Back on February 11, former four-term city council member Sandy Greyson told us that she was "seriously considering" a run for her old District 12 seat now occupied by mayoral candidate Ron Natinsky. The self-described "night owl" e-mailed us shortly after midnight Monday morning to let us know she was headed to City Hall later that day to file her treasurer (former mayoral candidate and ex-Mayor Pro Tem Max Wells) after deciding "to go ahead and do it."
Greyson says the decision wasn't easy, but she felt compelled to return to public office in order to address her district's quality of life concerns and assist in yet another tough budget year with the city anticipating a shortfall of nearly $100 million.
"In tough times, experience counts," she tells Unfair Park.
Like many council candidates, Greyson says she won't support a tax hike to solve the problem. She hasn't looked closely enough at the budget to determine where to make cuts but says she would stop building new facilities because the city lacks funds to operate them. Last year's property tax rate increase restored massive cuts to street repairs and parks and recreation, but Greyson says she wouldn't have supported a tax hike then either.
"I would have swallowed the bitter pill because I feel as though in these hard times we really need to look at cutting things that we don't want to cut until the economy picks up and we can reinstate those things," she says.
Greyson says she'll focus on quality of life issues, claiming they contributed to the city's poor growth (less than 10,000 new residents) in the recent census.
"If we don't pick up the trash in the parks, we don't mow the grass and we don't mow the medians, our city starts looking shabby," she says. "I think that really impacts people's decisions about whether they want to live in Dallas or not."
Formerly the chair of the council's Transportation Committee, Greyson says she's "thrilled" that the construction on LBJ Freeway has begun and plans to "birddog" the process if elected. She's also an advocate for a street-car system downtown.
"We need to be able to get around downtown and be able to connect the different centers of activity downtown," she says.
Although her effort in 2007 as a debater for Vote Yes! to remove the Trinity River toll road from the city's levee system failed, she says she'll work to remove it from the Trinity River Corridor Project.
"I think we need to get that toll road from between the levees because, right away, perhaps other parts of that project could go forward," she says.
Greyson also says she wouldn't support the city funding the Margaret McDermott Bridge.
"I can find a lot of other uses for $90 million besides putting it into a second Calatrava bridge," she says.
Greyson says she plans to file her petitions Monday -- the deadline for candidates to submit signatures from registered Dallas voters in their district. She potentially faces Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member William Tsao and Donna Starnes, who have filed campaign treasurers but haven't filed their petitions either. Tsao is represented by The Reeds Public Relations Corp.