I’m certain many of you would agree that this is a magical time of year. The summer heat and fall days are behind us and crisp, winter days are here. The excitement of the winter holidays is in the air and a mug of hot chocolate shared with family and friends is the perfect way to warm up. How lucky we are to be in Dallas and living in the very best community.

Dallas is a city on the move. Despite economic downturns in other cities across the county, Dallas continues to experience sustained economic development and growth.

As a matter of fact, Dallas is the heartbeat of the metroplex, which is the fastest growing region in the country; maintaining the fourth largest economic engine in the United States.

Because of this growth and the hard work of our city manager, Mary Suhm, and the help of her capable staff, the City Council was able to pass a $2.7 billion budget without a tax rate increase. For the most part, current services remain the same while also adding an additional 200 police officers and 30 new code compliance officers. There is no question that we will face challenges in the near future, but Dallas and our District are well positioned to be the first out of the gate at the first sign of recovery.

Thousands of new residents move into our city each year to take advantage of our prosperity; many of those folks head straight to Lake Highlands. They have heard about our community spirit, and they have heard about our schools where champions are raised. Our alumni have flown in space and performed on Broadway, in movies and in the finest music halls in the world.

They have heard about our alumni who went on to become Olympians and others who have given their life fighting for our freedom and for people that do not have freedom. And they have heard about our alumni that have become world-renowned doctors and surgeons as well as kindergarten teachers and professionals in many career fields.

The list of our homegrown champions goes on and on. But the best part of our community story is that there are new champions coming up as we speak; just waiting for someone to clap for them. Visit youtube.com and search for “Lake Highlands Youth Football” to see an example of some new champions. If you have not taken in one of our schools’ sporting events lately, or have not attended a play or musical or gone to watch the Wranglers, then visit risd.org and find a school close by and pick an event to attend. You will be amazed!