Trash dumped into the creek by some residents of Adagio Palms compounds the rift between Lake Highlands apartment residents and homeowners.

Jerry Allen has his work cut out for him.

Our neighborhood councilman made the front page of the paper the other day for changing his mind about apartments in Lake Highlands. Tearing down more apartment complexes isn’t the answer, Jerry says, especially in today’s economic climate. It’s time to work with landlords to get rid of the crime, drugs, vandalism and general disrepair that frustrate and anger homeowners living nearby. The City of Dallas has many tools at its disposal, Jerry says, and there are multiple nonprofit groups which provide services to help those in need get back on their feet.

Lofty and worthy goals, no doubt. Count me in the Hallelujah Chorus. But back at ground level, it’s same stuff, different day.

This photo was sent to me by a resident of my neighborhood, Pebble Creek. When the residents of Adagio Palms on Skillman dump their trash off their living room balcony into the creek, or when their parking lot dumpster overflows for days without being emptied, all that trash washes over onto the banks of the creek. Perhaps it can’t be seen from their apartment windows. From my house across the creek, from the homes up and down Arbor Park Drive, from the playground at Arbor Park, from the nature area where kids sled on snow days, our view of that ugly trash is clear. It’s like having a splinter in your foot – it nags at you all day.

The trash is one line item on the long list of complaints at the average LH Homeowner Association board meeting. Crime is another. They are symptoms of an ailment that Doctor Jerry has publicly committed to find a cure for.

Jerry was applauded by the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News for “becoming a convert.” They say he “deserves praise for supporting a sensible strategy,” and I’ve said so too. On the other hand, I just can’t shake the feeling that folks in other parts of town are heaving a big, fat sigh of relief and thinking, “Whew, what Lake Highlands is willing to keep won’t show up in my backyard.”