Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Smooth Sounds of Mr. Jones

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What can I say about the race in Wylie for place 3 on the city council?  What can I say about former councilman Bennie Jones that I haven't already said? Oh, he's smooth alright.

One love, Mr. Jones style. Frankly, it's a bit Super Bowl Beyonceish, except he only loves you if you don't mind that he lied on his City of Dallas job application about past arrests. He only loves you if you don't mind that he broke City of Dallas ethics rules, by knowingly signing up his son's DJ company on their approved vendor list, in a total conflict of interest I might add. Oh, and he was terminated for it too. But hey, let's not bother with any of that. Let's look at what Bennie Jones is trying to claim to voters instead.

In some stupor of grandiosity, Jones seems to believe he is far more important to the city of Wylie than he really is or more to the point, ever has been.

To be honest, I thought I was reading a parody when I received The Wylie News and saw the article that Jones is seeking reelection. In the news blip, he claims he was, "instrumental in bringing new parks with multiple sports venues, Woodbridge Shopping Center, a new movie theater and Kroger's supermarket to town." Indeedy, he would have you think he singlehandedly brought Target, B&B Theatres, and Kroger all on his lonesome. Right, he built that.

Can someone please tell Jones that merely voting yes does not constitute being instrumental? A whole lot of negotiations with a whole lot of city personnel have gone on with these entities to bring them to Wylie, along with a gang of 7 vote, not just Jones pushing the "yes" button on the dais.

This is precisely the type of conflated talk we get from Jones, and there is a perfect example of it in the article. Jones states, "As your voice at City Hall, I will work diligently toward strategic city growth by proposing that a community college be established here, along with a water park, bowling alley and an outdoor amphitheater." Wow, just wow.

First of all, talk of Collin College opening a campus here has gone on for a long time, taking a more serious turn in the past year, during the time that he, um, hasn't been in office.

Collin College is already proposed for the area across the street from city hall, and Mayor Eric Hogue even mentioned the near reality of it in his State of the City address last month. To imagine that Jones is going to "propose" it is truly laughable and ridiculously implausible. But this is what we get with him.

According to Jones, he proposed Target move in at Woodbridge crossing. He proposed that Kroger come. He proposed that B&B Theatres come. It's all his doing. Well I've got a bridge to sell you if you believe that.

Not to burst his bubble, but with regards to Jones' exclamations that he will bring Wylie all those goodies for families, I heard Councilman William Whitney talking about a water park ages ago. I've chatted with Councilwoman Diane Culver about a bowling alley years ago. Interestingly, the communications director for Wylie and I had a discussion quite some time ago about an amphitheater. The truth is, this stuff has been kicked around for years, it's not a wondrous epiphany conjured up solely in Jones' grand imaginings. Oh, but he'll take the credit for it, because he has a phone and a pen.

Jones provides us with a continual conflation of facts. To hear Jones talk about his Wylie Youth Council, one might think it's the greatest thing in Wylie since sliced bread.

Now here are some cold hard truths about Jones. His group has no name recognition within Wylie whatsoever. Why? Because Jones is not a leader. He doesn't know how to promote it, he doesn't know how to get funding. He doesn't know how to reach out to all at-risk students other than a handful. He holds relatively token events with a dozen students, and two friends and some family members running it. His events aren't widely attended at all. And when I ask people around the community if they have heard of Jones' youth program, they haven't. So let's not have any preconceived notions that Jones is some stellar community leader. He's not.

What Jones lacks in leadership for his youth group, he also carried with him in his lack of leadership on council. Nobody saw him as mayor pro tem material the years he was on council, and he was handed only token board positions. He was not some stellar councilman, he was one person out of a team of seven with a yes or no button.

There are your smooth sounds of Bennie Jones and they aren't so smooth after all.