At last night’s debate between District 13 Dallas City Council member Jennifer Gates and former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, I fully expected the political point-scoring and backbiting that is politics. What I didn’t expect was the paucity of actual answers to questions. Part of that rests on moderator Tim Rogers for not calling out either candidate for being non-responsive to his questions. Each question was supposed to net both candidates 90 seconds to respond. With such a short time, you’d think they’d get to the meat of an answer. Not really.

Instead, we saw an hour of political brinksmanship with little hard substance from either candidate. One of two things was behind this – either they had no detailed answers, or more likely, those answers were thought to be unpalatable to voters. As you will read, I’m not afraid of unpalatable.

But before I go there, Miller’s opening remarks contained one of the few truthful moments. She described herself as someone of “action” compared to Gates’ “indecision.” While Miller meant this as a dig at Gates, I saw the opposite. Gates’ appearance of indecision comes from her wanting information to help guide a decision. For example, within PD-15,  Gates has spent two years trying to reach a compromise. Only after two committees devolved into factions did she finally ask city staff to come up with something.

Compare that to a quick-to-judge, uncompromising Miller, whom I’ve seen in action on the Preston Center Area Plan committee, the proposed Preston Center skybridge, Highland House, and now PD-15. She’s someone who doesn’t allow new information to cloud her initial judgment. I have the patience for those trying to learn more to get a better result.

In a more visceral display, before the debate, Laura Miller asked me to carry her suitcase to the stage (seen in photo) while Gates glad-handed me as she did many in the room.  To Gates, I was a constituent, to Miller, a lackey, apparently.

Roads are Bad and You Don’t Pay Enough Tax

The topic of roads came up … (more…)

Layers of repaving “fills” curbing and leads to flooding. Right shows how it's supposed to look

Layers of repaving “fills” curbing and leads to flooding. Right shows how it’s supposed to look

At the last Preston Center Task Force Meeting, TXDoT spoke about their progress repaving of Preston Road and my ears were pricked.  Preston Road was originally constructed with concrete and is now (again) being over-paved in Asphalt.  It’s been going on for years, but why? Other roads like Greenville are being repaired in concrete.

The federal government reports that concrete roadways last an average of 2.5 times longer than asphalt.  Another report states that concrete lasts 27.5 years before major repair while asphalt only lasts 15.5 years.  Non-highway roadways can have a life expectancy of over 60 years (how old is Preston Road’s concrete?).  Long-term, concrete roadways can save 19 percent in maintenance costs over asphalt.

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