For those Friends of Unfair Park who haven't read through the entire FY2009-2010 proposed city of Dallas budget, the city council's biting off tiny pieces during regularly scheduled briefings in advance of the September 23 pass-by date. There's yet another budget workshop tomorrow morning at Dallas City Hall, during which the council will first tackle property tax rates. City Manager Mary Suhm is proposing adopting a 79.37 cents per $100 assessed valuation tax rate (no change from this year); the current effective tax rate is 79.37 cents. Several council members, Mayor Tom Leppert and Suhm have all said they don't want to raise taxes to cover the $190 million budget shortfall -- but if they change their minds, tomorrow's briefing also lays out the process and a schedule. Could be an interesting discussion tomorrow morning -- but don't hold your breath.
After that, these two items of interest: The council will discuss the Park and Recreation and Street Services departments' respective budgets, both of which are experiencing significant cuts. The Park and Rec briefing especially is insightful: It provides a list and map of the 14 city pools Suhm wants to close "for repairs"; details the cuts to park land maintenance (including the not-yet-completed Main Street Garden); and lays out the reduced hours at recreation centers, as well as cuts to clean-up (meaning, "overall cleanliness and setup will be reduced").
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.