The news yesterday that the city council voted to prohibit dirt skirts means one of two things. Either council members had a flash of wisdom and realized that dirt skirts –- a ploy to allow builders and developers to get around zoning height restrictions by pretending the ground is taller than it is –- are silly, or the council suddenly realized that there is an election next spring and they have alienated untold numbers of constituents.

I vote for the latter.

By next May, the council could be looking at a city budget that has fallen on its face, courtesy of the on-going U.S. financial meltdown. (Are we really balancing the budget by charging non-residents $400 to $600 when they get in auto accidents in Dallas?) It may well be handed its head in the convention center hotel referendum. And then there is the Ross/Industrial/Chavez shambles, which has the potential to turn into a Dickensian-style nightmare in the manner of the Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit, alienating everyone for generations to come and resolving nothing.

So, given an opportunity to show voters they were on top of at least one thing, they jumped on the dirt skirts (no pun intended) and ended up doing the right thing.

See how easy it is?

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