I don’t know about you, but I got to thinking during this election season about the quality of the people we have sitting up on council currently. Now, I don’t want to be mean here, but I think that so that there are no illusions about what sort of people are running our city, that we need to analyze the quality of their leadership in an honest assessment based upon what knowledge and experience we have with them so far. I doubt I will be winning any friends and praise here from any of them, but in true TXun form I don’t really care what they think of me because I’m not the one sitting on Wylie City Council representing the citizens. I’m just a highly opinionated woman with a blog.
Starting from the first place seat and running along as we go, here is my personal assessment using what knowledge I have through meeting them, or the campaign websites of each member that you, the citizens voted in to run our city and speak on our behalf:
Councilman David Goss. He is only one of two people to hold a bachelor’s degree up there. He does some sort of work with DART and has the knowledge that assists other council members in planning and zoning and ordinances. He is a fiscal and social conservative and always takes the stance of analyzing the cost of everything the City does. He is pretty outspoken and it is evident that he is sick to death of the idiocy and childish nonsense that takes place at times on council and behind the scenes. He is not a Good Old Boy, doesn’t mince words, and marches to the beat of his own drum.
Mayor Pro Tem Red Byboth. He doesn’t appear to have any formal education, though he may have but you will be hard pressed to locate anything on the internet that touts a degree. He appears to like the way things used to be done when Wylie was a mere 8K people and nobody was looking as they made a handshake agreement. He helps certain community groups and never asks for accolades, that is until he is complaining that nobody knows just how much he has helped others. He brings with him his experience running a business as he is the owner of Dallas Moving and Storage. You will not get replies from him if you email him, unless you really piss him off as in the case of a Sachse man who was complaining about our parks. Yeah, the guy doesn’t live here but with the responses I heard about, you can pretty much guarantee he will never shop or move here in the future nor will his family or friends, thus a potential property and sales tax opportunity is lost. He is a bit whiny and crotchety at times, is not really a snazzy dresser, but he has a good sense of humor. He has been in Wylie politics a long time and I deem him to be one of the leaders of the Good Old Boy secret handshake society.
Councilwoman Kathy Spillyards. Though it doesn’t appear she has any formal degrees, she has training and certificates in real estate with Keller Williams. It does not appear from her website that she is an actual broker which holds higher esteem and training than just a realtor. Her only real contribution to council is a knowledge she brings of what people want to buy and sell in Wylie. You will be hard pressed to get her to answer any emails you send her that deal in topics she doesn’t want to touch. Rather she would let someone else answer for her. She is truly a classy lady, and probably the most pleasant woman we have on council currently. She is always looking very presentable and professional and her behavior is always highly professional, as she prefers to take the high road than to get into a confrontation. She even recused herself from a discussion and vote on a piece of property she was the listing agent for that came before council. I find her to be highly ethical with that respect, but I also find her to be lackadaisical in her voting record, as you can nearly always catch her looking to see how Byboth is voting just before she presses her voting button. I just find her to be a go-along, not possessing any real leadership skills. She is a Good Old Girl wannabe.
Councilman Bennie Jones. He is a man of integrity, a man who listens, an inquisitive man, a professional who works for the City of Dallas as a Communications Engineer. Though he doesn’t hold a degree, he does hold a technical certificate in engineering and also brings that knowledge of how things work in a larger city back to Wylie. Doesn't Wylie strive to be a larger city after all? Though his knowledge is not always applicable to small town Wylie, his guidance is always helpful. Jones is a classy guy who is always highly respectful to the citizens. You will never hear him lose his temper with citizens and I believe he is the most pleasant man we have on council currently. He is not a Good Old Boy and votes with his heart.
Councilman Rick White. He is about the most non-descript and invisible individual we have on council. The man has an associate’s degree and runs his own business. He speaks quietly with a very pronounced stutter. He truly has the makings of a good quality individual and at times he comes out with some things that truly make sense but in the end, he is merely a follower who votes with a pack mentality. I guess he learned early on in his Wylie stint as a Good Old Boy that it is just easier not to be the only dissenting vote.
Councilwoman Diane Culver. She is the Lily Tomlin of the council and you can see the quick quips clicking along in her brain as proceedings take place. She is also very thorough and involved in her decision-making process. It is clear in every meeting that she is probably the hardest working councilmember we have as it is obvious she reads her packets and materials and gets herself up to date on the agenda before even walking in to Council. She is probably the best at that and you will never see her just muddle through it like some of the others do. Though she can be a bit raucous, she has always maintained her professionalism on Council, even in the face of some old bitty of a former mayor’s wife yelling at her in a meeting. She is always dressed nice, though she doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree, she is a fiscal conservative and is always one of the first to ask questions. If you write to her you will always get a response. She is always willing to listen to all sides and she is not part of the Good Old Boy and Girl network.
Mayor Eric Hogue. He holds a bachelor’s degree and has experience in the business world. Obviously he has experience as a mayor as well. Now this is the man who truly has the ability to be a top notch quality individual. He dresses extremely well and always has a smile on his face. He also represents Wylie very well. There are only two things that hold him back from being a superstar: his need to gossip like a little girl, and his permanent perch on the fence picket. He plays his role so uber-politically correct that it sort of trumps any real leadership. What I want to see is someone who says, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” I want to see someone who says, “Damn the torpedoes.” I want to see someone who has a real conviction, not only in his personal and professional life, but also in his official capacity. THIS is why I will label him a follower and not a true leader. Oh sure he does a fantastic job as the Official City Spokesperson, but beyond that capacity his voting record is anything but stellar. Yet this is a man who has the ability and gumption to rise above it all and take the high road, rather he rolls around in the mud like everyone else instead. Alas, he is one of the Good Old Boys as he has been involved in Wylie politics way too long.
Those are my personal assessments of those council members who are currently governing the citizens of Wylie. Good, bad, and just plain ugly, I think there is room for improvement.