Which way the wind blows depends on who does the blowing?
July 6, 2004 - Updated July 7, 2004
So it’s been nearly two weeks since the LGWNA-Lite folks, working with Mad Maxine Aaaronson, were able to put an axe in the heart of the FirstWorthing development on Lower Greenville.
Everyone went home and started licking their wounds, waiting to see just how big (or not) the development will be come groundbreaking time.
BD and others thought, Okay, the fight is over, let’s all just sit back, chill for a while and enjoy the fireworks.
Some people, however, have to get their last word in, take the knife and turn it a little deeper, kick ‘em while their down, etc etc etc.
Hey folks, it wasn’t me!
Imagine our surprise as the phone rang off the hook in the Dog Pound last Wednesday when the DMN published a Letter to the Editor from Cheryl Kellis steaming over how the DMN misrepresented the viewpoints of the real neighborhood residents in its editorial asking John Send Me Some Money Loza to take ward politics out of zoning issues -
Re: "Do What's Right for Dallas – Council must end 'back-scratching' tradition," last Wednesday's Editorials.
If you had bothered to check with the neighborhood associations directly affected by this development (Lowest Greenville West and Lower Greenville Associations) you would have found that is exactly what we've been trying to accomplish since this was proposed in January. One would think The Dallas Morning News went to some school of yellow journalism after perusing this editorial: Simply line up everyone and everything in favor of your position. Forget fair and unbiased. Your editorial reminded me of the so-called neighborhood activists who continue to tell the media and everyone else who will listen that they speak for our neighborhoods when, in fact, they are only interested in personal gain or extending their own "15 minutes" of fame.
Our group was composed of a professional residential property appraiser, an attorney, a remodeling contractor, a musician, a writer, caterers, sales people, a psychologist, housewives, mothers, fathers, grandparents and retirees who actually live within two blocks of the proposed development. We all took time off from our jobs, lives and families because this was important and affected all of us. The main support for the development, as originally proposed, lives on the east side of Greenville and appointed himself independently as his own neighborhood association. City Council member John Loza and local attorney Maxine Aaronson spent countless unpaid hours meeting and working with both sides until we were able to hammer out an agreement.
How much do council members from other districts know about delta overlays, the zoning, land, crime, businesses or homeowner issues in the Lower Greenville area? I've worked with John Loza on these since 1996. We've not always been in total agreement on everything, but he knows our district. If you have a logical, documented argument, he will listen. Contrary to popular opinion, we are not "anti-developer" in East Dallas. We want to protect the integrity of our neighborhoods and want responsible far-reaching development. This is what we got Wednesday.
BD replied to the editorial. However, it was not posted due to time issues (old news) or maybe because we do not have family working at the DMN.
Here is BD’s reply -
Last week’s editorial reply by Ms Cheryl Kellis regarding the FirstWorthing / Lower Greenville development contained major errors of fact.
The Belmont Neighborhood Association (BNA) - on the east side of Lower Greenville opposite the development - is less than two years old and has its share of growing pains. Our membership list represents all corners of the area. We speak for an area that the Lower Greenville NA (LGNA) has ignored for nearly ten years.
BNA is the only neighborhood association in Dallas that cannot join the Dallas Homeowners League. Nearly 1,000 residents are denied a seat at the DHL table by LGNA's attorney, Maxine Aaronson.
Nearly 90% of the property owners and residents in the entire Lower Greenville area supported the original and precedent-setting $22 million development.
The Vickery Place NA, located opposite LGNA’s area on the west side of Greenville, also supported the development.
BNA worked to see this development come to life. We played by the City’s rules, attended all the public meetings, wrote the letters in support
And we were met with charges of payoff, harassment, and “residency testing” at public meetings.
Our opinions were given no regard by the small group of “controlling residents” who worked with John Loza and Ms Aaronson to create a back-room deal based on ward politics, back scratching and favors.
The next developer thinking about coming to Lower Greenville will be put off by the fierce and narrow-minded opposition to change the FirstWorthing plan created.
The quality of the developer waiting behind him will be less than we should expect - or demand - here.
The future large-project development of this unique area is now in doubt due to the shortsighted views of a politically opportunistic cabal of residents who cannot see past their patio across the street.
Avi S. Adelman
Belmont Neighborhood Association
After BD wrote his reply, a bunch of us self-appointed, only out for the money, 15 minutes of fame seeking residents got to wondering - Where did this shit come from?
So BD cracked open the archive (nearly 90 megs of online data - click here) and did a search for “Kellis.”
What we found was amazing, absolutely amazing.
Paybacks are a b-tch
It’s not like BD is trying to start a range war between neighborhood associations - LGWNA-Lite is a phony association that reorganized and threw out Bill Dickerson because he supported the development, Lower Greenville NA is making sure that Belmont NA can never be a member of the Dallas Homeowner’s League, and no one seems to remember that Vickery Place NA (just opposite LGNA on the east side of Greenville Avenue) supported the development too.
