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Strong Mayor, Weak Mayor
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So Dallas is having a vote soon on a proposal to make the city a "strong mayor" system.

From what I understand, our mayor, Laura Miller, is weak, meaning basically that she can't directly hire or fire major city positions like Chief of Police, and that she doesn't have a lot of power when it comes to how city funds are spent. So who does? The city manager, who is appointed by the City Council.

Dallas lawyer Beth Ann Blackwood turned in 30,000 signatures in November to bring the strong-mayor measure before voters. She and Mayor Laura Miller, who started her own campaign in favor of the proposal, say the council-manager system has been a barrier to improving city services, fighting crime and enhancing the quality of life.

I honestly don't know how much more effective the system would be if the mayor had more power over hiring, firing, and budgets. But the rhetoric has gotten a bit silly:

"We're being asked to give up the choice of democratic government," said council member Bill Blaydes. "That approaches dictatorship."

Um. Okay. If Laura Miller had deposed former mayor Ron Kirk in a coup, yeah. But last time I checked she was elected.

Black leaders, who see the Blackwood proposal as an attack on minority representation at City Hall, are equally angry that a majority of council members have endorsed their own "less-strong-mayor" alternative.

Our last mayor was black. This one is a woman. Aren't females still considered "minorities" (a female-owned business is considered a "minority-owned" one, correct?). Anyway, this is just too silly for words.

What matters is which system will be best for the city of Dallas. Honestly, I don't really know, because I haven't heard a rational discussion of the pros and cons...just a bunch of nonsense like this. So right now, I probably won't even vote on the issue next month.

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