Big D Dirt: Occupy Dallas scuffles with cops, redistricting revisited, public meeting controversy and DFW companies dodge taxes

Another installment of Big D Dirt, your weekly roundup of Dallas area politics. Here it goes:

Occupy Dallas scuffled with police on Saturday, leading to eight arrests and a whole lot of anger. Occupy Dallas marched at Bank of America Plaza yesterday, and according to police, one of the protesters became violent and assaulted officers after being instructed to get down off a planter. Three police officers evidently received minor injuries, and the one angry dude was arrested along with seven others on a variety of charges including “use of sidewalk.” Occupy Dallas has issued an open letter to the Dallas Police Department, accusing them of instigating the violence. Some protesters are refusing to sleep until the protesters are released. The letter concludes with “We can only assume that your department’s exaggerated response to our protests have been due to what it is we are protesting: corruption.”

Protesters were camped just behind City Hall. Photo by Jessica Huseman/SMU.

A new memo being pushed by Dallas City Council Member Delia Jasso could reignite the redistricting debate in Dallas. Jasso has received the five signatures she needs to push the vote on suspending council rules and allowing redistricting to be put back on the table. However, there is no mention of redistricting on the agenda for tomorrow’s council meeting, so it’s up in the air as to what the results of the memo will be.

The DISD Board of Trustees is kicking around ideas that would limit the public “bullying” them during public comments. Evidently, our board of trustees is not too keen on people picking at them during the comments section of the meeting. Some balked at the meanness of the public’s statements, while others, like Bernadette Nutall complained that the trustees “don’t get to defend ourselves, say, ‘That’s not true’ or answer questions.’ That’s basic bullying. If you’re going to teach kids to fight fair … we have to do that with adults. If you don’t like something I’m doing you can be very direct … but when you’re calling people names, like when they called Dr. Blackburn ‘Hitler,’ that’s very childish.” It’s up in the air as to what they’ll do with the public comments section.

In other meeting news, some Dallas citizens are upset over the amount of information they have to release publicly about themselves before being allowed to speak. Those wishing to speak currently have to release their address and phone number, and this information is made available to anyone who wants it as well as spoken aloud at the meetings. While this isn’t a unique policy, other counties, such as Collin County, only make you state where you live. No movement as been made to change this policy.

A few Dallas companies have made the list of “Corporate Tax Dodgers.” The list, put together by Citizens for Tax Justice, lists companies who paid no income tax in 2010. In DFW, Dean Food’s, Atmos Energy and Chesapeake Energy made the list. All three dodged taxes through loopholes and tax breaks and paid nothing, though the annual rate is supposed to be 35 percent (the average rate is about half that).

Posted by on November 7, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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