Who was the real loser this weekend?Yup, the Rockets were whupped by the Dallas Mavericks by 40 points in game 7. I'm sure they're having quite the celebration up there. But in a lesser noticed story, Dallas voters also rejected adopting a strong-mayor form of city government similar to Houston's. From the Chronicle article:
A quote from the Dallas Morning News article:
Meanwhile, voters in Dallas, which is struggling with high crime and racial tensions, shot down a proposition to strengthen the mayor's governing power Saturday. With nearly all Dallas precincts counted, about 62 percent, or 65,885 voters, said no to a major overhaul of the city charter that would shift the balance of power at City Hall to the mayor and away from the 14 council members.
Mayor Laura Miller and other supporters of a strong-mayor government had said it would free the mayor to address the city's woes: job losses, an empty downtown and the highest big-city crime rate in the country.
Opponents, including former Mayor Ron Kirk and all 14 council members, said the proposal would give the mayor too much power and fail to ensure adequate checks and balances.
Despite the proposal's failure, Miller said she believes Dallas residents want change. "I think that the opposition did a good job in repeating over and over again this was scary and too radical. In reality, it was a lot weaker than what other strong-mayor cities have," she said in Saturday's online edition of The Dallas Morning News.
"The City Council has proven over the last 20 to 30 years that they are incapable of moving forward, and they're partly responsible for businesses leaving the city," Mr. Burnett said.I'm no expert on the intricacies of strong vs. weak mayor systems or the specifics of the Dallas proposal, but what I have read is that the trend is away from city managers and toward strong mayors because of accountability to voters and the ability to get things done. There also seems to be a steady beat of bad news coming from Dallas and good news coming from Houston. It has to make you wonder: who lost more this weekend? Houston and our hopes for another NBA championship? or Dallas and their chance at a real turnaround?...
(update: Chronicle editorial)