The biggest round of applause at tonight’s town hall meeting, hosted by District 10 Councilman Jerry Allen, was for former District 10 Councilman and the evening’s moderator, Alan Walne, after he essentially called out a member of the audience for berating Dallas economic development director Karl Zavitkovsky.

Zavitkovsky was addressing one of many questions asked of tonight’s panel (I don’t remember the exact question, so will probably be berated for that), and a member of the audience called out: "That doesn’t answer the question!" Zavitkovsky paused, looking a bit stunned, then looked out into the audience and said: "I’m sorry?" The comment came again. "That doesn’t answer the question!"

Before Zavitkovsky could respond, Walne broke into a speech asking people present to exhibit "decorum" and reminded them that "we’re a good community". He then basically told the audience to remain silent and behave themselves so he could get through the many questions members of the audience had written down and submitted to the panel of city officials. When Walne finished, the audience clapped loudly.

I was impressed by Walne’s speech, especially considering that many, if not all, of the vocal chatter concerned the contentious Skillman/Church retirement community proposal, which Allen supports and I’m fairly certain Walne opposes. I sat with Advocate columnist Liz Luthans, and at first she commented that the speech seemed a little much, but she also didn’t attend January’s LHAIA meeting, where a free-for-all discussion of the Shoreview/Ferndale proposal got a bit nasty. I believe Walne attended that meeting, and we decided that his speech must have been a preemptive effort to keep last night’s discussion from getting out of hand.

The second biggest round of applause came after a question addressed to Allen, asking why he chose to support the proposed retirement community at Skillman and Church when many of its surrounding neighbors are so adamantly against rezoning the property. More on that tomorrow.