Monday, August 18, 2014

Dog park doldrums (Act 2)

We've been waiting patiently for further announcements on the possibility of a League City dog park (blog category here for a recap of developments to date).  After a great flurry of initial excitement about four months ago, there's been even more radio silence.
O dog park, dog park, wherefore art thou, dog park?!

This is an outline showing the proposed location on West Walker Street near the city municipal complex.  
In late June of 2014, I asked winged messenger from heaven Kristi Wyatt what the status was, and she informed me in an email of two developments:

  1. While the on-line survey did, indeed, show overwhelming support for a dog park, it was not a "scientific" poll and therefore LC followed up with a separate survey (why they did the on-line poll in the first place I did not ask).  To my knowledge, those results have not yet been released publicly.  
  2. Reportedly, further discussions about the dog park were due to take place "during the upcoming CIP process".  So sayeth the City Manager.  

I haven't pressed the issue to date for a reason that should be obvious to anyone who follows League City politics:  The dog park prospect was re-invigorated by Councilman Andy Mann, whose term is up this year.  For the past few months I have been assuming, duh, that there would be a positive announcement whose timing would show an uncanny correspondence to a re-election bid.  It would be a classic political abracadabra, a municipal misdirection (but a welcome one), a revelation orchestrated to suggest that City Council actually accomplishes more than incessant culture warring (most recently regarding immigrant children) that results in much squandered time and energy and occasionally in lost taxpayer money, too (what they wasted on the Jornaleros lawsuit alone could have paid for TWO new dog parks).  Not to mention that this behavior attracts national scrutiny of the wrong kind, discontent among minority residents (paywalled but this other piece is not paywalled), and no net benefit for any of us.
The New York Times quote of the day from July 17, 2014.  Dallas County effectively speaking to League City and Galveston County (and possibly others) via the NYT.  It was one of those "I thought I'd seen it all" moments for me.  
This dog park announcement scenario outlined above is what I had expected, BUT, as is so often the case in League City, things took a bizarre turn last week when Mann unexpectedly dropped his re-election bid (paywalled) in what appears to be yet another flurry of purely-political bullpoop (more on that in a subsequent post).
Andy Mann's political career, at least temporarily.

And no, this is not a "threat" that purportedly needs to be censured (paywalled link).  This is just satire.  More on that later, too.

And yes, I know that I'm mixing Shakespearean metaphors, which is in extremely bad taste.  But it's just a blog post, hastily done to boot.  It's not a work of literary art.  
So where does that leave those folks with dogged determination where the dog park is concerned?  At this point, I don't know.  We will know by close of business today who is actually running for which Council positions, so that will potentially help to constrain who we should be talking to.  If nobody steps forward to discuss the issue in an election context, I will file a FOIA request to obtain the results of the subsequent survey that League City conducted, because too much time is passing without any action on this issue.  Stay tuned for more.
Hint, hint.  If Council could kindly and momentarily tear itself away from all of the special interest political crap in which it engages, we might get some actual work done around here. Maybe.  

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