[Editor’s Note: Candy Evans is the founder and publisher of CandysDirt.com and is now running for Dallas City Council in District 11. The opinions expressed in this column are her own.]
I was in New York City right after Thanksgiving, and the two largest mouthpieces in the world — the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal — were basically trashing Dallas. Everyone was talking about our police and fire pension problems, using the “b” word (bankruptcy!), putting us in the same league as Detroit.
Things have not been going so well in our city and in my District 11. In fact, over the last four years, they have gotten worse.
Lee Kleinman supported what I believe is a fiscal giveaway of Fair Park, a near billion-dollar plan that would squander the potential we have for real estate development and private sector job growth in southeast Dallas.
There was his proposal to kill the Dallas Film Commission, citing a “waste” of a measly $200,000 a year grant that results in about $475,000 in tax revenue and terrifically measurable branding for the city. Remember a little show called Dallas?
He has been working hard for the suburbs. He supports the Cotton Belt Corridor commuter rail alignment as a priority over a much-needed subway line reliever route in downtown Dallas. The Cotton Belt project will be a lot more beneficial to our northern neighbors, not us.
Crime has been on the rise in Dallas and in my district, and I don’t see it getting any better with record low police morale and a billion-dollar shortfall for their Police and Fire Pension fund. We are down to 3,252 officers, well below the target of 3,500.
We get less for our money: property taxes are going up, city services are going down.
And we obsess over grand scale projects when all we really need is to fix the damn streets.
All of this was supposed to get better come May. The rotting streets, parks, and other infrastructure (like drainage, to prevent flooding), failing traffic signals that don’t work when it rains, crumbling buildings, were all going to finally get fixed.
Lee Kleinman voted to postpone the bond election, kicking the can down the road just like everyone else. Even worse, he acted without an iota of input from the folks in our district, District 11, his constituents.
On one of the most important issues to Dallas voters, street repair, what does Lee Kleinman do? He cancels not one but TWO scheduled meetings on the bond.
Does he even know what the people he represents want? Does he care?
I am running for his seat because I want to inspire a culture at Dallas City Hall that puts us, the taxpayers, first. Rather than turn our back on our police, we need a positive working relationship: listen, compromise, don’t bully. We need oversight and accountability in city government at every level, to use every tax dollar efficiently for the best return on taxpayer investment. We need to be available and accessible to the people we represent, communicating with district residents regularly through modern channels, not a list of haters.
Join me in bringing a respectful, transparent vision to our great city, a city that can truly have it all. Every Friday we will bring you a report from the campaign trail as we dig into the issues and find solutions, together.