Dallas electionsFourteen Dallas City Council seats and three Dallas Independent School District trustee seats are up for grabs on May 6. I’ll start saying this early — as I always do: It can cost somewhere around $1 million to hold an election, and in most May Dallas elections, we see less than 10 percent of voters turning out to vote.

And it really couldn’t be much easier. Check and see if you’re registered to vote here.  If you’re not, you can click here to register. If you vote early, you can vote at any early voting polling location in the county – so on your way to work, during your lunch break, on your way home, or even on a Saturday. The last day to register to vote is April 6. Early voting begins April 24 and will continue through May 2 for all Dallas elections.

The last day to register to vote is April 6. Early voting begins April 24 and will continue through May 2. You can even vote on a Saturday or a Sunday.

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NeilEmmons

City Plan Commissioner Neil Emmons was found dead in his home this morning. Photo: Twitter

The political and real estate worlds of Dallas were rocked today with the news that tireless advocate of neighborhoods and preservation of Dallas’ architectural history Neil Emmons apparently passed away in his sleep overnight. He was 45.

Robert Wilonksy reported in the Dallas Morning News that Emmons, who has been serving as a City Plan Commissioner, was found dead by his mother this morning.  As city officials and others who have worked closely with Emmons in his 15-plus years serving the city learned the news, their reactions were overwhelmingly of shock.

“We did not always agree, but I always knew Neil was up for the fight. I learned a lot from you over the years, and I am sad that our hidden notes at the horseshoe will not continue. You will be missed greatly my friend,” said councilman Adam McGough on Facebook.

Dallas Planning Commissioner Neil Emmons was found dead in his home this morning. Photo: Rockwall Pets

Dallas Planning Commissioner Neil Emmons was found dead in his home this morning. Photo: Rockwall Pets

Councilman Philip Kingston also took to Facebook to eulogize Emmons, saying, “No single person in Dallas has done more to affect land use in recent history, and the changes he fought for were overwhelmingly positive. His philosophy was always to side with the neighbor and the neighborhood because doing so produced the best result for the city.

The result? Billions of dollars of economic development that may not have happened without his input and probably would have looked like crap if it did happen. It is not an exaggeration to say that Uptown, Turtle Creek, Oak Lawn, Lower Greenville, and Downtown owe much of their success to Neil Emmons.”

“I don’t think most of the city knows how sad a day this is for Dallas,” Kingston concluded.

In February, our Leah Shafer wrote about the historic Mayrath House and the formation of Dallas Endowment for Endangered Properties (DEEP) by Emmons and three other preservationists.Four preservationists, Virginia McAlester, Jim Rogers, Lisa Marie Gala, and Neil Emmons, together founded the Dallas Endowment for Endangered Properties (DEEP) fund last month. Joanna England wrote more in-depth about DEEP, which would be a fund to buy up endangered historic properties to save them from the wrecking ball.

Emmons served several terms on the City Plan Commission, starting in 2001 when he was appointed by then-councilwoman Veletta Lill. He served from 2001 until he left in 2009 due to term limits, and then was appointed again in 2014.

Photo from votemcgough.com

Photo from votemcgough.com

Update April 26: After talking to Adam McGough’s campaign manager and analyzing more utility bills, we have issued an apology to the Adam McGough for City Council campaign.  Apparently the family’s utility usage was NOT that out of the ordinary, for a family of three boys, despite the low electricity usage records we were sent by a source.

If you’ve been keeping up, you may be familiar with the residency issues surrounding city council District 10 candidate Adam McGough. If not, plenty of primer to catch up with is here.

And maybe you saw that Highland Park ISD concluded its investigation and decided not to press the matter further. So it’s over, right?

Well, thanks to a source, we have come in possession of something that casts some more questions on McGough’s story that his wife and children lived in the condo while he maintained their residence in Lake Highlands – electricity usage records.

Sarcastic Side-Eye Baby is dubious about this.

Sarcastic Side-Eye Baby is dubious about this.

The condo was a one bedroom, and allegedly Lacy McGough and their three children lived in it the entirety of two and a half school years, until they pulled their kids in favor of private school at this year’s winter break. I found a handy calculator here, and even with allowing for energy-efficient appliances, their kilowatt usage should’ve been around 1,636 kw each month.

What did the McGough’s use? Well, let’s put it this way – they either have the world’s most energy efficient, off-the-grid-solar-panel-using-cold-shower-having family, or um, they maybe didn’t live there the whole time.

There, I said it.

Here are the months of usage we have. Maybe they used more at some point. But for real, this is a dream electric bill for four people. For instance, their April 2014 bill was 658 kilowatts. October 2014’s bill was 480.  To put this in perspective, the average electric hot water heater pulls somewhere between 380 and 500 kilowatts per month, and your average fridge uses about 150 kw.

So yeah.

Wanna see the rest of the documents? Click below.

Adam McGough info 2 (1) Adam McGough info 1 (1)

imageNot to go all Columbo “Oh, just one more question on you,” but since last night I had been wracking my noggin to remember where else I had seen Adam McGough, the city council candidate who is being questioned about where his family lived while his children were enrolled in Highland Park ISD, in print.

Just now, the all-knowing Wylie H. Dallas jogged my memory with a Facebook post.

It was Vanity Fair. The Ebola story. And let me tell you why this is important: McGough explains, in the story, that one night during the worst of the Thomas Duncan time frame, he went home. Home, where his wife and kids were sitting in their minivan because the power was out.

image

Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but why wouldn’t they just go to the condo? The condo in Highland Park. Where they lived, because that’s what they told the Dallas Morning News when they explained they pulled their kids out of HPISD at winter break? That condo probably had tons of electricity, right?

This story just gets fishier and fishier.

Photo from votemcgough.com

Photo from votemcgough.com

Did Dallas City Council candidate Adam McGough buy a condo in Highland Park just for the chance to send his kids to Highland Park ISD?

McGough, a former chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and current candidate for District 10 city council seat, says yes, but it’s not like that. Highland Park ISD officials, however, have announced they’re looking in to the whys and wheretofors of the whole situation, and just about every media outlet in Dallas is drilling down on the housing situation of the McGough family. (more…)