Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Poll: Is 2016 the Year the Texas Rangers Win It All?

Last fall, impressed by the Texas Rangers’ unexpected run to the Major League Baseball playoffs, we declared that year’s team (only half-kidding) the greatest in franchise history. I typed the piece and based the argument on how the club had so spectacularly overachieved both expectations and their underlying performance statistics to wind up atop the American League West standings.

Did we jump the gun? How far can the 2016 team go?

Read More

Poll: What Should We Do With Fair Park?

This week Fair Park is celebrating its 80th anniversary. While the State Fair of Texas remains a much-beloved annual event, there have increasingly been questions about how the fair’s organization operates and whether its domination of this important public space is a net good for the city. Under consideration also is a proposal to turn over management of Fair Park to a nonprofit foundation — which in turn would ask the city to significantly increase its financial commitment.

What do you think should happen?

Read More

Poll: Should We Buy Southern Dallas Another Grocery Store?

This is a tricky one. On the one hand, living in a free-market-loving country and state as we do, it’s hard not to experience cognitive dissonance when we hear about the government having to pay money (or grant big tax breaks) to bring businesses to town.

Did Dallas really need to give the Richards Group $1.8 million to subsidize the building of its parking-garage-with-an-office-on-top in one of the most desirable, walkable neighborhoods in the city? Or $450,000 to Zale Corp. to move to a segment of the city so remote that most of the economic benefits will likely spill into the suburbs? Or $3 million to a multibillion dollar big-box retailer to set up shop in North Dallas?

Read More

Poll: Should Dallas Pay Costco For a Store?

Tomorrow the Dallas City Council will consider giving $3 million to Costco in exchange for the store setting up shop — and bringing about 175 jobs — to a tract of land along Coit Road near the interchange between LBJ Freeway and Central Expressway.

The Economic Development Committee last week signed off on the payments to be made from the city’s Public/Private Partnership Funds. Some on the council question whether a multibillion-dollar company really needs this sort of government handout in order to make its business in the city viable.

What do you think?

Read More

Poll: Where Does Dirk Rank in the Dallas Sports Pantheon?

Yes, the Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the NBA playoffs last night. But nobody’s blaming Dirk Nowitzki for yet-another first-round exit. All the love for the greatest player in Mavs history that I saw on Twitter in the wake of the loss got me thinking about his place in the Dallas sports pantheon.

It’s going to be a long while, if ever, before anyone supplants Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach in the hearts of North Texas fans, but is it possible that Nowitzki has passed the other top contender — Troy Aikman — for the No. 2 spot?

Or maybe you think I’ve got it all wrong. How would you rank the most beloved players of each of our big-four professional sports teams? (I’m giving the Cowboys two spots because, well, this is Dallas.) Weigh in below.

Read More

Poll: Do You Care How the Trinity Toll Toad Affects Interstate 35E and I-30?

This week’s poll is dedicated to Michael Morris, transportation czar of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, who last week told the Dallas Morning News that he’s “unaware of anyone who has an interest” — other than reporter Brandon Formby — in the impact a potential Trinity toll road will have on the nearby existing highways.

What do you think about that?

Read More

Poll: What Will Happen to the Trinity River Project?

Following yesterday’s presentation of the Trinity Parkway Advisory Committee to the Dallas City Council Transportation & Trinity River Project Committee, which way do you now think the wind is blowing on the proposal that we’re all so sick of talking about: wedging a toll road and a park along the river?

Read More

Poll: How to Pick Dallas’ Next City Manager

In the March issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste lays out the case for why A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas’ city manager, should resign. Or be gently pushed out the door. Or not-so-gently pushed out the door. Something.

Even if Gonzalez hangs on to his post another couple of years to guarantee himself a significantly larger pension, isn’t it likely that the Dallas City Council will then do what it did the last time it had the opportunity to hire a professional to run the place? Tap a career bureaucrat with long-time ties to, and investment in, the way that things have always run at 1500 Marilla?

Or do you believe they’d pick a true outsider for the gig? Or take even more drastic steps? More to the point of this post, what do you think they should do?

Read More

Poll: Should Dallas Ban a Porn Convention?

I’ll be surprised if this isn’t a landslide result. On one side of the issue that the Dallas City Council will consider at Wednesday’s meeting are Mayor Mike Rawlings and billionaire Ray Hunt, who believe there’s an opportunity to block the return of the Exxxotica sex show to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

On the other, there’s city councilmen Philip Kingston and Lee Kleinman (who often disagree on other decisions), as well as future buddy-comedy co-stars Mike Hashimoto and Zac Crain, plus (probably) the United States Supreme Court and most of the Founding Fathers (not John Adams, who was a bit of a prude, but definitely Ben “Early to Bed, Early to Rise” Franklin.)

What do you think?

Read More

Poll: Does Dallas Need to Pay Down Debt Before Fixing Roads?

UPDATE: The City Council has reportedly agreed that there will be a 2017 bond program, because “deferred maintenance is not an option.” But it looks like it may well be a smaller bond, in the $200 million to $500 million range, than the $1 billion initially discussed.

We learned last week that several members of the Dallas City Council are pushing to delay what had been discussed as a possible $1 billion bond election in 2017. The argument for doing so is based upon concerns that the city has substantial debt obligations already, as well as uncertainty over how shortfalls in the police and fire pension fund might affect future operations.

But with so many roads across Dallas pockmarked with potholes, opponents of a postponement say there are too many vital infrastructure needs now that would prove even costlier if further delayed. What do you think?

Read More

Poll: Should Dallas Cops Issue Tickets, Not Arrests, For Marijuana Possession?

Dallas Police Chief David Brown sounds conflicted about a proposed change that would have officers issue citations, instead of arresting, those found in possession of marijuana. But he conceded to a city council committee today that the approach — which would save police time and money — is “just so damn practical.”

Meanwhile City Councilman Philip Kingston called it a “no brainer,” comparing marijuana possession to jaywalking. The issue was referred to the full city council.

What do you think?

Read More