It wasn’t enough to spread rumors that BD and Bill Dickerson were both on FirstWorthing’s payroll to support the development.
No, they had to make sure everyone knew they and their phony association managed to scuttle a major development project with the help of two of the slimiest snakes ever to slither into Dallas City Hall - Mad Maxine and John Loza.
What they won’t admit is that John Loza probably saw this as the perfect payback (or payoff) situation:
Get a whole bunch of neighbors to suck up to him, put the squeeze on any development that may shift the voting balance against the phony Hispanic-majority district created by Mad Maxine and Joe Don’t Call Me Jose May, and finally (as if that were not enough) get his big noogies in on two people who supported the project from Day One and whom he can’t stand: Bill Dickerson (who had the gall to run against John in the last Council election) and BD (who managed Bill’s campaign and media blasts against John).
Now it’s our turn. We may not knock them off their self-created ivory towers, but we are gonna make sure there are some really big chunks of plaster missing.
Let’s roll that wonderful full-of-beans videotape
Is this the same person who just a year ago could not stand John Loza so much as to write another Letter to the Editor endorsing anyone but Loza in the election, after he decided to support the Dallas Community Theatre’s TABC permit on the evening before the hearing (after taking a $1,000 campaign donation from Mark The neighbors are a bunch of liars Andres).
Dallas Morning News, April 30, 2003
I am a 20+ year resident of District 2. I have campaigned for and supported John Loza since 1998.
I was responsible for firing the “first shot” on Lower Greenville because some people felt they could turn a neighborhood church into a bar.
I felt some loyalty to Mr. Loza because he professed sympathy and concern for my neighborhood. As of 6:51 this evening I am supporting his opponent Bill Dickerson.
Mr. Loza called me tonight to tell me he had written a letter to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission stating his support of a mixed beverage and late night hours permit for the church a/k/a as The Palace and currently as the Dallas Community Theater Center in direct opposition to the neighborhood residents’ desires.
This was after telling another neighborhood leader and me that he would write a letter supporting our position to the TABC last March. The permits sought would allow the facility to serve mixed beverage until 2 a.m. No one is against the theater. It’s what the theater would be used for when there isn’t a play playing that concerns us.
We were told The Palace was to be a restaurant and it turned into a nightclub. We were told the theater was applying for a beer and wine permit. This looks like history is repeating itself. What this means folks, is if somebody wants to open a bar across the street from your home and you live in John Loza’s district, you can kiss your “peace and tranquility” good-bye.
If I need something done in District 2, I have to call Veletta Lill (our neighboring district 14 council person). I was willing to deal with that. However, I won’t be sold down the river without a fight.
If you check with just about any bar or restaurant owner on Greenville Avenue, they will tell you that a liquor license at 5601 Sears Street was and is a mistake. They feel this address caused most of the problems between businesses and residents in the Lower Greenville area.
I want a city council person I can call and count on. I’m tired of having to call a council person in another district to get something done in my district. And I certainly don’t want a city council person who tells us what we want to hear and turns around and does the opposite of what the neighborhood wants or needs.
I urge everyone to vote for anyone other than John Loza.
And your ROP was paid for by whom?
When Cheryl’s block went Resident Only nearly five years ago, the money for the fees (nearly $250 in signs, if BD’s memory is correct) was donated by someone whom BD asked for help.
In fact, most of the ROP in the Lower Greenville area (Summit, Sears, Hope and Oram) was paid for not by the residents, but by people whom BD and others solicited to donate the funds privately. In all, nearly $3,000 was privately raised to help get ROP on many of the area streets (our only requirement was that the residents pay at least 25% of the total fee and for the annual hang-tap renewals).
Right now, LGWNA-Lite is sitting on $50 donated by (dare we say it) a bar to help get the ROP started for 5600 Richmond. Maybe they should give that money back?
And last but not least...
On City Council election day, Cheryl and a number of other neighbors, still smarting over Loza’s support of the Theatre’s TABC permit, decided to make a big statement to the public.
They slapped some red duct tape on a sheet and stood out in front of the Vickery Towers polling center.
Too bad BD still has the photo.
Hey, isn’t that Cheryl holding up the banner?
The picture was posted to BD’s mailing list and John immediately sent his election mongrel Anna Casey out to the polling location in an attempt to intimidate other voters (click here). So obviously John knows what Cheryl said.
BD can only conclude that there’s been a whole lot of kissing and making up since last year.
A whole lot.
Please, don’t go there with more slogans. BD just had dinner.
Okay, we will say it - Politics makes the strangest bedfellows.
You happy now?