Who Got Those District 13 Debate Tickets?

With the District 13 debate Preston Hollow People had planned to present this week cancelled, some questions remain:

  • Who scooped up all those free tickets?
  • What questions did they want the candidates to answer?

The Jennifer Staubach Gates’ campaign, in notifying the newspaper late last week of the council member’s decision to withdraw from the debate with former mayor Laura Miller, cited concerns about too many people from outside the district possibly getting the 250 free tickets.

The tickets were scooped up within 48 hours of being made available online, and efforts to secure a larger venue for the March 28 event were unsuccessful.

The newspaper staff has since analyzed the ticket data and can report this much: Of the 250 people who secured tickets, 174 provided addresses. Of the addresses provided, only 12 were from outside of District 13.

Questions for Miller and Gates

During the reservation process, people were invited to submit questions for the candidates. Here’s what they submitted:

  • Besides the Preston Center topic, what are your plans to increase the police force?
  • Every day cars are stolen from driveways, houses are robbed, and beggars are seen at major intersections. Police response time is getting worse, if they even respond at all. How much worse will it get? What will you do to make us feel safe?
  • Since installing a Ring Video Doorbell and receiving neighborhood crime updates, I am increasingly concerned about theft and burglary in our general neighborhood. I’ve heard that this is a result of reduced available police protection but do not know if this is the case. What do you see as the problem, and what would you promote to the city of Dallas as a solution?
  • What are your positions on how to recruit, retain, and increase police in our district, particularly Northwest Dallas?
  • What SPECIFICALLY do you propose to change about how the city of Dallas offers jobs for police officers that will successfully compete with all the other cities, counties,  and towns around Dallas?
  • Why is it that the police department no longer responds to alarms and there is NO police presence?
    How do you intend to work with a new mayor on decreasing crime in Dallas?
  • I live in the Sparkman Club area. Our crime and that in neighboring neighborhoods has been skyrocketing including crimes involving guns. What can this seeming rapid increase be attributed to and what as our city Council Member do you plan to do about it?
  • I work at Preston Center. The parking and traffic flow for vehicles; pedestrians is horrendous.
    Pedestrians crossing Douglas at lunch time are taking their lives into their own hands. You cannot make a left hand turn because of the pedestrian traffic until the light has changed. What do you plan on doing to make this situation better.

    (Photo: D Magazine)
  • How do you see the development in Preston Center?
  • What will Preston Center look like in 2030?
  • If the City’s plan is rejected, what is your alternative?
  • If more density is allowed, what will be the impact on Northwest Highway from Midway to Central?
  • I would like to know about what the development side is doing. I am not interested in selling my condo or being forced to sell. What would my rights be?
  • Where is the traffic study? Why wasn’t one done?
    There is another compromised plan called the 10/6/4 . Why is that the better plan than the plan offered by the city?
  • Preston Place burned two years ago. How much was the property insured for and how much was it worth? In addition, did all of the owners have their personal insurance?
  • What would you do to lower traffic in Preston Road/Northwest Highway area? To decrease corruption among Dallas leaders? To lower  property taxes? To repair streets?
  • Why was the approved City Area Plan NOT used as it was unanimously approved by the city and Jennifer Gates. Two months later a fire occurred which SHOULD NOT change anything from the Area Plan that Jennifer, the homeowners, and the businesses had agreed upon. Yes, I know that this was not a zoning document.
  • Why was there not a comprehensive effort to get input from all the residents in the neighborhood including PD 15?
  • Should Dallas explore following the example of Minneapolis and allow for multi-family uses in single-family-zoned properties?
  • What are the pros to development?
  • What hard evidence is there that development leads to traffic? Not your opinion, not simple assertions that more people means more traffic. Hard evidence – expert studies, numbers.
    What is a realistic timeline for roads to be repaired?
  • My entire neighborhood was not made aware of the rezoning issues. Why were we not given notice of a change that would affect our entire community?
  • Who on the city council voting block will approve the development and why do they feel compelled to go against the constituents?
  • Has the city of Dallas taken traffic into consideration with the new zoning plan? If so, please tell all about it.
  • Don’t the candidates understand that if an economic redevelopment plan cannot be approved, the owners cannot simply move their land to Arlington as has been the case when other development that was squashed?
  • Infrastructure needs to be fixed FIRST. We currently have horrible traffic conditions, potholed roads, drainage issues that need to be addressed FIRST. Why is this not being done?
  • What’s happening with those weird sidewalks that don’t connect to anything?
  • What are your views on sanctuary city status?
  • What accomplishment as a member of the City Council are you proudest of?
  • What do you know about the far western portion of District 13 and how do you plan to help stabilize the neighborhoods in this area?
  • What is being done to deter homeless from panhandling in District 13? The number of homeless has increased significantly over the last few years and their aggressive begging at red lights continues to be a problem.
  • Will either of you support a campaign for a strong mayor form of government and take the power out of the hands of staff we do not elect?
  • What is the most positive quality of your opponent?
  • Is Gates or any of her family members or friends going to benefit from the development?
  • Laura – what are your motivations for running?
  • Can each candidate – in your own words – describe our district and what you feel like the people want for their community?
  • You are both smart. You are both experienced. What personal characteristic make you uniquely qualified to represent the people of District 13?
  • Do you think it’s ethical to foment fear to garner votes?
  • Do you think property taxes are too high? If so, what can be done to reign them in?
  • Laura Miller, what is your connection to city councilman Phillip Kingston?
  • Laura Miller: Why do you think you would be good for District 13 when you failed to keep the Cowboys in Dallas?

To see the answers the candidates gave to questions they were asked by Preston Hollow People go here.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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