Saturday, May 10, 2008

Power to who? The People? What People?

OK, on the Proposition Election today....when I read:
"Mayor Mike Moncrief made a personal pitch for the city's $150 million bond election -- Voters will not only decide on the street money but also choose council and school board members across the county. Residents in north Fort Worth have been pleading with the city to widen roads in their area, where thousands of new homes have been built along two-lane country roads.
But the election also includes $10 million to build bridges for the Trinity Uptown project, an ambitious plan to divert the Trinity River and attract development to the near north side of Fort Worth.
Neighborhood groups said the city should address existing street needs before taking care of the long-range Trinity plan.
They asked the City Council to remove the bridges from the program or split the election into two propositions, allowing a separate vote on the bridges. The council refused.
E-mails were circulating Friday accusing the city of building "bridges to nowhere" and being dishonest about the bond election."

Moncrief retorted, "I think this process has been very transparent. ... We didn't try to sneak anything in."
If the bond election fails, he said, "The $150 million we're talking about today is going to cost $300 million."
He said the bridge spending would leverage $50 million in state and federal funding.
It's also cheaper to build the new bridges before the Trinity River is diverted, he said."

OK Moncrief - whether or not building the bridges now is a good business decision for the City is not the first question. The first question is:

1. Why Moncrief do you see the need to combine this controversial Build Trinity Bridges Now issue with the neighborhood street upgrades? Is it because you want to force the Building of the Trinity Bridges down our throats?

I, personally, don't see it any other way and that's not a "power to the people" - "Ft. Worth Way" of doing business that you love to brag about. To me, it's a "my way or the highway," screw "power to the people" way of doing things around here. "I'm the head of this City and everyone will do as I say."
If Moncrief wanted to make a Build the Trinity Bridges Now case from a business standpoint then he could have done that with the issue separated from the Neighborhood Street upgrades. He must not have felt to confident about it passing as a separate issue and choose to piggyback it with something that the citizens can hardly refuse. That's not right!

Not only is Moncrief to blame, so are the Council members for not speaking up for what's right for the people. So, like Steve-O writes about the City Hall culture at seems that no Council member really has the political courage to buck the Mayor, or hell, maybe they don't know better -- perhaps they are all blinded by the gas dollars, or a personal political agenda to reach higher ground by way of Moncrief's money and influence.

This is the first real issue that I have personally been able to see where Mayor Moncrief has used his power to manipulate the voters of Ft. Worth. I've sort of just listened to all the other ones because I didn't know enough, but on this one I can say that I think the two issues should have been put before the voters separately and let the cards fall where they may. Shame Shame on Mayor and the City Council. Just my opinion. And no this doesn't mean that I "hate" the Mayor, I just disagree with him on the way this whole Proposition was handled and will be more suspicious of him and the entire Council and their agendas.

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