"Public Safety and Flood Control Always Come First," Except When They Don't

Earlier this morning, those among Mayor Tom Leppert's nearly 2,000 friends on Facebook were treated to a link to the city's Web site where they could find an official response to a recent story in The Dallas Morning News about the Trinity River Corridor Project. Turns out the statement is an expanded version of the letter to the editor penned by Leppert, council member Dave Neumann and city manager Mary Suhm.

Schutze beat me to analyzing the letter, but it's worth adding that the premise of the message by Leppert -- "Public Safety and Flood Control Always Come First" -- is belied by the facts. Remember the $27 million that the city needed to study the levee improvements resulting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' "unacceptable" ratings? The bulk of that dough was taken from the reconstruction of a critical floodwater pumping station along the Trinity River.

The city could have taken funds from the toll road, the park or even the fancy bridges. Heck, it could have taken the $15 million away from the Texas Horse Park since the private folks still haven't raised the matching $15 million that was expected in September 2007.

But it didn't. And that, along with unnecessarily intertwining the flood control improvements with the road and the park, prove that public safety and flood control don't always come first.

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten