City Hall

Driving By a Proposed School Bus Zone Ordinance, Big Budget Cuts (?) and a Crime Plan

Just a programming note for those a fan of the Girl on Top at City Hall: Andrea's liveblogging the council's Housing Committee meeting -- specifically, the 4,293rd hearing involving the Demolition Process for Urban Nuisances in Existing and Proposed Historic Districts. So do stay tuned -- she could use the company. And since we've already covered the city's plans to invest in Southwest Center, a few other highlights from today's doing at City Hall, such as:

Former councilman and candidate for Dallas County Judge Larry Duncan makes a return appearance to City Hall today. In his position as Dallas County Schools Board of Trustee president, Duncan will sell the council on the changing the city's school bus crossing zone ordinance to "include the areas around the front, side, and rear of the bus, and to allow for the use of live video monitoring to enforce the crossing zone law." Says the briefing, the time is now to amp up precautions and punishments as evidenced by DSC's own observations and this Texas Transportation Institute study from '08

Says the DSC, "The number of serious incidents, security breaches, and traffic accidents has been escalating at an alarming rate, and DCS has been compelled to take steps towards resolving these issues." It wants council to change the ordinance before summer vacation. And: It insists the new equipment won't cost the city a cent, and that Dallas County Schools will "receive the equipment at no cost." From whom it does not say. ...

Here's the Public Safety Committee's breakdown of essentials more than likely affected by the coming budget cuts. Here, for those who don't want to read too much this morning, the highlights (or whatever is you call the opposite of "highlights") of what the budget doesn't fund at present:

  • Does not fund current level of court security
  • Does not fund additional police officers in FY 2010-11 above attrition
  • Does not fund 25% of police overtime
  • Does not fund 20 civilian vacancies
  • Does not fund current level of security services for City facilities
  • Does not fund 10 of 19 replacement ambulances
And, on a related note: Here's what where Economic Development -- which is to say, quality of life -- could take it in the shorts:

  • Does not fund traffic operations including faded or graffitied sign replacement, street re-striping, and neighborhood traffic calming
  • Does not fund interagency capital project implementation (i.e. stop working with TxDOT and Dallas County on joint street projects)
  • Does not fund Fair Park security and night time lighting at current level
  • Does not fund vendor development
  • Does not fund economic development at current level in areas such as software for research, marketing materials, studies, international business travel, advertising, outreach efforts, and participation in industry events and trade shows
And I rather like the Summer Crime Plan being presented to the council today. Very simple, very direct: "Operation Triangle." Gonna focus on the hot spots. And: "Increase and enhance residential and business crime watch groups." Which is an awful nice thing to do right before they raise neighborhood patrol fees.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky