Duncanville has a “Country Club”

Duncanville Sign
DUNCANVILLE, TX - The Citizens of Duncanville are being Governed by a Country Club mentality.
The City of DeSoto is the only City in the Best Southwest that actually has a real Country Club, but Duncanville currently seems to have a pre 1965 Country Club Mentality for at least the past 10 or 15 years now.
It’s not like many of us didn’t see it coming.
It would be too easy to draw racial lines in the conflicts that my home town is currently experiencing, yes they’re may be some issues there, but they’re really not relevant to the population at large, and doesn’t speak to the lack of representation of Duncanville’s demographics on the City Council.  I’ll be more than happy to let my neighbors decide that one.
I could make class distinctions between the various demographics throughout Duncanville’s voting populace, but they’re not relevant either.  Many of us are to busy volunteering for our own communities; churches, neighborhood groups, charities to give it a second thought.
But being a 1981 Graduate of Duncanville High School, and the first class of 1st Graders in Hastings Elementary school, here’s my personal take on it:  Prior to the 1980’s Duncanville had enough Community Organizations, Civic Groups, and Churches where it wasn’t really possible for the “majority” to NOT know each other in some form or another.
By the early 1980’s many of those organizations disolved, fell out, or no longer had a “common meeting place.”  Then the collective political power in Duncanville found itself within the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce; Duncanville always had leadership within its Local Business Owners.
And it didn’t take too long before the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce became a “defacto country club.”
It served them well too!
In 1984 the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce championed becoming a member of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT; DART.
The voters of Duncanville rejected it.
When the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce was asked for their response to the defeat of DART in Duncanville a prominent member of the Duncanville Business community at the time was quoted as saying, ‘The voters of Duncanville are nothing more than a bunch of beer drinking, t-shirt wearing, lawn chair sitting Rednecks.’
So they used their influence to bring DART up for a vote again!
This time the voters of Duncanville defeated the measure by a margin of 3 to 1.
Of course all of the Duncanville City Council seats at the time were elected “at large,” and they all lived in areas with higher real estate values than the rest of us, and they all belonged to the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce.
So a group of Duncanville Citizens got together and decided that Duncanville should be divided into “single member districts” and voted for by the people who lived within those districts.
Those Duncanville Citizens and taxpayers took their petition to the City of Duncanville, and were told by their “at large” council representatives to “take a hike.”
So they grabbed their clip boards, their petitions, and a Duncanville Chamber of Commerce Map of Duncanville and drew up their own districts.
Duncanville’s City Charter, which was passed in 1947 (back when we were fighting Communists), required that the Duncanville City Council address their grievances and put it to a City Wide Vote.
And in May of 1986 their measure passed instantly wiping everyone off of the then current Duncanville City Council.
It was a Coup for Democracy in Duncanville.
Then a newly elected member of District 4 decided to use his powers of persuasion to use his influence on Duncanville’s future, but Duncanville was now politically divided by 5 single member districts, and a Mayor Elected at large without a vote, and many voters in Duncanville didn’t know how to respond, or how to hold those officials accountable.
Then in 2002 the same previous Council Member from District 4, who himself wanted to be Mayor of Duncanville, but knew he couldn’t get elected put forth a measure to add one “At Large” Council Seat, and to give the Mayor a Vote.
Before “Single Member Districts” the power in Duncanville rested in Green Brier, and Green Hills Estates (Currently District 1).
After the 2002 measure passed by a narrow margin, the “majority” has consistently been represented from District 1; 3 Mayors from District 1, 3 Council Members from District 1, and 2 “At Large” from District 1.  Giving them the Majority 3 to 2 vote on every issue that effects everyone living in Duncanville, while continuing to dilute the voices of everyone else in Duncanville.  Imagine a Single Member District where a single Council Member has the voting support of not only the Mayor (with a vote), but also two At Large Council Members living in the same District with a vote.
What’s the point of having Single Member District when you have the potential of having 4 votes cancelling out 3 other votes, and the Mayor (living in the same district having a vote.
Duncanville finally had it’s “Country Club.”
But it’s worse than a Country Club.
Country Clubs are private, and don’t have much use for inclusion unless they’re trying to prove that they’re being “inclusive.”
The City of Duncanville still has signs in and out of the City proclaiming how “inclusive a city’ that we are.
Country Clubs aren’t transparent; they like to keep their decision making process to themselves.
Country Clubs don’t have any use for dissent, and aren’t afraid to “discriminate” when it comes to “standards” that must be met for membership.
Anyone try to get signatures for a petition anywhere here in Duncanville over the past few weeks that wasn’t a part of “Duncanville United?”
There’s even an “online community” of True Believers, much like the “Betty Burtha Better Than You” that I personally knew in Church while visiting my Great Aunt in East Texas.
Many of you may know who I’m talking about; The individuals who’ll say every scandelous thing that they can think of in hopes that you won’t see their own hypocrisy.
Duncanville now has it’s own “Country Club.”  It may not have a physical mailing address, but it’s there.
And from what I can gather, those of us you who don’t vote and participate get exactly what you deserve; being excluded.
There’s a measure to a eliminate the 2/3rds majority vote on the City Council that protects the Minority (which is anyone not living in District 1) coming up on the next city council, thus rendering any opposition from those who continue to represent the rest of us moot, irrelevant, and void.


Story by Preston Richards