It’s July, it’s hot, our watering is being watched, school financing is still being argued in Austin, and another property tax increase is being considered in Dallas to cover bond debt and public safety improvements.

Sounds like last July to me. However, the City of Dallas has changed significantly in the last 12 months. Consider the following:

  • Overall drop in crime of 11 percent in District 10, and 3 percent citywide;
  • A Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District should be approved in August concerning most of the Skillman area redevelopment zone;
  • Three major new developments have been announced downtown (7-11 headquarters, the Mercantile project and the Atmos Block);
  • The Trinity River Project will break ground in the fall;
  • The Port of Dallas has begun land planning along the I-20/I-635 portion of the NAFTA trade route through the southern sector of Dallas and Dallas County. This is not for ships, but truck and rail in concert with the Port of Houston;
  • The Winspear Performing Arts Theater plan has been completed and should break ground – fully funded – in 2006;
  • The downtown parks plan has been completed and the Council has $4.25 million committed to the projects;
  • 85 percent of our streets citywide have been reworked or are under evaluation today.

Positive things are happening in our city.

Thanks to all who came to help with the Hamilton Park clean-up day in June. The volunteers who participated are true community leaders, leading by example.

The Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association (LHAIA) is continuing to work its better apartment management campaign, and its petition against drug paraphernalia being sold in area stores is to be delivered to merchants throughout the area. Thank you to all involved in this dramatic stand for the quality of life in our neighborhood.

Thank you to all the volunteers who are coordinating the summer community basketball program being played at the Highland House Condos on Walnut Hill.

Your city is making progress. I will continue to push for additional positive changes in our district and citywide. Thanks for the privilege of representing you downtown.