During the next several weeks, you can help determine the future of our neighborhood and our City.

After two years of work, the final draft of the Dallas Plan is ready for citizen’s review and comment. On Nov. 1, we will meet at Forest Meadow Junior High to discuss the recommendation and offer opinions.

Some of the recommendations are simply a listing of capital projects that we must complete in order to maintain a decent quality of life. Our streets must continue to be repaved and upgraded and the price tag is enormous – $2.1 billion. Likewise, flood control, parks, public safety facilities, libraries and maintenance of municipal buildings are essential capital projects. Combined, they will cost an additional $1.1 billion.

If Dallas is to be competitive in the 21st century, we must do more than simply maintain the “status quo.” A number of new initiatives are proposed for development over the next 30 years. Each offers exciting opportunities for economic expansion as well as improved quality of life.

Downtown Dallas, long viewed only as a center of employment, must be redefined. Residential areas are essential to making our central city more vibrant and versatile. By expanding entertainment options, the urban center becomes a magnet for large numbers of suburban citizens as well as tourists and convention participants.

The southern sector development proposals are in the interest of all of Dallas. As we expand the tax base in Southern Dallas, we relieve property owners in North Dallas of increased taxes. Right now, 85 percent of the tax base is north of I-30. Any effort to shift some portion to the south of I-30 would be a long term benefit to the City as a whole.

Other proposals include a new aquarium at Fair Park, major expansion of the Zoo, development of the Trinity River and an expanded network of parks and open space.

A second opportunity to help direct capital spending will be scheduled before the end of the year. As the Council prepares for the next bond election, (probably in May 1995) a series of town hall meetings will be held to gather suggestions from citizens. If your street is a mess, we need to know. If you’re an advocate for dredging White Rock Lake, please try to attend. If there are other capital projects that you believe we must complete, now is the time to speak up. The meeting will be in early December. Watch for public notices for the time and place.

Please attend. I need to know what you think.