Next month, District 10 residents will vote for a new city council representative. With that in mind, we asked the candidates to answer this question:
How would you address the issues of crime, apartments and retail in our neighborhood should you be elected to the council?
SCOTT “BIGBIRD” BRUNSKILL
You asked about the “issue” of crime and what would I do as a council member. The council has a Public Safety committee of five members. I would see what the committee is actually doing and see what, if any, benefits could be of use to District 10. The best thing the council can do is support the police and try to get more folks in each neighborhood involved in crime prevention. You asked about the “issue” of apartments. What exactly is the “issue” of apartments? You asked about the “issue” of retail. It is no mystery that old strip malls must be changed. Personally I would like to see some of our strip malls get leveled and start fresh. Turn that into retail similar to Mockingbird Station or Southlake’s Town Square. The council might have the resources to attract developers that have the money to invest in major redevelopment projects through the Business and Commerce committee.
At a recent homeowners association meeting in District 10, Dallas Police Chief Terrell Bolton and Chief Bill Turnage, Commander of the Northeast substation, gave out their direct telephone numbers. It was encouraging to see the personal involvement of the highest-ranking member of our police department and the number one man in our area. Our police are actively doing the job that we expect in District 10. You can help by making sure your area is covered by a volunteer crime watch organization. Call Sheila Cavanaugh at the Northeast substation. The element most talked about in Lake Highlands and the rest of District 10 is the declining conditions of our multi-family communities. My plan is to expose the slumlords in District 10 by identifying them through any publication that will publish the information and to work closely with our code enforcement and police departments to keep the pressure on the management companies and owners. Declining retail opportunities in District 10 is a third area of concern. Great strides have been made under Alan Walne’s leadership over the last six years. I will continue to find new investors to help us regain our shine. I will be looking for more people like Susan Morgan, who individually took on the task of surveying the Lake Highlands community about retail desires of our citizens and then published a brochure on buying power in the area. It’s available through the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association. You can all help by supporting our local merchants.
As a retired police executive, I know with absolute certainty that the three issues – crime, apartments, and retail – are closely linked. Neglected apartments are breeding grounds for crime, both within the complexes themselves and in surrounding residential and business communities. And if crime is allowed to spiral out of control, businesses and home values suffer, the tax base suffers and, worst of all, good people suffer. I’ll work to promote a community where retail businesses once again can flourish, residential property values can soar and apartments are assets to the community. I’ll halt the bureaucratic run-around and bring a team approach to the task of upgrading the quality of life in apartments. Police alone can’t be totally effective. But coordinated teams of police officers, fire inspectors and code enforcers – all backed by aggressive action from the City Attorney’s Office – can generate intense, sustained pressure to upgrade apartment properties. If we clean up the apartments, much of the rest will fall into place: crime will decrease, retail businesses will prosper, and all citizens of District 10 – single-family owners and the residents of apartments – will have a better quality life. As your former commander of the police station in District 10, I know and love the community. I look forward to once again serving you.