With a mayoral and city council election still rather close in the rearview mirror, a recent WalletHub study into the best and worst run cities in the country — and where Dallas falls on that list — highlights some of the issues that drove at least a few people to the polls twice.
The study, which was released earlier this month, sought to measure the effectiveness of local leadership by focusing on how efficiently a city was run.
“In other words, we can learn how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget,” the report explained.
WalletHub compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities, constructing a “quality of services” score comprised of 37 benchmarks grouped into six service categories, which were then measured against the city’s per-capita budget.
So how did Dallas fare? Not good, but not the worst, either (that dubious honor would go to Washington D.C.). But if it weren’t for Lubbock, Dallas would’ve been the lowest placement on the list at 90. Lubbock came in at 106.
So we showed two freshman Dallas City Council members the WalletHub report, and asked for their opinions.
David Blewett said that the numbers “seemed kind of arbitrary,” but said he could see at least something Dallas is doing right.
“As I looked at where we ranked vs. other cities … I came away thinking that Dallas must be doing something right as we are gaining population over most of them,” he said. “And I know firsthand at the City of Dallas that it is a priority to provide the types and levels of service that will allow us to remain attractive to our long time as well as newer residents and businesses.”
Chad West agreed that the new council is looking at how it prioritizes these services.
“Dallas does some things well and other things not so well. We’re working on it, and nothing gets better overnight,” he said. “Our education system is improving, we have great medical facilities in which to take care of our people, a strong economy (especially the housing market), and the City has plans in place to improve transit.”
He also noticed something key that might improve any future score for the city.
“It is interesting that in the study’s ‘Infrastructure and Pollution’ category, almost as many points were given to the ‘Walk Score’ i.e. Pedestrian friendliness as were given to ‘Quality of Roads’, and the Walk Score is one of the heaviest weighted categories,” he said. “This gives me hope that, in the future, as our City refocuses our accessibility efforts on Complete Streets projects which encourage alternative forms of transportation, like walking, biking, use of scooters, etc, we’ll drastically improve our ranking.”
The full report is located here.