Thursday, February 16, 2006

Recall Effort of City Council Member Elena Guajardo

Today's city council meeting was tumultuous at best. There was a threat to either force Elena Guajardo to resign because of the incident at Zachry Construction Corporation or face a recall effort. The details are fuzzy. Expect more soon.

Allen Ellebracht has given the city council 7 days until he begins a petition drive to force a recall election. Ellebacht has said that the sucide of George Dickerson is her fault and she must step down because of it.

Ellebacht does not dispute the fact that Dickerson used the Zachary Construction Company work e-mail account to send an e-mail full of racial slurs nor does he dispute the fact that Guajardo went through the chain of command that is typical for an executive that sends hate mail to an elected official. More on this as it develops.


At 11:41 AM, Blogger SA Citizen said...

If you are going to blog and sully a man's name when he can not defend himself using terms such as "full of racial slurs" and "hate mail" at least attempt to get the facts right. Please see news item or news item. I've personally talked to people in the news media here and they have confirmed what was stated in those articles. Seems to me the "hate" is in Miss Guajardo and bloggers such as yourself. Kind of hard to be an effective representitive when you hate 30% of your constituents.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Crystal said...

There is only one questionable line within the entire e-mail. His complaints are legitimate, though he did break his company's policy by using their e-mail account for personal correspondence.

Instead of personally dealing with and helping her constituent as is her duty, Guajardo side-stepped him.

Instead of looking at his 27 years of commitment to their company, Zachry Construction destroyed a man's life.

Instead of fighting the accusations of discrimination, Dickerson gave up too easily.

This chain of events created an irrational outcome that was completely preventable from the start.

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Savannah said...

I have recently heard in the news and have read from other postings about the incidents surrounding the suicide of a former Zachary Construction employee and an e-mail forwarded by councilwoman Elena Guajardo. I feel very sympathetic towards the friends and family members of Mr. Dickerson who has taken his own life recently after losing his job with Zachary Corporation. However, I do not feel like that it is fair that the blame should be placed on Ms. Guajardo Yes, I do believe that constituents should be able to write about their concerns and send it on to elected officials, but if the letter was viewed as racist and there was a previous history of "racist " material being sent from a particular company to city officials, I do not believe that Ms. Guajardo made a bad decision in sending this information to the company. Furthermore, If Mr. Dickerson had been employed with the company for some 27 years, he should have been well aware of the company's internet policy.
One does not just decide to commit suicide at the drop of a hat. There had to be several other internal or external factors influencing Mr. Dickerson to believe that his life was not worth living anymore.
posted by Savannah at 9:47 PM

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At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Keeping it Real said...

OK Folks, These are the Facts:
Dickerson wrote that the club attracts "undesirable, low class elements from bad parts of the city into our upper class part of the city for which we pay a very large tax burden in which to live to be safe and away from such elements." (Zachry is stung by another e-mail, Laura E. Jesse, San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 2, 2006)
He also wrote that the entertainment at the club "is of a lude, lascivious, low class, debaucheristic, criminalistic, riot insistic, anarchistic nature. Thereby inciting the absolute worst behavior from the worst possible type of patron."
Those patrons, he went on, come from the "lower class bad parts of the city" and that the club should be forced to relocate to one of those areas, "thereby containing all of these very serious problems within the areas in which these types of criminal debaucheric behavior occur on a regular basis."
Contacted at home Wednesday, Dickerson refused to comment.
Vicky Waddy, Zachry's public affairs director, said the company was disappointed to learn of the e-mail and that it was a violation of the company's policy on computer use.
Last summer, Ken Wolf, who was vice president of Metropolitan Resources Inc., a Zachry subsidiary, resigned after he sent an e-mail through a company computer in May saying the SBC Center, now AT&T Center, was built "in the ghetto" because of a lack of leadership in city government.

I'm sorry people, but with all due respect...after 27 years you would think that a person would be aware of the risk when using company resources to send "racist material" to an elected official. I mean come on people, there is a proper way to address issues to your City Council Official!
Clearly Mr. Dickerson had issues with some of us who are "FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN". It was HIS CHOICE to send the email and he should have faced the consequences.
Should a person get fired because of an email? Clearly this is a company decision.
Should Mr. Dickerson have died because of this? Of course not! But then again Mr. Dickerson did not us an option and took it upon himself to take his own life. How is this the fault of anyone else except Mr. Dickerson.
You can't justify putting the blame on a City official any more than you can blame Zachry for firing him. They were doing their job!

Oh, Look out now people, Allen Ellebracht and his followers are out for blood!!!
Come on, what a joke!

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Elena Guajardo Supporter said...

Everyone should read this. Paste this link to your address bar:

It's time to stop haters from attacking elected officials because of descrimination!

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous SA-Dr. said...

