A couple of weeks ago, we broke the news that Park and Rec would like to ask voters for the permission to some day maybe pretty please sell Samuell Farm and Samuell New Hope Park, two properties given to the city by physician and philanthropist William Worthington Samuell with the caveat that they were "not to be sold." And while the City Attorney's Office and Texas Attorney General wrangle over whether or not the city has the right to even think about selling the donated land, a vote on the proposal's been deferred till Park and Rec's August 5 meeting.
I've asked the AG's Office for all communication between the city and state over the proposed sale. And while we wait for those docs, this morning Jeff Cain at Philanthropy Daily weighs in on the controversy. In short: "Dallas proves lousy trustee in Samuell farm flap." Reference to Dallas as "D-Town" aside, this is some of what Cain has to say about the furor over the Farm:
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Whether or not the city of Dallas will live up to its legal and moral responsibilities as trustee of Dr. Samuell's gift is a question that will be settled over time. With the state's attorney general holding the city's feet to the fire, the liquidation sale is on hold (the Park Board has deferred the issue until August).
Yet there is a sense that the Samuell farm case in Dallas is but the first trickle in what may become a gusher of donor intent controversies involving fiscally-challenged governments and gifts bequeathed to them by generations of citizens.