will put most on hold as they won’t know about Industrial, other street alignments, traffic congestion, etc. In the mean time, the cars are bumper to bumper at the mixmaster.

C’est la vie . . .



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written by OakCliffer , November 05, 2007

Tucker,

Your generation is all about your cars. The new generation is about health and exercise. Why is the Katy Trail so crowded? Because we refuse to sit in front of our tvs as our butts become ginormous. This park is the future for the health of Dallas. Highways are OLD HAT. Don't like the commute? Move to Dallas. We are BOOMING.



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written by dave c. , November 05, 2007

Tucker, Maybe you should read more and write less. All of your arguments for the road have already been shot down. Repeating the same thing over and over won't make it true. This road won't solve our traffic problems.

Sam has done some great work to get people the information they want to be able to make an informed vote on Tuesday. You seem to think that no one is suppose to question this project just because a bunch of (clearly bought) elected reps support it. I'm sorry but that is just not a good reason to set aside our common sense. This road is not a good use of our land or our money.

Maybe you have an investment in this project that keeps you from looking at this road in a rational way. (Money does that to people.) If not then maybe you just need to calm down. Take a nap or a walk or something then come back and read Sam's post again. It really does explain much.



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written by HSH , November 05, 2007

Tucker:

You're not very familiar with Texas's riverways. Allow me enlighten you. The Trinity River watershed covers over 140 square miles of North and Northwest Texas. All of that watershed feeds into the East Fork (through Dallas) and West Fork (through Fort Worth) of the Trinity. The Trinity then meanders south and east to the Gulf of Mexico. The Trinity River is the source of Lake Livingston, the largest lake constructed for water supply purposes in the State of Texas.

It is one of the four major river systems in Texas: the Rio Grande, the Colorado, the Brazos and the Trinity. Your "hogwash" comment is false and the worst kind of rhetoric. If you want to bash Texas's resources, pick on the coal industry. But our rivers and lakes are magnificent.



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written by Tucker Willis , November 05, 2007

Hey, HSH--I am speaking only of the suggestion, which I consider hogwash, comparing the Trinity as it flows through Dallas in a floodway between the levees to the Colorado as it flows through Austin between rocky hills where it could be dammed to make Town Lake. No similarity of any sort I can see. I am quite familar with magnificence of our Texas rivers--I quite agree with you on that score.


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written by anna procter , November 05, 2007

dear tucker,

"I don’t think anything that you or I or anyone else writes or says at this point will have any effect on how a person will vote on Tuesday, so now it’s just chitchat and ruminations."

i disagree with the above. right now is exactly when people are going to change their minds.
just over the last few weeks i began really investigating the project and the referendum. i became an educated voter. shoot, i became aware there was something to vote on at all.
most people i have talked to since have no idea that there is a vote happening, or what it means when they vote "yes" or "no". in talking with people, explaining what the vote is for, educating them on what is happening to their city, not one person i spoke to is going to vote "no".
in fact, many of them were not going to vote at all, but now they will be at the polls tomorrow voting "yes".

it's never too late to educate voters, and your type of apathy about the system and the ability to incite change is exactly what is wrong with our society these days.

go vote tomorrow. go vote for whatever you want. use your right, but don't discourage the education of potential voters.



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written by Bill Kennedy , November 05, 2007

Great article, Sam! Especially the part about Veletta Lill channeling her future replacement in the past.

"There are strange things done 'neath the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold."



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written by east dallas nutcase , November 06, 2007

Of course Lill has flip flopped. She probably wants to take another stab at running for council so she has to be the anti-Angela.


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written by me and mine , November 06, 2007

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Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 10:08:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: "sandra crenshaw" Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: vote no for responsible voting
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
me and mine




The Trinity Vote --- Truth or Consequences by Sandra Crenshaw


It is now before us ----a chance available only in America ---when we the people can decide for we the people if we want a four lane or a six lane roadway with a 35 mile per hour speed limit or a 55 speed limit in our trinity river wastelands beside two large manmade 90 acre and 60 acre ponds in which we cannot swim, sail, or fish with parking lots and other recreational facilities yet unfunded with none of the plans for the park with or without a roadway finally approved as being technically sound and environmentally acceptable. The Trinity River Vote Proposition could have been a landmark opportunity for the citizentry to participate in democracy. After all, it was our inept elected officials that lost the Dallas Cowboys, and the horse track, and NASCAR. And the DFW airport. It could have been an invigorating experience for their apathetic ,irresponsible nonvoting constiuents to aid in making decisions about their tax dollars. if only we the citizens had facts and figures with which to make an intelligient decision .instead of campaign propaganda, misleading facts, and half truths combined with personal attacks on the proponents and opponents of the proposition...
Who is more irresponsible here, the elected officials or the citizens like me who signed the petition without all the facts just so that I had a bite at the apple. Without knowing if a roadway with or without tolls can even be built in the floodplains then the question should be , Am a being a responsible voter if I selfishly vote for a lowspeed roadway into a park that I probably will NOT visit and keep 100,000 who ARE willing to pay for a shorter, safer, and quicker way to and from work. Do I vote to sacrifice the safe and expedient transport of food and supplies for the aesthetics of a lowspeed road along a park that has no function except a lakeview. Do I vote at the last minute to stop the work done by hundreds of Dallas citizens who participated in the Balanced Vision Plan for over a decade when I choose not to attend the community meetings. ? If we the citizens cannot figure out why yes means no and no means yes, why are we the people being asked to referee decisions that put lives at risk by trying to reengineer MOTHER NATURE’S ’s river so that we can have OUR park and SAVE dollars by not going elsewhere for our transportation needs.

Let we the people decide on November 6th, to put this decision back in the hands of the federal government who CAN ultimately decide what is SAFE for ALL of us. Vote No to the City of Dallas Proposition 1 and God Bless America .


Sandra Crenshaw, a southern sector resident of Dallas . She is the Executive Director of Neighborhood Improvement Association and a former Dallas city council member , City of Dallas Park and Recreation Board member and former member of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Community Advisory Board. and the Democratic Chair of Precinct #3549.



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written by Victory Dance , November 06, 2007

OH, boy. The pave the park gang have hit rock bottom. They hired Sandra Crenshaw! They MUST be desperate. LOL. Bet she costs them more votes than she gets them.


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written by Lefty's Two-Wheeled Mirage , November 07, 2007

Okay - so we lost... Now what?

Well, now we hold their feet to the fire and make them keep every freakin' promise they made, and hold them to every lie they told. And I'm putting money in Vegas that this thing STILL won't ever get built the way they want it built...

This city is like Butte, Montana. Find a vein, tap it, run it out and leave the mercury-laden mess for other generations to clean up. One big open-pit mine. Thanks, Dallas. I LOVE this beautiful (ugly), forward-thinking city. It's So, So, CLEAN. Sorry, had to rant with some hyperbole thrown in there.

NYT - why the hell didn't you post your stuff weeks ago????



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written by john k. , November 07, 2007

It's all over, now. Wait for 8 more years at the end of Mayor Leppert's second term and there might be a toll road dumping 80,000 cars a day into Irving.



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