Southern Dallas Gets the Shaft in Bond Proposal While City Hall Waits to Reward Carpetbaggers

Categories: Schutze

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The lead editorial on The Dallas Morning News editorial page today is standard fare from the powers-that-be reminding all of us little people to vote in favor of the city's $642 million bond program on the ballot November 6. The editorial ticks off all the stuff in the bond proposal that will be good for us -- street repairs, flood safety, so on.

But sometimes it's more interesting to look at what's not in these bond proposals. The city giveth, the city taketh, and sometimes the city keepeth its hands in its pocketth.

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UNT's southern Dallas campus will be great for neighborhood development, but who gets to reap the reward?
A few weeks ago the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce sent up a howl -- maybe more of a plaintive wail -- over the strange and confusing two-facedness of the city over development plans around the new University of North Texas campus in Southern Dallas. In their public protestations, City Hall and the Morning News insist the big agenda for that area is full-speed ahead and get the dirt flyin'.

But the Oak Cliff Chamber said in its statement: "...since December 2009 there has been no appreciable progress by the City on implementation plan and, further, the City Manager's recommendation for the upcoming bond program does not adequately address the needs for this area in terms of infrastructure improvements..."

More to the point, the city apparently is deliberately holding off investing in certain infrastructure and carrying out necessary zoning changes around the campus until the land can be wrested from its current owners and awarded instead to a "master developer" of the city's own choosing, possibly with the use of eminent domain.

In an August 8 memorandum, chief assistant city manager Ryan Evans told the City Council that putting in new sewer and other services and doing the new zoning now "will inhibit development by fueling speculation and raising land costs."

Yeah. Putting in new sewer and water will make the land worth more. But I have been talking to people who have held land in that area for decades who say that is exactly what they have been waiting for all this time.

They held on and paid their taxes. They got none of the services people in the rest of the city take for granted. Now finally the city is ready to make the investments that will make their land worth what it would have been all along with normal services.

But the city is deliberately holding things out of the bond program and making not so subtle threats of eminent domain later on to force sales and deliver the land into somebody else's hands before any profits are to be taken. And they pretty much admit that's what they're up to.

You know, if you've been holding a large amount of land in southern Dallas all this time -- not an easy place to hold land -- and you hear all this City Hall/Morning News talk about bringing economic opportunity, you have to ask yourself, "Whose opportunity?"

If I were in southern Dallas, I wouldn't vote for a damn thing.

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16 comments
sandracrenshaw
sandracrenshaw

jerikjonsson

So, what you're saying is, disregard everything in the bond propositions regardless of merit because of what's not in the propositions?  Does that include the $5mm for the UNT area that is in the propositions?

 

Prop 3 is a slush fund for the Mayor friend and Price's 21rt Centruy group to invest in the development and get incentives with our taxpayers money..DUMMY

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

A "Yes" sign was delivered to my door, I guess with the assumption that I would put it out. Usually, if our house agrees to disagree, no signs go up at all but I altered my "Yes" sign with a little paint to read "No More Debt" and put it in my yard to show my personal lack of support for this bond program.

A few days later it was pulled up and left at my front door. Maybe I will make some more to take with me to my polling location. There is no "free" money and it does seem that we borrow more and more to cover projects that are not on the wish lists of the citizens. I feel good that I made someone so mad they had to get out of their car and pull up my sign. They forgot about the camera out front! I guess my peaceful protest did the trick. Someone in my neighborhood is so scared this thing won't pass they had to violate my right to free speech.

