Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Why Does The Dallas News Fear Me ?

Why Does the Dallas Morning News Want Me Gone?

I have been around Dallas Politics a very long time, this is my first time in an environment where the Agency hold the key to creative financing with out side for profit and non profit businesses’ I cannot say which one is worst, but at least in a for profit environment the people seem to speak with truth and not hide the profit margin. The non profit group enjoys the privilege of not paying tax on their profit and has a hard time explaining how they are not making a profit.
When ask to join the Dallas Housing Authority Board by Mayor Laura Miller I had not earthly idea what I had said yes to! I imagined going to a place much like Parkland or DFW Airport with professional staff, self confident and knew where they wanted the Agency to go. Jeff Fegan when hired wanted DFW to become the Best Airport in the World and operate like a business and had a plan. Ron Anderson at Parkland Hospital wanted the Best Health care a sick person could receive regardless of income and had plan to achieve. Ann Lott on the other hand wanted better housing for Dallas residents but no plan. I am not sure when it started but there is a ghost within DHA that spooks the employees; they think someone has a conspiracy against them. If it’s not their way it’s the conspiracy theory.
There are so many deals between DHA and so many other groups most are non profit
Some or for profit. Once upon a time someone learned they could form other non profit
Under the umbrella agency that could do every thing the Federal Government said you could not do under original code. The General Council forms these when ask by the President/CEO. If for profit or non profit wants to do a tax credit deal or bond deal. The Board does not approve these when the Board knows anything the documents for the Deal or on the table to be signed.
On September 24, 1992 the Board approved by-law giving the President /CEO control of the Housing Authority of the City of Dallas. Texas. There is no document that directs President/CEO to have all such items approved by the Board.

Now for years the DHA has run under this type of Organizational structure and not one word from the Mayor, City Council, Dallas Morning News, or ant other body within the City of Dallas. Mayor Kirk and Laura Miller never filed all their positions on the Board
But not one word from the only Daily news in the City that has a responsibility to the general public. The Dallas News now finds it their sworn duty to keep the Public informed about DHA and to pressure Mayor Leppert into changing the five members Board even with too position not expired. First I could not figure it out, but I knew it would come to me. One group who wants the Little Mexico property they want to but the property and think the Board is the problem, not true this Board wants to leverage that
Property and will maximize its value. The number of new units that could be built on cheaper property is endless. Low to moderate income housing is number one on every list that has been published in Dallas for the last 25 years. The other group wants some of the land in the West Dallas Trinity river project. Second group
Wants land owned by the Authority in West Dallas Trinity project.
Third group and big and bad with many church folks supporting them
Is Central Dallas Ministries, this group has some sweetheart deals with Dallas Housing Authority, some good others not so good. The deal that caused Central Dallas Ministries to start their campaign against the Board and it’s really not the Board as much as it’s me.
Dallas Housing owns land on Hall street corner of Central Expressway very valuable 12 to14 million dollars. Central Dallas wants to build 180 apartment units to rent at market rate and give DHA 55 units of affordable housing, one problem CDM wants to hire the contractor and all other parties without going out for bid. CDM also would like to collect a development fee. Remember CDM has no money in this deal at all.
Can someone tell me how you get to the table with no money acquire the right to develop a 30 million dollar project, hire all components? Manage the property collect the rent deposit in your bank account, paid a development fee of around $400,000.00 and you came to the table empty handed. Every person among us would be rich with that deal. When CDM got the word of the Board concern they went on the attack. DMN allowed Gerald Britt a CDM staffer to write a four column article last week that did not note he had a conflict. This past week James Ragland wrote about Ann Lott’s sick leave pay and how the pay was not Ann Lott’s faults it was the Boards fault because of the policy. The DMN wanted so bad for it to be the present Boards fault. Well the policy was written by a Board of five white business men with a white Director 28 years ago. If the News is Ms. Lott did not like it why did they wait until now. Al Jackson, Laura Moon and Ann Lott were paid under the same policy.
Next week the DMN will run an article on why the Housing Authority office should move downtown so the one on Hampton can be used as the Bridge information center.

I never knew I controlled that much power or money that it took Belo and the Dallas Morning News to fight my serving on a free Board. I had much more control at DFW but I guess at DHA more home grown people get a big part of the Federal money with little or no oversight. $130 million dollar annual budget going into the local economy and provides a great deal to the Dallas Community. $11 million in rental payment alone.
I will never stand in the way of Dallas. I will stand in the way of people who use every loop hole in the system to fill their own pockets in the name of the poor. Federal dollars are all our dollars; we pay income tax on our earnings. I pay income tax on my Social Security and retirement. I paid SS and tax on my earnings while I worked so I am paying twice. I want everyone to play by the rule, I have no monetary interest in DHA or anyone doing business with DHA to it’s a level playing field for me. We have one of the Best Boards in America no hidden agenda and we do ask questions of staff. There are a lot of things needed at DHA given a little more time they will be done.
If Mayor Leper is pressured into replacing the Board their learning curve will surely take time and development of Rhodes and Turner will be delayed.
I finally get it when you have too much integrity for Free Public Service the World is in a sad state. In the long run people circumventing the government process will come back to bite. I am one who does not want the FBI bug to bite me. It’s not morally right.
I will pray for Mayor Leppert he has a big job and he really wants what is right for Dallas
His agenda is the same as mine “what is good for Dallas” I only God to answer, he has God and the Public.

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