I love that Tom Leppert CMC '77 is Mayor of Dallas.
I also love that he’s going to be speaking at commencement this year. Both of these things makes what I’m about to say that much more difficult, but sometimes you must hold your friends accountable.
When he helped make it illegal for minors to enter or work in strip clubs, he had my respect. I asked myself, “Wasn’t this illegal before his term?” And sure enough, it wasn’t. In fact, the law was implemented because a 12-year old girl was dancing nude at one of these sexually oriented clubs.
And his recent invitation to Mexican President Jose Calderón should be something to be proud of. Maybe Texas (along with the rest of the country) will finally have sensible immigration policies vis-à-vis Mexico. We can only hope.
But still, I have to wonder about some of the thing he’s backed recently. It seems like Dallas used to be a lot more fun and a lot less Nannying.
Dallasites used to be able to smoke in restaurants, walk their dogs without carrying a pooper-scooper, or walk into downtown Dallas without being watched by police video cameras. Homeless people could beg for money and children could run through parks playing with their toy six-shooters.
When asked about this nanny government, Leppert said,
"It goes to the signal we're trying to send to people about the community," he said.
And just what symbol is that Mayor Leppert?
Leppert doesn’t say.
Unfortunately for Dallasite homebuilders, matters are much worse than mere symbolism: Mayor Leppert is going to force them to build "green."
Leppert and his City Council believe that they have a right to tell property owners what to do with their own property! That's a common theme with city governments.
Leppert and the City Council just passed an ordinance mandated that any new buildings. Take a look at this article:
On April 9, the City Council unanimously adopted a green construction ordinance aimed at reducing energy and water consumption in all new houses and commercial buildings.
Is this a mistake? You bet. But first, what exactly does the new code mandate?
Ah yes, the nannies want us to use less water... how compassionate of them!
Among the first phase's requirements, effective Oct. 1, 2009: Builders of projects less than 50,000 square feet must use 15 percent less energy and 20 percent less water than current Dallas code standards mandate.
Under the new code, for example, builders must select four water conservation techniques among six options provided, such as installing faucets and shower heads with a two-gallon-per-minute-or-less water flow. The water regulations, in particular, are the product of a compromise by city leaders and builders, some of whom expressed concern over an original green building proposal calling for stronger water standards.
Turns out it's largely hooey.
Leppert's trying to sell this to Dallasite as part of a plan towards good environmental stewardship. In reality, it has everything to do with the state-run energy and water markets, both of which have proven unable (or unwilling) to privatize and give citizens greater accountability.
(At least Leppert knows enough to make people who paid twice the money to get twice the water services!)
Of course at the Claremont Colleges, we know that environmentalists often end up forcing the rest of us to pay for their environmental boondoggles.
Just look at this most recent example at Oberlin College. (One wonders whether Pitzer College is following Oberlin's inglorious lead...)
Well, at least he'll get along well with one such environmental crusader...
Exit question: Is anyone surprised that he used to be ASCMC's President?