No one should expect to shove anything down the throat of another without getting what they deserve in return. I was nice, I haven't pulled up any of their signs, I'll just be sure to go to the end of the ballot and say "NO" loud and proud.

ceepee
ceepee

Oh please, that area is nothing but pastureland. There is nothing there that begs "services". Take a drive and see for yourself. 

glenn03a
glenn03a

Between City, County, DISD and Parkland.......remind me this year to load that gun before putting it in my mouth !!

sandracrenshaw
sandracrenshaw

Each council member met with their districts and asked for wish lists they wanted to be included in the bond proposal..  A voter at Atkins meeting asked for candor.  Are the council members going to look at the needs of  District 8 OR are you going to play favorites? Because if you are going to play favorites, I am not going to waste my time submitting my requests.  My HOA asked for a vehicular bridge, and sidewalks under the Safe School Safe Routes for Gilliam Academy, RL Thornton and JN Ervin Elemetary Schools whose students come from the Bill Fischer/Fantroy corruption tax credit apartments. Because there are no sidewalks, the children walk either in the mud or have to face oncoming traffic on a six lane divided major thoroughfare facing 18 wheelers on Simpson Stuart Rd. ( by the way in the area  was designated in the Mayor's Grow South Initative Educational Corridor  where he tells us that a beer and wine store (only the 76th one to to be built in Southern Dallas since the local option passed) is going to induce development while the school children directly across the street now have to face increased drunken drivers. (PS After Rawlings raised $50,000 for DISD and gave the beer and wine store $100,000 Incentive, I asked him when was he going to raise $6,000 for the sidewalks across the street at Bonnie View Rd.  I am told the sidewalks will be built in 2013 and the beer and wine store redesigned the store to include additional retail a beauty supply store (another story)

 

 Atkins subsequently submited a request  4 FOUR Million Dollars for a bike and hike trail out of bond monies as an amenitiy to induce Forest City to build condos next to the proposed $250 Million DART UNT Rail (2019 competion date) instead of applying for funds out of the 3 billion dollars the feds awarded Texas  to fund bike and hikes. Then he proposed almost 1 million dollars to reconstruct Sweet Sue St. which in no. 72 on the District 8 priority list and propbably 1,098 on the City wide list.  Sweet Sue has 38 property owners short street , one of which is Atkins Planning Commissioner Myrtle Lavalis who rubbers stamps all of Atkins approved zoning cases.  So at some point voters are going to have to send a message. We want our priorities taken care of  first  

 

Black business property owners on University Hills want sewage and Atkins says wait, I want to  help my financial supporters including Hooper Jordan ( whose interests had my home firebombed in 2003 over a zoning dispute)  get their property developed first and then when your property values go up, we'll raise your taxes and hope your heirs cannot pay them and then the City get (the freedman's town) like we did Thomas and Hall and soon South Dallas Fair Park.

 

Why do we have to act crazy and resort to shutting down bond proposals to get our elected officials to understand they work for us.

 

Blacks did not fight in  civil rights to get the WHITE man's foot  off our necks to let a N--- put his there!

Sandra Crenshaw 1998

  

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

This reminds me of how the City of Dallas does street repair out of the bottomless 2006 budget instead of maintenance funds. OOOPPS! Did I say that?

AviAdelman
AviAdelman

A certain candidate for City Council whose name cannot be mentioned, but sits on the Bond Committee for a councilperson whose name cannot be mentioned, told an audience of potential voters last week the Bond Packages would bring much-needed development to the Southern Sector, esp around UNT.

 

He also said it would pay for finishing the Lowest Greenville streetscape.Yeah, that's TWO reasons not to vote for the Bond Package.

HannibalLecter
HannibalLecter

Generally, Dallas bond elections can be divided roughly into thirds:

 

One-third stuff the city shouldn't be doing in the first place.

 

One-third stuff the city should handle, but shouldn't borrow money to pay for.

 

One third that the city should do and it's reasonable to borrow money for, but which they will totally screw up like they do virtually everything else.

 

And there you have your South Dallas slush fund, your street repairs, and flood protection.

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

I received a mailing the other week signed by the mayor and every city council member.  They urged me to vote for the bond package because it would not use any tax dollars. Isn't that the same concept of taking out a 100% mortgage because it won't use any of my salary?

How do the bonds get paid off, with pixie dust?  No, tax dollars.  How does the interest on the bonds get paid off, with monopoly money?  No, tax dollars.  What is the largest growth sector of the city budget over the past twenty years?  Debt service.  Why does the city have a shortage of money for basic services?  Lower tax collections and debt service.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@cynicaloldbastard Gas royalties and garbage fees.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

A little too trite and obscure for me to decrypt.

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