Sharing this note from Cara Mendelsohn, the newly-elected District 12 City Council Representative.
Hello District 12!
The City Council and the Mayor’s office are on “recess” for July. That means we are not holding public meetings, but we are reading reports, answering emails, learning about the ins and outs of different city departments, meeting with constituents, and talking with companies and non-profits who have ideas for how to move Dallas forward. As a new council member, it also means studying the 700-page budget. Here are some updates for you:
COFFEE WITH CARA – 7/29/19
Join the District 12 team for a casual time to hear City of Dallas updates, ask questions, get help, offer suggestions, and find out how to volunteer. Special guests: Dallas City Manager, Director of Office of Homeless Solutions, Director of 311, Director of Sanitation, Oncor Community Relations
Monday, July 29, 2 pm – 4 pm, Renner Frankford Library. Light refreshments served, Kosher certified.
When the storm hit, the city sanitation department had already completed bulky trash pick-up for the week 1 residents. If you live west of Hillcrest or north of McCallum, you are part of this group. The city decided to continue the rotation and start the storm debris pick up with week 2 residents (if you live east of Hillcrest or south of McCallum, you are part of this group), then week 3, then week 4, then back to week 1. The sanitation department has all trucks and staff on overtime, working 6 days a week. They’ve added in crews from the parks department and hired more than 30 contract landscape crews from all over the US. They have set up temporary chipping stations at LBJ and 75 so they don’t have to haul the debris to the transfer station at Northwest Highway and Harry Hines. The city generally picks up 100k tons of bulk trash in a month. With the storm, the estimate is now 650k tons. At this point, weeks 2 and 3 are complete. Week 4 is in process and expected to be done by 7/24. Week 1 will begin as soon as week 4 is complete and is expected to be complete approximately August 3rd. The storm and the plan to address it were in place before I was in office. That said, the sanitation department is working as fast as they can in extreme heat to serve residents and clear the debris. It is clear the city has not invested in the infrastructure to handle emergencies, either in trucks or transfer stations closer to North Dallas. There will be a review of the storm and how things were handled so lessons learned can help the city improve.
We will resume normal brush and bulk collection service in August. Week 1 service for August begins on August 5th. We anticipate utilizing private contract crews through the first week in August to pre-sweep Week 2 areas who received collection immediately after the storm and may not have had storm debris out for collection.
BUDGET TOWN HALLS – coming in August!
Learn how the city proposes to use and prioritize your tax dollars. Give input on items you think are over or underfunded and the tax rate.
8/22, 10 am – noon, Timberglen Rec Center
8/27, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Fretz Park Rec Center (with District 11)
8/29, 6:30 pm – 8 pm, Renner Frankford Library
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT – 10/1 & CRIME WATCH MEETINGS
If your neighborhood is planning an event for National Night Out or would like help in setting up a crime watch group, please let us know.
With the power outages we had in June with the storm, knowing when power would be restored was important for decisions about staying in your home or going to a friend’s home or staying in a hotel. You can find out what is happening at oncor.com or text “reg” to 66267 to enroll in My Oncor Alerts.
DART/Cotton Belt (now called Silver Line)
The Cotton Belt has been in planning for nearly 30 years. Growing up, I remember the trains going through the neighborhood. The DART trains expected are very different and will be much more frequent than what we used to have. There are groups that are working to oppose it and groups working to make it as palatable as possible. Some of our neighbors are excited to have it. No matter your view, I encourage you to be informed of what is happening. The prior city council approved this project. Two groups with Facebook pages that are engaged with this that you can follow and get more information are Neighbors Sharing Cotton Belt Information and Cotton Belt Concerned Citizens Coalition.
PUBLIC INPUT OPPORTUNITY
The Regional Transportation Council and the North Central Texas Council of Governments are seeking public input on a couple of transportation issues. Information is posted online at www.nctcog.org/input for public review and comment. To request printed copies of the information, call 817-608-2365 or email@example.com.
MAYOR’S BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR
If you, or someone you know that lives in Dallas, needs help providing school supplies for your children, please pre-register for the Mayor’s Back to School Fair by calling 311 or go to mayorsbacktoschoolfair.com
Recent lawsuits have struck down the ability of the police to give certain citations to panhandlers. They are still able to give the “Citizen in the Roadway” citation, but they must observe the person going into the street. They are also able to give a citation if someone is aggressive. We have a very active group of panhandlers and there is one foolproof way to get rid of them – STOP GIVING THEM MONEY. The city has a program called “Give Right” that asks citizens to NOT give money to panhandlers and instead give to non-profits serving the homeless. Most panhandlers in our area ARE NOT HOMELESS AND ARE NOT VETERANS, even if they have a sign.
If I can be of assistance to you, please call (214) 670-4067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.