Life around City Hall has been a bit busy lately. The main topics for discussion have centered around the final draft of the overall new city plan, the size and content of the proposed bond election for November 2006, the loss of $11.2 million in federal funding that had been earmarked for flood control work on the Trinity (sent instead to New Orleans), the financial package being discussed with a proposed redeveloper of the old Reunion Arena area, the framework for the ’07 city budget and, along with Dallas County, creating the framework for the largest inland distribution port in North America. How does all of that affect Lake Highlands and the rest of District 10?
Why should I, as your representative, spend any time on programs or projects that are not going to physically take place in this district? I think the answer lies in how we, as residents of District 10, react to the cost of these major initiatives and what the various projects’ success will mean to the daily lives and well being of both us and our neighbors.
The bottom line is a need for continued and constant growth in property taxes and sales taxes. How we expand our ad valorem tax base or sales tax base citywide has a direct influence on how much we, as single-family homeowners, are asked to sacrifice through higher property valuations or higher property tax rates to pay for the improvements in the quality of life for all Dallas citizens, if the first two events do not occur. This scenario is what has occurred in Dallas for the last 20 years, resulting in out-of-control tax rate/value increases. Unless we are successful in promoting the distribution port project worldwide, or in recapturing the federal dollars lost to New Orleans through constant communication with our state and federal representatives, or developing new venues for sales tax creation across the city, our only other option is bond programs we can pay for over a long period of time. This city is growing at the rate of some 3,000 new residents a month. According to state demographers, Dallas should double in size by the year 2030. That means a dramatic change in dollars needed to supply even the most basic city services.
That is why I, as your representative downtown, spend the hours I do outside my home district. However, do not think for one minute that my initiatives for District 10 are going unattended. Watch for the start of construction on new land uses over the balance of 2006. I think most of you will be well pleased. Again, I thank you for allowing me the privilege and opportunity to serve you on the council.