One of our regular commentators, Norman Alston, has apparently run afoul of city authorities because wine is available during meetings of a volunteer city committee that he chairs. This does not violate a city ordinance or regulation; nevertheless, city manager Mary Suhm laid down the law: "My guess is that it’s not going to be a problem in the future. They’ll stop."

I’m glad that Suhm has time to tend to this crucial matter, and that the rest of the stuff involved in running the city — finding a way to hire more cops, filling pot holes and the like — is under control. This, by the way, is sarcasm. That Suhm and Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper wasted time on this story reminds me once again of why we need a strong mayor and a better newspaper. (And, perhaps even sadder, is that The Morning News linked the story to an on-line poll asking its readers what they thought of the practice. Doesn’t the News have something better to do, like writing an editorial supporting tax breaks for developers?)

I would like to offer Norm some advice in case the wine cops show up again: Just spit. That’s what we professionals do. Take a sip of wine, roll it around in your mouth, and then spit it out. That way, you can taste it, and your judgment won’t be impaired. Which gives me a thought — maybe wine is being served surreptitiously at Council meetings. That would explain a lot of what goes on there.



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