I pray for the family and friends of Mr. Dickerson. Suicide is such a difficult thing to deal with. But I and many others believe that blaming Council member Guajardo is an act of descrimination and hatred.
What about all the young gay & lesbian americans who commit suicide because of society's unacceptance?
5 out of every 8 suicide attempters were gay or bisexual -- or put another way, gay and bisexual youth are 13.6 times more likely to have attempted suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Ostracized by their peers and rejected by adults, gay and lesbian teens develop disturbing thoughts and feelings about their place in this world. Unfortunately, parents, teachers, police officers, social workers and even health care professionals fail to consider or even acknowledge the struggles these youth live with on a daily basis. Suicide amongst gay, lesbian and bisexual youth is a serious problem. As members of a hated, harassed and rejected group, these youth experience a sense of being different and isolated in the world, and they are at high risk for severe depression and suicide.

No one ever hears about these cases but they are real.
Who is to blame for their deaths? Where is their justice?

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Rex Mouser said...

I doubt He killed himself over an e mail There has to be more involved. The activities He wrote about were not racist but criminal conduct.

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Dr. Winston McCuen said...

Incidentally, there is no moral right to commit suicide. Quite the contrary. The earthly life of a person is NOT his own. He was created by God, and his life belongs to God, and is intended for God’s service. So do not say that committing suicide is merely one’s own business. That life is not your own to take away. Suicide is a high form of theft, committed against God the Creator.

In short, mortal man, life is not about YOU!

Dr. Winston McCuen
Occupied South Carolina

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Angus McClure said...

* I live in the SA area. IT IS DONE! It is a losing battle. Hispanics own this town. The Alamo has fallen.

Races in San Antonio:

Hispanic (58.7%)
White Non-Hispanic (31.8%)

Other race (19.3%)

Black (6.8%)

Two or more races (3.7%)

American Indian (1.3%

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous BILL said...

This guy was obviously not an Amren reader. His concerns were valid, but he was not prepared to forthrightly place them, and his native sense of societal decency, in their natural racial context. He was not prepared for accusations of “racism”, and was thoroughly unprepared to assert and defend himself as a White once he stirred the hornet’s nest. You have to keep your head up and fight these people every step. You have to make a real “White nuisance” of yourself.

At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Seelow Heights said...

I hate to say this but!!
The company had every right to fire him.

It is awfully hard to sue for wrongful termination if YOU violate company policies.

We are an AT WILL employment country which means either party may quit the relationship at will.
Wild Bill, are you an attorney specializing in employment law? Neither am I, but I’ve been told that the current state of the law re rights of employees is far differnet from what it was when you and I were young. I’ve even heard of white males who were able to fight what they deemed wrongful dismissals in court.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Common Sense said...

There are laws that protect CERTAIN people or certain reasons for being fired, as age, race, gender, union affiliation.

I think the company and its management might have been looking for a reason to fire this man. He may have been going off the deep end for a while who knows, but it is tragic all the same.

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Irish said...

One thing that isn’t made clear here is whether Dikckerson sent the offending email from his personal email account or from the company account, and whether he did so on his own time or company time.

It does seem as if he used company resources, such a company computer and internet connection, and company time, to do this. Most everyone does some personal business at work, whether to call the wife/kids, check one’s personal email, and so on. I don’t think that should be a firing offense, although if it is visible to clients/customers/media or if it interferes with productivity he needs to be warned, and only after a series of chances appropriate to his veteran status should he be fired.

But the key question is, did he send the email from a account or the equivalent, rather than from a personal email account such as Hotmail or the like? The former is something I understand an employer taking a hard line on. It’s just wildly inappropriate to send racially charged emails to anyone, let alone a politician or media outlet, from your work email account. Ordinarily, I’d see nothing wrong with firing someone for that. Now a 27 year veteran, that earns some slack; perhaps a suspension without pay or something equally serious; but even then, a firing is defensible in my mind. Moreover, there had been a prior incident, and the whole company had been warned and trained.

Too many people use their corporate accounts for personal use. I do personal email at the office, probably too much, but I’m not dumb enough to use my personal account for it.

It’s godawful the man commited suicide; perhaps he was in despair because he blamed himself. What a horrible, gut-wrenching emotional agony to be in.

But I don’t see him as a martyr for whites. Maybe if he’d sent the email on his own time from his personal account at home, and been fired from the company for that, OK.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Judy said...

He did what he had the right to do: complain of what he thought was bad for his familiy and neighbouhood.
The council woman did what she had the right to do: complain about what she thought were offensive coments.

The company did what they had the right to do: enforce company policy.

Then he did what he didn’t have the right to do: commit suicide. that’s illegal. he didnt think of the pain he would cause his family with this action. he had to be deeply disturbed to do something like that.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"e-mail full of racial slurs"... get your facts right. Read the Dickerson e-mail yourself. NO RACIAL SLURS!

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Blah...Blah..-get your facts right :) said...

"e-mail full of racial slurs"... get your facts right. Read the Dickerson e-mail yourself. NO RACIAL SLURS!
Racial slurs or not, it was inappropriate use of company email! Come on now, I know if you try really hard you can--STAY FOCUSED!

