As I sit to write this month’s greeting, I have many thoughts and ideas. I have just come from the Terrell Bolton hearing, where I listened with a heavy heart to a fine man who tried to explain why he made inflammatory statements to the press after his dismissal as Chief of the Dallas Police Department. I was asked by members of the media afterward if I had changed my thinking about compensation for perceived injustice, and I said no.

Whether Mr. Bolton’s dismissal was justified or not, which I believe it was, this city should never bow to threats of lawsuits from anyone who would attempt to take advantage of uninformed public opinion like our ex-chief appears to be doing through our ever-hungry news media.

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As of this writing, PT’s has yet to file its application with the TABC. I can’t tell you how very much I appreciated the turnout at my Town Hall Meeting. The response has been gratifying for everyone who had a part in that presentation. Remember, the hearing will be here in Dallas and will be 30 to 60 days after PT’s files. TABC will notify the petitioners as to date, time and location as soon as a hearing is set.

By the time you read this, I will hopefully have started our zoning study for District 10. I am running just about a week behind in my planning for naming the study committee, but have hopes of catching up. The City Planning Department has assigned a very good team of experts to help us, and they are enthusiastically awaiting my call to action. Shawn Holyoak will be the senior planner involved. He was introduced at the Town Hall Meeting, unfortunately after many of you had departed.

The City’s 2004 budget is still being discussed. Fees for water, trash disposal and storm water disposal will be increased, but the tax rate seems to be untouchable for this year. If the economy does not improve by this time next year, along with some new areas of economic development in our city, the current tax rate of 69.98 cents per $100 valuation will have to be increased to meet the growing demands. I’m not looking forward to that possibility in an election year, but facts are facts.

Now that I have sufficiently put you in a somber mood, let me encourage you to go to a football game at Wildcat-Ram Stadium or a volleyball game at the high school gym. Join a service club in the area. Get involved with your child’s school programs. Hopefully, it’s a public school. Make a difference in your area by volunteering for crime watch duty. You will not only make yourself feel better about your home, but you will help District 10 be the best place to live in Dallas.

Thanks, Lake Highlands, for letting me represent your interests. It is an honor.