I am writing this column a couple days after the May 6 elections, but by the time you read it you will probably be saturated with post-election commentary and will be wishing I had written on my favorite ice cream parlors in Lake Highlands.
Come to think of it, I probably would prefer that, too. Before I write on ice cream, though, I had better give myself enough time to do a lot of research.
Anyway, back to the elections. As you will recall, the big three choices for Dallas mayor – Ron Kirk, Darrell Jordan and Domingo Garcia – were more distinctive in skin color than in political philosophy.
Although Garcia was technically different from and better than Kirk and Jordan on DART, the Wright Amendment and Reunion Arena, he had a lot of other baggage that still put him in the same philosophical camp as Kirk and Jordan, a camp with no fire – hence, no heat or light.
It is hard to know if voters genuinely embraced Kirk’s message of unity, or if they embraced Kirk’s message simply because no one else had one. (With the notable exception of Billy Jack Ludwig, whose campaign message was “be lean and mean.”)
Whatever the explanation, the decision was overwhelming, catapulting Kirk so far ahead of everyone else that the “inevitable” runoff became just another bad election prediction. Kirk now is confronted with the unenviable task of translating his talk of unity into practice with his 14 single-minded, single-district council members.
It is probably too much to expect that voters are aware of the irony created by a campaign to unify a council system that is inherently, unavoidably and even purposely factious. Dallas continues to be a city working at cross-purposes.
In other election results, Lake Highlands Councilman Donna Halstead ran unopposed.
The eight City bond proposals were likewise approved by huge margins. These proposals were touted as expenditure for basic infrastructure needs, and for the most part they were. However, items more resembling basic pork were sneaked into the proposals, such as extending the McKinney Avenue Trolley and building a new Hispanic cultural center.
Our own White Rock Lake will be receiving $9 million from these bonds, which most likely will be enough to dredge the silt that accumulated from the storms we had last month.
The last massacre on the ballot occurred in the three races for the Richardson school board. The “Republican” slate of incumbent Jim Herblin and newcomers Ron Hinds and Brooks Purnell were thrashed by a 2-to-1 margin by Ron Hughes, Paula Hibbs and Anne Barab.
Richardson voters either rejected the “Republican” label, the “slate” approach, the conservative platform, or all of the above.
It seems a little schizophrenic for RISD area voters to continue sending Sam “let’s abolish the Department of Education” Johnson to Congress, and to send George W. Bush to Austin to enact home-rule legislation for local school boards, only to knock-down school board candidates who advocate the same things.
It reminds me of an ancient Chinese proverb: A voter is like a Sumo wrestler – one is hard to understand, and the other is hard to stand under.