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Demosthenes said...

...but let's not skirt the racial slurs issue altogether.

Mr. Dickenson identified all sorts of low-class elements from other parts of town at Graham Central Station. One wonders how he made the distinction about where these patrons came from. Did he check drivers licences at the door? Could he somehow trace license plate numbers to certain addresses? Did he look up their voter registration? Was he perhaps familiar enough with gang colors to identify the gangs from certain places? I don't know - perhaps the man did have these capabilities, but I doubt it.

Or, perhaps he was certain that these folks were from another part of town because of their apparent socio-economic background. That background did not seem to match his own fine 'hood, there near Fredericksburg and Loop 410. That makes one wonder, because there are low-rent apartments right there at Fredericksburg and Callaghan, just a block or two from Graham Central Station. So, a "low class" socio-economic background doesn't preclude one from living near the establishment in question.

So, apparent socio-economic status is out, and direct tracing of the patrons is out. Perhaps my imagination is modest, but I'm guessing that Dickenson identified (through inaccurate stereotype) the origins of the Graham Central Station patrons by the color of their skin, because that was the ONLY thing Dickenson seems to have to go on.

Let's face it folks, the dude was a racist - and the comments were racist. Just because racism is implicit rather than explicit, doesn't stop it from being racist.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in District 7 and Elena's Staff is not very professional and their attitudes are very very unsatisfactory. The City of San Antonio is nothing about problems problems problems (especially every City Governments Departments). I think that Elena Guajardo needs to step down.

Also, San Antonio City Council Members including the Mayor and the New City Manager needs to ' GROW UP!!!!". Like Mayor Hardberger said at the beginning, "ZERO TOLERANCE!!!". I do not think that Mayor Hardberger doesn't understand what "ZERO TOLERANCE" means?

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now for the truth,

I am Allen Ellebracht..The protector of everyones right to free speech, including Guajardo Supporters.........Now lets talk

Mr. Dickerson did not use any ethnic or racial slurs PERIOD. I being a white male my wife a hispanic female and chlildren of both ethnic ancestry, am offended by ill informed, mislead individuals and groups.

As I said to City Council Thursday March 30, 2006 "If any two of you will openenly admit that if this happened to a member of "YOUR" family and just say it was "OK" i will quit right now." NO TAKERS!!!

Why, because they know that Elena violated Mr. Dickerson right to speak to his elected offiical about things "SHE" knew about from the news. Then when she saw the ZACHRY.COM, she saw a chance to extort money.

She did not seek to get him fired, but he was a liability to Zachry Construction and the Politicians were trying again to feed from the Zachry money trough.

Say what you may , 70% of all my response are from hispanic/hispanic surnamed people. Boy I must be really wrong.

And I am not afraid of speaking the truth, even with at death threat sent, I will continue......Remeber, my friend can not speak, but I can...

Sincerely, Allen Ellebracht

go to sut and paste this link, and see.

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen Ellebracht again,

The Web Site is

Forgot the www.

Thanks again.

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a former employee of Zachry and I am not going to defend Mr. Dickerson's or the Council Woman's actions. I would like to comment on the fact that Zachry has an internet/computer use policy that is not enforced. I was employed during the Wolfe incident and also during the Dickerson incident. At neither time did Zachry Management take the time to re-educate or warn their employees on the internet and computer use. Blatent disregard for the policy exists within that Corporation. I have seen, heard of and experienced first hand receipt of harassment via individuals within Zachry via the email system. I personally know of a female employee who was fired because she went to her supervisors, supervisor to complain about an email that contained a sexually explicit photo of her supervisor and an unknown woman.

I feel I can comfortably state that the view is that as long as it isn't seen by someone who might make it public and create image problems for Zachry it isn't an issue. If someone who is in a high profile position calls Zachry on the issue then it suddenly is important to dismiss the individual who brought the unwanted attention to Zachry. Within Zachry there are individuals who are much bigger racists or sexist than Dickerson, could ever be. The woman was fired, not immediately, but shortly after. The supervisor who sent the photo is still employed and sending other offensive emails around to others.

I thought you might find it interesting to realize that Zachry fixes things by throwing money at the issue. Dickerson is an example as this after his death, Zachry Corporation reinsated him so that his family could receive his pension and company life insurance. He lost it as a fired employee.

I feel that Dickerson should have read his email and thought out his words. I also feel the council woman should have realized that much of what Dickerson stated in his email has been on the nightly news for weeks and contacted Dickerson personally to see if they could discuss his point of view and work on a solution together.

I am finding that in San Antonio people are way to reactionary. I found during my employment at Zachry that their is a climate of both oppression and fear. It is created by those in upper management.

It is really sad. This is a company that if it really wanted to be a model in the San Antonio Community that could set the tone for better ethics, better management practices and business practices.

At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty.

In this day and time a person who feels he must speak the truth can be destroyed easily.

If you ever would care to speak with me, you may email me at

Thank you and God Bless, Allen Ellebracht


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