On Wednesday, word was the Dallas Independent School District was this close to backing off efforts to snatch, for pennies on the dollar or none at all, several Jubilee Park homes in order to make way for the new-and-improved O.M. Roberts Elementary, promised as part of the 2008 bond package. Mark Mathie, the attorney repping the home owners for free, had received word from state Rep. Eric Johnson's office: DISD's dropping the suits, voiding the contracts and moving on. Only, Mathie had yet to see the district's official confirmation when last we spoke. And district officials never responded to Unfair Park's what-the-what.
But late yesterday, we got the goods: In letters dated November 3, Phil Jimerson, DISD's deputy chief of operations and the man in charge of construction, told the owners of five Jubilee Park homes the following:
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The district has also terminated contracts with the owners of three properties who initially took the district's low-ball offers before realizing they'd been screwed. Per attorney Florentino Ramirez, the district wants its earnest money returned. Other than that, that's that. A few simple sentences bring to an end months' worth of fighting. As Mathie said Wednesday, it ain't often you fight City Hall -- or, in this case, 3700 Ross Avenue -- and win: "This, to me, is really something special."