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What Did Sheffie Know?

May 9, 2012

Although, this blog has always been dedicated to the topic of shale gas drilling, in recent weeks the topic of the environment has been front page news. So when we recently went down to Dallas City Hall to do an open records inspection of the Dallas City Council to look for meetings with industry and their lobbyists, we happened upon something that raised more than a few eyebrows.

As you know, the Winfrey Point story of how the Dallas Arboretum wants to pave over a prairie and build a parking garage has many talking about who knew what, and when. The Arboretum says that there were never plans to build a parking garage. Well, that statement proved false when a group of area residents file an FOI form to find out that yes, there plans to build a multi story parking garage.
The Arboretum has even hired Merrie Spaeth of Spaeth Communications to handle the task of making sure the public gets one message while, the parking garage moves forward and yet ‘under the radar’. Spaeth made headlines in 2004 with her Swift Boat Campaign against John Kerry.

As of this morning, the Arboretum has announced that there are no plans to mow the prairie. CLICK HERE

So it was with great surprise, that while looking over the calendars of the City Council this morning that we find that Council member Sheffie Kadane has been meeting several times about parking at the Arboretum.

This is what we saw……………..

November 3, 2011

4-6 pm

Meet with Brinegar, Steve Coke, Gerald Worrall, Scott Manus -Re Arboretum neighborhood parking.


January 26,2012


Mary Brinegar;Arboretum


March 20, 2012

2-4 pm

Meeting with Brinegar, Ed Valentine, Merrie Spaeth- Re; Arboretum; Merrie Spaeth’s office


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What did Sheffie know about the parking situation at the Arboretum and when did he know it?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Bud permalink
    May 9, 2012 12:11 pm

    I like your blog a lot, but you’re reaching here and this post sounds very gadfly-like. The bottom line is that Sheffie used his bully pulpit at the right time to stop the parking garage. Who knows (and who cares) how much he knew in those meetings?

    • May 9, 2012 12:34 pm

      I guess he could have called for a town hall meeting for public input say, 6 months ago. Perhaps that’s asking too much for a city councilman to do his jo: listening to his constituents before a situation gets out of hand.

      • Bud permalink
        May 10, 2012 2:49 pm

        I hear you and I agree. Unfortunately, this is how business is done….. for now.

    • May 9, 2012 1:06 pm

      Bud, I see another bottom line here, too: ethics violations in the form of lies to constituents and public. Business as usual ain’t okay — it never was. Citizens/taxpayers are fed up.

      • Bud permalink
        May 10, 2012 2:52 pm


        Saying it is a “violation” is a stretch unless you can cite a specific code or rule that Sheffie broke. Now, was it good idea? Heck no. I agree with you.

      • May 10, 2012 4:39 pm

        Bull. Intentionally and repeatedly lying is unethical. In fact, Sheffie should be recalled. How business “is done for now”? Only until we say NO MORE.

      • Bud permalink
        May 11, 2012 7:25 am

        I’m not disagreeing that it is was unethical, I’m disagreeing that it broke any rules and requires formal punishment. I’m checking your hyperbole.

      • May 11, 2012 10:09 am

        Bud, thanks for highlighting the fact that our officials are so used to getting away with minimizing/downplaying the bad things they do (we are complicit in this) that speaking the truth is called hyperbole.

  2. Alexandra Bonifield permalink
    May 10, 2012 3:48 pm

    I am appalled, but not surprised by, the lies. Watch these people very, very carefully. I interviewed for a development job at The Arboretum last fall with the Director of Development. We discussed the Chihuly Exhibit and the parking challenges it presented. She shared with me (proudly) that The Arboretum planned to build a multi-level parking garage but not in time for the upcoming exhibit. “The Arboretum says that there were never plans to build a parking garage. Well, that statement proved false when a group of area residents file an FOI form to find out that yes, there plans to build a multi story parking garage.” Pants on Fire? What’s next? We need to protect the entire lake from further degradation and profit-motivated, underhanded “deals” with the ever suspect City of Dallas. Let’s start with Winfrey Point!

    • May 10, 2012 4:42 pm

      Hear, hear! And “appalled, but not surprised by, the lies.” Yep. Constantly.

      • May 10, 2012 5:03 pm

        Haha! I chose punctuation with intentional emphasis. I’m a writer. No insult taken.

      • May 11, 2012 10:10 am

        I didn’t comment on your writing emphasis. Was agreeing wholeheartedly with you. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

    • concerned64 permalink
      May 10, 2012 5:20 pm

      It’s too bad that Kadane chose to get cozy with Brinegar, and Spaeth without as much as
      an attempt to inform his constituents about what was going on. The way we see it, he had at least 6 months to host 3 town halls. But he chose the easy path and hoped that it would fly under the radar, much like the way the City Manager flew the gas drilling under the radar until residents stepped in.

      Don’t think that the City Manager was not involved with this in some form or fashion and was smart enough to keep her fingerprints off the paperwork unlike Sheffie. Believe me, Suhm will leave Sheffie to hang out to dry while she continues to weave her mis-management of the city.

      • Bud permalink
        May 11, 2012 7:22 am

        This is not high school where you can pick and choose with whom you hang out.

      • May 11, 2012 10:12 am

        Excuses, excuses.

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