Regarding yesterday's item concerning the Dallas City Council's retreat to Paradise tomorrow, Jaynie Schultz, vice president of the Garrett Creek Ranch Conference Center, sends this reply about her family's Very Special Gift to our elected officials:
After learning that the Dallas City Council was potentially not going to hold their retreat, we decided to offer a free stay because it is important to all of us in Dallas that they lead with a clear vision. Garrett Creek Ranch embodies the values of my mother, Leslie Schultz, who designed and built our ranch. She believes that it is vitally important for businesses and other groups to set aside their daily work and go to places designed for fresh thinking. The Schultz family will be eternally grateful to Dallas for helping us build such a wonderful life and this is our way of giving back.
The council members work very hard for all of us and we should all do our best to help them do their important work. In this time of economic challenge, it is a pleasure to be able to help our community. This experience has led us to think: what would happen if our city's leaders let us know of other things they need to improve the services they provide? Perhaps other businesses in our city would step up to the plate, too.
This retreat is not a boondoggle. It is a necessary strategy session for our public leaders to be able to cut through the white noise of daily routines and focus, uninterrupted, on meeting the challenges that Dallas confronts. Garrett Creek Ranch's support of their work -- in the form of this retreat -- removes concern about underwriting the effort, and allows our city council members an opportunity to devote themselves to working for a better Dallas.
This visit is crucial to the city, and ours is an act of civic responsibility. Dallas has been an amazing home to our family. We want it to stay that way.
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Update: Some further words from Chris Heinbaugh, the mayor's chief of staff, can be found in the comments. We spoke late this evening.