Monday, February 2, 2015

Wikipedia Did Not Explain The Fort Worth Way To Me

A few days ago writing a blogging titled Seattle's Stalled Bertha Tunnel Fiasco & Fort Worth's Stalled Trinity River Vision Boondoggle caused me to read Wikipedia article's about the Fort Worth Way.

The paragraph below is from the Fort Worth Way article....

The Fort Worth Process or Fort Worth Way is a term stemming from the political procedure in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and to a lesser extent other cities and the Texas state government. The term has no strict definition but refers to the pervasively slow process of dialog, deliberation, participation, and municipal introspection before making any decision and the time it takes to enact any policy. An early definition came from a 1983 editorial in the Fort Worth Weekly, "the usual Fort Worth process of seeking consensus through exhaustion." In its positive connotation the Fort Worth Way values popular participation, transparent process and meaningful debate. 

Okay, you're right, the above does not sound anything like the infamous Fort Worth Way. Transparent process? Popular participation? Meaningful debate? Municipal Introspection?

Well, the truth of the matter is there is no Wikipedia article about the Fort Worth Way. The above was gleaned from the Wikipedia article about what is known as the Seattle Process, also known as the Seattle Way.

I came upon the link to the Seattle Way when reading the Wikipedia article about Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel.

Read the article about the Alaskan Way Replacement Tunnel and you will read a detailed example of the way things get done in Seattle, King County and most of Washington. A whole lot of talking and various proposals considered before anything gets done. Some think this leads to dithering and projects taking too long to come to fruition. Others think the transparent debating of various points of view leads to an eventual better result.

For those living in the Seattle, or Western Washington zone, who think the Seattle Way is a bad thing, visit Fort Worth and Tarrant County and you will see the results of what you get with the opposite of the Seattle Way, known as the Fort Worth Way, where an Oligarchy of a good ol' boy and girl network makes decisions for the town and foists them on the public as done deals, with no transparency, no debate and usually no vote.

Come to Fort Worth and check out the Trinity River Vision. A public works boondoggle which has been boondoggling along for well over a decade, currently building Three Bridges Over Nothing, to connect to an imaginary island, with a future ditch dug to address imaginary flood control issues.

All foisted on the public with no debate, no public input, no public vote.

The most recent example of the Fort Worth Way of foisting a public works project on the public is the new Fort Worth Multi-Purpose Arena, presented to the public as a fait accompli. An almost half billion dollar teeny arena which only holds around 14,000 ticket buyers, with the public allowed to vote on a bizarre funding mechanism in the form of Three Propositions, voting on things like charging a $1 fee to rent a livestock stall.

No, you who live with the Seattle Way, where you voted five times on whether or not to extend the Seattle Monorail, I am not making this up. The voters of Fort Worth were actually asked to vote on whether or not to charge a $1 fee to rent a livestock stall in their new multi-purpose arena.

I wonder if the Fort Worth Way morphed into being like the Seattle Way what might result.

Would Fort Worth voters be willing to tax themselves to build sidewalks along side Fort Worth's roads?

Would Fort Worth voters be willing to tax themselves to add modern facilities, like restrooms and running water, to the town's parks?

Would Fort Worth (and Tarrant County) voters be willing to tax themselves to improve public transit, such as light rail links to the airport and Arlington's Entertainment District?

Would Fort Worth voters be willing to tax themselves to actually fund the Trinity River Vision? Could the voters be convinced that The Boondoggle is a worthwhile project worthy of public support?

I remember way back when I first moved to Texas, trying to understand why so many things seemed so different to me than what I was used to up north, when I had the Fort Worth Way explained to me it made it both easier to understand, yet even more perplexing....

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