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Spectacle impedes real work of Dallas County Commissioners Court

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By Renee Hartley

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price

We can always count on the dysfunction of the Dallas County Commissioners Court for entertainment. Especially in these times of ideological shifts and tight budgets. But over the past few weeks I have watched in amazement as the Court has turned into even more of a spectacle than usual.

The untimely departure of Bruce Sherbet, Dallas County Elections Administrator, has been a catalyst for all sorts of political activism.  I am someone who is always pleased when people pay attention to their government. This is democracy. Whatever your ideology, I think we can agree that debate is good. No one side has a monopoly on good ideas.

Well, much to my disappointment the debate has become less about accountability and more about racism and hatred.    I sat in disbelief as I listened to Commissioner John Wiley Price addressed repeatedly as “chief mullah.”  While the term does not strike me as particularly racist, it was clearly meant to be disrespectful and was totally out of order in Commissioner’s Court.  However, I was further shocked to hear Commissioner Price respond in the manner in which he did.

According to his website Commissioner Price “has become notorious for his vision, his vigor and his veracity”.  Alliteration aside, he’s certainly notorious.  Some people seem to think that he was “provoked” into responding the way he did. I’m not sure what that means or how it’s an excuse.

Are we to believe that Commissioner Price is incapable of controlling himself when confronted? That he has some sort of affliction that renders inoperable his ability to reason? Or do we give him a pass because of his bravado? Because of his willingness to “go there” with people, when we don’t have the guts to do so. I don’t know.

What I do know is we once again find ourselves in the aftermath of name-calling, inappropriate reactions, and protests and not one step closer to making Dallas County better.

Renee Hartley is a Wife, Mother and political consultant. When she’s not working on local campaigns, she’s most likely watching football.   Renee can be reached at or follow her on twitter @reneehartley.

  • Phelps

    Are we to believe that Commissioner Price is incapable of controlling himself when confronted?

    Magic 8 ball says… “Signs point to yes.”

    My only disagreement is that to my understanding, Sherbert was a civil servant, not a political appointee. If so, then this is a little more out of line than first glance, unless there is some evidence of incompetence from Sherbert.

    I don’t dispute that he might be incompetent. It’s just that I already know that Price is incompetent.

  • Mr.Positive

    I’m guessing that if i were to show up at your job and start calling you names you may have a response for me. Who said that if you are elected to a public office that you are “supposed” to sit there and take on verbal abuse as just being part of the job? I applaud the commissioner for having the backbone to stand up. I know some of you “kneegros” have been trained to turn the other cheek. You’ve got to be out of cheeks by now! And by taking swipes at Mr. Price, you are also taking a swipe at his constituents who seem to vote him into office without a problem.

  • james

    JWP is a classic demagogue. He emotes and goes ballistic for the slightest things (whether he’s right or not). Yes his constituents keep voting him back into office but it’s sort of like a dog that keeps going back to it’s vomit. Mr Positive, in light of the evidence, your defense of JWP makes about as much sense as a hooker defending her pimp….but in second thought, it amounts to about the same thing actually….

  • Monday Was Not A Happy Day For Dallas | Dallas South News

    [...] objective with a figure like Price because there’s very little middle ground.  Commissioner Price’s style and choice of words rubs some the wrong way.  I get that.  He’s accused of being racist.  I get that, though I [...]

  • WhinersSuk

    My only “real” problem with this whole ordeal is that if FWP was white and had addressed a roon full of African-Americans and said ” You are all black – Go to hell ” his political career would be over.
    I actally agree with ” Mr. Positive ” and his assertation that public officals shouldn’t have to take verbal abuse as part of the job. BUT, what they should be able to do is respond without bigotry.
    I know we have to put up with racism and bigotry in our daily lives but we should be able to count on our elected officials to act above that kind of thing.

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