Tomorrow Night in Far West Oak Cliff, Mayor and Council Candidates Tackle Gas Drilling

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Not sure if there's more fun to be had this election season than at the North Texas GLBT Chamber's mayoral forum tonight, moderated by both Robert and Schutze -- but tomorrow night in far western Oak Cliff sure might come close.

That's where all four candidates for mayor, plus District 3 council candidates Dave Neumann and Scott Griggs, will have their say on urban gas drilling, and whatever else the Mountain Creek crowd can throw at them.

The night's organizers, Ed and Claudia Meyer, are relative newcomers to the politics game who've received a crash course in civics since last fall, when they discovered XTO Energy's plans to put a gas drilling pad site near their home.

Ed says only 10 homes had been notified of the company's application for an SUP to drill near Joe Pool Lake -- just the ones within the thousand-foot area required to get it, but there weren't any signs posted in public. "There's over 2,000 homes here, and only 10 homes got the notice," Ed Meyer says.

So tomorrow night, the Meyers will host the two-hour forum at Harmony School of Nature and Athletics on Camp Wisdom Road, just a few thousand feet from that proposed site. Ten neighborhood groups are teaming up to put on the event, which the Meyers say is a first for the community.

"We decided it's time the mayoral candidates need to know where Mountain Creek is. We're so far away from downtown Dallas, we sometimes feel like we're forgotten," Ed says.

The two say they were especially frustrated last fall, when concerned residents started calling their council member about XTO's proposal, but heard hardly anything back from City Hall. "We didn't get much response from Dave Neumann -- he failed to take a position," Claudia says. That's not a problem for them today, though -- they say Neumann just confirmed this morning that he'd make it to their debate.

The forum's scheduled for 7 p.m., as soon as the mayoral candidates can make it over from the Kleberg Community Development Corporation's forum scheduled to end at 6:30.

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