(coming via Will)
Small stage at the Eisemann, not the big room. Talked to Dennis on the way in. Good guy (Editor's note: agreed...for a mason :) )
5 minutes to showtime, under 100 people here, another 100 in the lobby.
Lights turned down as the meeting started, so 'real time' reporting stopped. Sorry 'bout that.
Dim lights, raised stage in front with two LARGE screens above the stage. And on the stage, was it the entire City Council, seated, each reporting on part of the City's 'state'? Was it Fire Chief, Parks and Rec Director, Bill Keffler, giving details?
Nooooooooooooooo ... the only person to speak, the only person on stage was the man who the citizens of Richardson voted in as Mayor, voted in as sole spokesman for the City.
What? Wait ... the voters don't pick the Mayor. Sorry. Forgot about that...
You've seen The Colbert Report show opening, right? Waving flags, eagles flying... Well, one of the big screens had that theme. No eagles, but waving red white and blue graphics behind the COR logo. On the other screen, similar background (moving, always moving) and on top of that, small windows with photos, movie clips, keyed to the topic the Mayor was talking about.
Mayor Slagel used two teleprompters (below the stage, to the right and left of center) and, other than a nervous pacing back and forth, his presentation was quite good. Some humor, some snark, positive slant, of course...
I won't get into the hour long details. The 'show' is on Richardson Cable and supposedly the city website. You can see for yourself. A few items though:
The Mayor did, of course, introduce the Council, a few city staffers, and honored guests (RISD, PISD, Methodist Hospital, UTD etc.) "Please wave as I introduce you" ha.
Other than the introductions, and at the end of the show, the only applause during was when he mentioned Tree the Town as a 'Council initiative'. He *did* mention Amir during that, though, and that is what triggered the applause.
The Apartment the Town initiative was presented as a done deal. He did mention public hearings to educate the populace, and only mentioned the apartments as "we're looking for the right number of multi-family units ... still working on that".
He compared it to Highland Park Village. Now THAT is funny. Let's see... Highland Park, University Park, old North Dallas, Preston Road. Yep, that compared quite well with freeway off-ramps and a garbage transfer station.
The Mayor's Major Announcement: (not certain of the exact title) The Mayor's Office of International Trade (something like that). He mentioned a list of CEOs who are on the board of that new office... He didn't mention how often he or others would be flying overseas, but I guess that will be showing up in the transparent checkbook soon.