Seems council member Leo Chaney isn't terribly fond of the allegations that he did nothing to help the 100 or so residents of the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park, who will be displaced the first week of February. Just moments ago, Frank Librio, the mayor's former chief of staff who's now director of the city's Public Information Office, sent out a press release bearing the headline: "Councilmember Leo V. Chaney, Jr. hosts community meeting to help Ash Creek residents find new housing options; City caseworkers to begin assessments for soon-to-be displaced residents." In other words, Chaney's saying: So there.
The entirety of the release is after the jump, but, in short, it says that on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., Chaney -- along with folks from the City of Dallas Senior Services and Crisis Intervention Services Team, as well as Vikki Martin and Carolyn Bilnoski of the Ferguson Road Initiative -- will hold a get-together at the Dallas Central Church of the Nazarene, 7979 E. R.L. Thornton, during which they will "help ensure that Ash Creek residents experience a smooth transition into alternate housing," as Chaney puts it.
Before that -- indeed, tomorrow -- the city's Environmental and Health Services department will send six caseworkers to Ask Creek to meet with residents and "conduct initial social service assessments," says the release.
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Should be interesting, to say the very least, to see how this all shakes out. After all, this morning, Marty Ray of Concerned Neighbors of AshCreek Homes posted to the group's Web site a scathing piece in which she describes Chaney and the Ferguson Road Initiative folks as "losers."
Of Chaney, she writes, "He showed no courage to try and address this situation, avoided speaking to the residents or anyone who did not agree with his political friends (of FRI) who started the effort to "get rid and fueled the continued fire to get rid of the MHPark along Ashcreek." And of the FRI, Ray says, "They say they wish to 'help' now -- why did they not try conversations and communications earlier to see how they might 'help' rather than just trying to wipe AshCreek off the map in this community?"
Now, what's on my calendar for Saturday morning? Nothing? See ya at church. --Robert Wilonsky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Frank Librio
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
DALLAS, TX — Councilmember Leo V. Chaney, Jr. (District 7) has organized a community meeting to share important housing and other resource information with residents of the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park who will soon be displaced due to the property owner closing the property. The meeting will take place Saturday, December 16, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. at Dallas Central Church of the Nazarene located at 7979 E. R.L. Thornton. The City of Dallas Senior Services and Crisis Intervention Services Team and Vikki Martin and Carolyn Bilnoski from the Ferguson Road Initiative will be joining Mr. Chaney. "Several area housing agencies, representatives from area faith communities and the City of Dallas Environmental and Health Services department are working together to help ensure that Ash Creek residents experience a smooth transition into alternate housing", says Councilmember Leo V. Chaney, Jr..
Starting Wednesday, the City of Dallas Environmental and Health Services department will deploy six caseworkers to the community to visit with residents and conduct initial social service assessments. "These assessments are to help the residents' transition into alternate living situations and to address any other social service needs they may have," says Karen D. Rayzer, Director of Environmental and Health Services for the City of Dallas. "Our primary focus will be those residents who are elderly, disabled or handicapped, but we will attempt to assist all that we can."
Background and Timeline:
* The Ash Creek Mobile Home Park located at 1802 Highland Road has been the subject of several legal proceedings in the past year regarding non-compliance issues.
* In May 2006, the City filed a lawsuit in state district court against Steve Crossett, the owner of the property, alleging 44 code violations. This lawsuit is pending in the 193rd District Court, Dallas County.
* On October 29, 2006 the City of Dallas entered into an agreed temporary injunction with Mr. Crossett. It was signed by Mr. Crossett's attorney and contained language reflecting that the owner had entered into negotiations to sell the property to a buyer who wants to redevelop the property for town homes and that the sale would close in several months.
* Also in the agreed temporary injunction, Mr. Crossett agreed to repair the alleged code violations in staggered dates of November 8, 2006; February 1, 2007; and March 1, 2007.
* Mr. Crossett also agreed to provide fire hydrants and an access road for fire apparatus on or before February 1, 2007.
* The agreed temporary injunction was entered by the court on November 7, 2006
* The City has been informed that Mr. Crossett has delivered letters to residents of the mobile home park informing them that he voluntarily has chosen to close down the Ash Creek Mobile Home Park, effective February 9, 2007.