Monday, May 6, 2013

Looks like no home games at home for Ursuline

Ursuline Academy, an all-girls private school in North Dallas, has one of the most successful soccer programs in the state. Yet it can’t play "home" games at home. That’s because the school has no lighted soccer field and because it gets dark earlier during soccer season, a lighted field is a necessity.

Trouble is, the neighbors are dead set against allowing Ursuline to play home games at home. The last time a lighted soccer field was proposed for Ursuline, back in October 2003, former city council member Mitchell Rasansky, who represented the district where Ursuline is located, led the charge to defeat it.

Now Ursuline has come back with a scaled-down plan and Rasansky is still against it. Of course, he is no longer on the council, but his choice to succeed him, Ann Margolin, is. And Margolin has won a decisive battle to get the subject on the City Council’s May 22 agenda.

This timing is important because it will be one of Margolin’s last agenda meetings. She chose not to run for re-election and right at this moment it appears her choice to succeed her, Leland Burk, is not going to prevail in this month’s election.

Instead, it appears the winner of the District 13 race is going to be Ursuline graduate Jennifer Staubach Gates. She has not only received financial support from University of Dallas Executive Vice President Robert Galecke, a major supporter of the lighted soccer fields, but he has hosted a fundraiser for Gates. I’m betting Gates would be in favor of Ursuline’s request, but since the new council will not be sworn in until July, she won’t have the opportunity to vote on the issue.

That’s because Margolin is going to make sure Gates won’t get to vote on it. If Margolin was inclined to favor allowing Ursuline to play its home games at home, she would have no problem in letting the new council vote on it. I can only see one reason Margolin wants the vote to come before the election — so she can kill it.

Of course, she could surprise me. Here’s the argument that says Margolin, who hasn’t announced one way or the other on the issue (although her appointee to the Plan and Zoning Commission voted against it), might vote for it. The majority of Ursuline’s neighbors oppose the plan, not because of the reason they state for the record (a lighted field would disrupt the harmony of the neighborhood) but because soccer games played right on Ursuline’s campus could attract minorities to watch those games and those racists simply don’t want non-millionaire minorities in their neighborhood, even if it’s just for two hours a few times a year.

But because Margolin doesn’t have to worry about currying the favor of these dolts in order to win re-election, she just might display the courage and the leadership to stand tall and do the right thing.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, however. But we’ll find out May 22.

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