Static loves the smell of democracy in the morning. As the June 15 runoffs draw near, the drama of the three undecided races is ratcheting up to Ancient Greek levels. Well, maybe not that dramatic. No one will end up marrying their mother or getting shipwrecked after being lured by Sirens. But by Fort Worth political standards, it’s getting good.

One city council and two school district seats are up for grabs, and it looks like the winds of change might be a-blowin’. All three of the incumbents seem to be standing on shaky ground.

In the lone District 5 Fort Worth City Council race, challenger Gyna Bivens netted 80 votes more in the general election than longstanding on-again, off-again council member Frank Moss. The two politicos are squabbling over a range of sexy issues, such as lack of redevelopment and code compliance. That’s right … code compliance. Strap in.

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The Fort Worth school board races have been shaped by a committee of kingmakers called Citizens for Great Schools, which includes former school board president Ray Dickerson, businessman Isaac Manning, and Northside businessman and former city council member Steve Murrin.

Murrin told Fort Worth Weekly (“The Fort Worth Way Out,” April 10, 2013) that the committee was formed to find candidates to oust all of the current incumbents. Critics of the group claim the challengers come with puppet strings.

In the two school board runoffs, the candidates that Murrin and Co. allegedly fielded — Jacinto Ramos in the North Side’s District 1 and Ashley Paz in the Near Southside’s District 9 — both garnered more votes first time around than incumbents Carlos Vasquez and Juan Rangel. Both challengers, who are political newcomers, raised more campaign money than their incumbent opponents, who have more than 50 years of combined public service and fund-raising experience.

Regardless of who you’re pulling for in these races, there’s a lot at stake. So make sure your voice is heard: Get out there and make your own Odyssey to the voting booth on June 15.


Hog Heaven   

Motorcyclists are financially gouged at every turn. Street bikes cost thousands of dollars. Then there’s all that expensive gear, including leather boots, leather gloves, leather chaps, leather jackets, leather saddlebags — jeez, how many cows must die for you bikers?

But finally there’s something for cyclists to feel good about. A recent city report examined the critical, pressing issue of motorcycles parking on the streets, particularly when it comes to multiple bikes being parked in a single space. Fort Worth has made it clear in recent years that it wants to vacuum up every available penny from motorists who visit downtown. The numerous free parking spots that used to be scattered around have mostly been hunted down and metered.

So it’s a bit surprising that City Manager Tom Higgins recommended to the council on Tuesday that multiple motorcycles be allowed to park in a single parking space “as long as the motorcycles fit within that defined marked area and the motorcycles do not cross the lines or marks that define the space.”

No immediate vote on something so weighty, of course. The council is expected to decide later this summer. Then they can get back to less important things, like world peace or killing off public transit or something.


  1. Rangel and Vasquez are OUT! These buffoons banked on the wrong fortune. Did they really think they could remain on the board, keep the bodies buried and get re-elected? This is just the beginning. Wait until the Palazzolo trial begins on 6/11! All you crooked trustees and then some will regret you ever crossed justice! It is going to rain truth on Tuesday and it will be a REAL soaker! As for Rangel and Vasquez winning reelection, “The fat lady has sung.”! And Dansby, you’re next, because luckily, the “fat lady” has a repertoire!

  2. I have followed Vasquez, Rangel and Sutherland since the beginning of the ordeal that plagued AHHS, and continues to date, involving the life of one man, Joe Palazzolo. I am ashamed to admit that I once revered these 3 trustees to do the right thing, but it was all smoke and mirrors, much like this entire board and superintendency has been thus far! I am even more ashamed they used good people as part of a plan to oust former Super, Johnson as a means to put their personal agenda on the front burner. Johnson was not the right person for the position since day one; however, Judy Needham ensured she bought Johnson that position for continued misuse of imbalanced power. The main people behind this schema, were the “Three Amigos”. And “they” were behind the plot, amidst Johnson’s resignation, to first support Palazzolo and later abandon him by voting for his firing the second time! Oh, and let’s not forget, Vasquez and Rangel also spearheading Dansby’s appointment as Super, as a deal for getting Johnson to quit, oh excuse me, “resign”! Last, but not least; Vasquez and company made deals to continue to vote “no” to reinstate Palazzolo and also sacrificed Raul Duran in his fight against the district, as a means to settle Aracely Chavez’ suit against the district for thousands, along with a new district job plus more pay! WOW! Common denominators here: Vasquez and Rangel! All I can say is, united you stood…united you WILL FALL! And Dansby, all I have to say about you is, you may have convinced Ray to stay on as your right hand man, to keep the lies going, but its all going to come crumbling down on SUPER Tuesday! Ray, you’re going to wish you had retired! We’re taking our district back!!!

  3. As many already know it was the three amigos who took the Powder Keg story to Betty complete with all the documents. Then they just sat back and laughed as Needham sent her legions after Palazzolo – not them. When he fought back the amigos got worried. Sutherland herself made the motion to terminate him a second time (seconded by Vasquez – under the approval of then Board President Rangel) without the hearing ordered by the Commissioner. But it didn’t work. Now even their little courier, Linda LaBeau is no where to be found. Well tomorrow all the exploits of Needham, Ray, Boyd and Perry go public. By Saturday hopefully the public will have heard enough to send Vasquez and Rangel finally on their way. Then will come the demands for the resignations of Needham, Sutherland, Jackson, Dansby and the rest! Almost $1 million in legal fees over 3 years. All to fire the only person who did the right thing – over a $10.00 fine from the 90’s. Your tax $$ at work people.