By Becky Hall
On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 the city council of Duncanville will meet to discuss some interesting subjects. The City Council will have meet after we go to press so I do not know the outcome of the votes, but it will be interesting to see how they vote on the items below:
1. Consider a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Duncanville, Texas authorizing the procurement and installation of a light-emitting diode (LED) sign at Wheatland Road and Main Street location with identity Management Consultants, LLC ….in the expenditure amount of $64,369.22.
2. Consider a Resolution appointing the City of Duncanville representative to the EON Reality Entrepreneur School Advisory Committee for a two-year term, to serve at the will of the City Council.
3. Consider approving award of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) grants to various applicants and authorizing the City Manager to execute the necessary agreements.
In regards to agenda item #1, do we really want to turn the local park in the city library area into a Las Vegas strip? The City of Duncanville has always had a tough policy on LED/neon signs in our community. Why this sudden change in policy? The sign is supposedly for spreading the news to the citizens of Duncanville, but we already have methods to accomplish this; (a) A city wide newsletter distributed via email, (b) City of Duncanville website, (c) notices in our water bill and (d) the infamous Chamber of Commerce LED sign which is located on Wheatland Road. Why not turn to social media to spread the city news instead of a gaudy sign?
The appointment for agenda item #2 will be interesting to see. Will it be a familiar name in the Duncanville political arena or will it be someone who is truly qualified for the position? Will the nominee have the educational experience necessary to be an effective representative for the city?
Finally, agenda item #3; after looking at the agenda packet, it seems that the decision has already been made. It is disturbing to see the scoring of certain applicants. The International Museum of Culture, located in Duncanville, has historically been awarded dollars from the Hotel Occupancy Tax, but was scored for $0 this time. My question is, how was the scoring device developed? Was it provided to the applicants during their application process? How could it score certain institutes a $0 when they are specifically qualified under state law to receive this money?
I believe there are two fundamental motivations for political service: a desire to serve the interests of the community, or a desire to serve the interests of oneself. As the politics of Duncanville have changed over the years, I have seen examples of both. Will the vote tonight be the normal 5-2, or will there be some independent thinkers that will arise? Will the City of Duncanville City Council vote for what is best for the city or what is politically expedient? Stay tuned…