“She made me do it, mom!”
In one of the lamest excuses I have ever heard from a public official, much less a grown man, my former opponent Lee M. Kleinman said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that “Mary Suhm made him do it”.
That is, she made him pass the approval to put that silly whitewater feature in the Trinity River when he was on the Park Board.
That silly feature, which I call “White Water-Gate”, cost us taxpayers $4 million. And it’s going to cost us more. It wasn’t even done correctly. And dumber plus dumber, the Army Corps of Engineers says it has to go. In fact, for six years they have been saying it has to go because it makes the river un-navigable.
Do you see why I wanted to get on that Council? I would NEVER have voted for this insanity, whether Mary Suhm or Mary mother of God told me to vote on it. As one commenter has said, well then let Mary and the Dallas Citizen’s Council pay for it.
Now we can apparently only afford to remove part of it.
Six years after Dallas opened and then immediately closed the whitewater feature in the Trinity River, the City Council was told Wednesday that it can only afford to partially remove the Standing Wave.
Willis Winters, head of the city’s Park and Recreation Department, told the council it will cost around $2 million to yank most of the treacherous whitewater feature out of the river. Winters said after the council meeting that if all goes according to plan, within a year all that will be left of the Standing Wave will be some foundation beams under the river bottom and the concrete “armoring” along the river bank.
I would really love to know what everyone was smoking when this was presented to the Park Board and then the City Council. And Lee M. Kleinman, @leeforDallas, was on that board and voted for the monstrocity. That is one reason why the Sierra Club endorsed me over him. Mr.Fiscal Responsibility I don’t think so.
The corps doesn’t have an issue with the rapids down the center of the river, but with the so-called bypass channels, which were meant to calm but instead violently churn water.
Okay, right there, red flag: lawsuit central. Did anyone not see that this rapids was a thousand lawsuits against the city waiting to happen? I have been white water rafting in Colorado, where the state has laws that protect the rafting companies just as it protects dude ranches from excessive lawsuits. Does Texas have these laws?
With Kleinman’s blessing, the city paid $4 million for the white water rapids feature, and council was told Wednesday it would cost $7.4 million to completely remove the feature. $4.2 million modifies it. Do you see where I am going with this? All through my campaign I said, we can find money for public safety if we quit wasting it on BS.
BS case exhibit number one: save $4 million by using your brain when someone tells you to vote for a water feature in the Trinity. After all, if everyone is jumping in the, er, river, does that mean you should, too?
A vote on the three options comes in June, but the Park and Recreation Board already said they support partial removal. I guess because its cheaper.
Let’s see what my white water rapids-voting councilman from District 11 had to say for himself:
Lee Kleinman, her (Carolyn Arnold’s colleague from Far North Dallas), said that he was on the park board at the time, and that he was vehemently against the expenditure.
“Despite numerous objections to this project, we were told to pass this,” he said. “It was imposed on the park board.” He paused briefly. “To my recollection.”
After the meeting, Mary Suhm, city manager at the time, told the parks department and the board to sign off on the whitewater feature, Kleinman said.
“It came straight from Mary’s office,” he said. “As I recall.”
“He paused briefly. To my recollection. As I recall.” Hmm. Mary said jump and Kleinman said how high, something like that? Sounds like how he “protested” bad investments on the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board before he quit in April of 2016. White Water-Gate is yet another example of how Dallas City Council members let wealthy citizens, who donate to their campaign, lead them around by their nose while we taxpayers pick up the tab (click here for a total list of Kleinman’s campaign contributors):
But it was because his (A.C. Gonzalez’s) predecessor, Mary Suhm, and a few of the wealthy donors funneling private dollars into the Trinity corridor really wanted it. In 2011, the Trinity Commons Foundation touted its impending opening — “You’ll be able to navigate a whitewater course on one segment of the river,” right — as another giant step toward “Fulfilling the Potential of the Trinity River.”
Except this project was paid for with $4 million in public dollar bills. Six years later, it’s money the city might as well have set on fire. Worse, according to Casto’s letter to the corps, it will cost between $2 million to $8 million to repair or remove the excrescence.