For the past 5 years, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm has wheeled and dealed with the gas industry while convincing the Dallas City Council that the best deal was her deal. Her deal would put millions of dollars into the city coffers and all the Council had to do was to keep quiet and let her handle the details. They did in 2008, and she did her best to make good on that deal until this week it was revealed that she had an ‘agreement’ with Trinity East Energy that she would try to convince the City Council via her staff, that drilling in the Trinity River floodplain and the Trinity River parkland would be good for Dallas. Some say the “L” word…lobbying.
Then as now, it is outlawed to drill in the floodplain and the parkland. But she agreed to a non binding agreement, without a guarantee to Trinity East that she would be successful according to her statements to the media over the past 24 hours. That’s not really a problem unless you have spent the last 5 years convincing everyone from City Hall to all of Dallas that the City of Dallas was obligated to allow drilling because if we didn’t, the possibility of being sued was great and the City would be in financial trouble as we have been for many years. Her staff has even coached the Dallas Planning Commission that drilling may not be so bad after all. The Commission continues to be confronted with outraged citizens.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings first gave hints that there was a ‘deal’ somewhere buried in the confines of City Hall when he talked with the media on December 14, 2012.
He said:“You gotta debate, what are the chances of, if we don’t approve it, that we will get sued and lose, on one hand,” Rawlings said. “And if we do approve it, will it be drilled, and will something harmful happen? The odds of those two things.”
When asked about drilling in the floodplain, the Mayor responded:
“They will,” he replied. “That deal was cut. If they drill. That’s a business decision for them,” he said.
So if this is a non binding lease/agreement with no guarantees….then why we would the City of Dallas be in a lawsuit because we say it is not in the best interest of the City of Dallas to pursue shale gas drilling?
There’s something about Mary Suhm and her agreement with Trinity East Energy that does not add up. If she made this sort of agreement with them, what other agreements with other entities has she entered into on behalf of the City of Dallas. What about the South Dallas Golf Course? What about the South Dallas Horse Park? Is there a deal as the Mayor said? What about everything she touches? Is it tainted? Is it dirty?