Our man Jim Schutze has just emerged from the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall, where council member Angela Hunt and her TrinityVote peeps just sprung the news: They have the signatures. Sez Jim from the bowels of the City Secretary's Office:
They were required to gather 48,000 John Hancocks. They brought in 80,000. Hunt's posse of 50 supporters included former council members Don Hill, Sandy Greyson and John Loza.
The city secretary's staff are all staring resolutely at their keyboards, pretending not to notice a huge throng of news crews and TrinityVote volunteers in white T-shirts. One of the petition-gatherers, Branden Helms, said, "This city hall has done business behind closed doors for the last eight years. That's not acceptable, and we won't tolerate it anymore."
Outside the office, a small crowd has gathered around Angela Hunt in her signature red dress, applauding her efforts to get the Trinity toll road back on the ballot this November. Up and down the huge city hall atrium, city employees have their noses pressed to the glass, watching this saga unfold.
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The city secretary has 30 days to verify that all of the signators are registered voters. But adds Jim: "From a war room in the Turley Law Center, Hunt's volunteers have been carrying out a sophisticated verification process of their own. So they are certain they have the required numbers of good signatures." We've also heard several thousand signatures were gathered today alone -- dunno why. --Robert Wilonsky