The five candidates for Dallas City Council District 9 gathered at The White Rock Church of Christ Tuesday night for a little give and take with the Ferguson Road Initiative. Between opening statements starting at 6:10 PM and closing statements ending at 7:45, here are the paraphrased questions with a very short summary of candidate answers. The questions originated from prepared questions by the FRI volunteer staff and written questions from the audience during the forum submitted to the staff and read from the podium.
Darren Boruff (DB)- Senior management with Reddy Ice
Mark Clayton (MC)- Owner, Allstate insurance agency
Christopher Jackson ( CJ)- Senior management with real estate firm Wynne Jackson
Will Logg ( WL )- Musician and product distributer for Paper City magazine
Sam Merten ( SM ) – Senior staff with non-profit The Bridge
Prior to the forum, each candidate was presented with a pledge to sign committing their support to the planned rec center championed by FRI and to make it the #1 priority in District 9 in the upcoming bond program. Will you sign and return to FRI tonight?
MC- Yes, signed and returned
CJ- Yes, signed and returned
WL- Support the rec center, but has concerns about displaced residents and didn’t commit to sign
SM- Support the rec center, but didn’t sign because #1 priority of bond program should be roads
DB- Support the rec center, but didn’t actually say “ I signed the pledge and returned “
If elected, what will your #1 priority be for Far East Dallas?
WL- Preservation of White Rock Lake and insuring adequate water supply from Lake Ray Hubbard
MC- Redevelopment/Improvements at Casa View shopping center
Should I-345 be torn down?
WL- Against, focus should be on more exits and access roads along I-45
SM- Intrigued but not supportive until concerns about dispersal of traffic onto local streets are answered
DB- Concerned about traffic dispersal, suggested 345 be below grade
MC- Support, cited NYC example that local streets were able to handle traffic dispersal
CJ- Against, concerned about traffic dispersal on Loop 12, lowering below grade is better option
What type of development in and around White Rock Lake is appropriate?
SM- No restaurant or parking lot in the Park, No high rise multi-family adjacent, Improve Bathhouse, Complete trails
DB- Against “ private use of public space “, Preserve canopy and limit building height, Worked on lighting plan while on Park Board
MC- Keep a park a park, Focus on what the neighborhoods want and need
CJ- Keep White Rock as is, Improve trails, Keep runners and cyclists safe, Against restaurant using Sneaky Pete’s on Lake Lewisville as example of what can go wrong
WL- No development, Focus on bird sanctuary
What are your thoughts on recent Fair Park redevelopment discussions?
DB- Against relocating State Fair, Against private development of public land, Fair Park should be year round attraction, Focus on development of perimeter of the Park
MC – Maintain the State Fair as is, Consider parking structures to generate more green space, What do adjacent neighborhoods want ?
CJ- Quoting Mayor Rawlings, recent proposal is “not ready for prime time “, Explore public/private partnerships like Dallas Zoo success, Reviewed service on Cultural Affairs Commission which dealt with Fair Park
WL- Keep the State Fair as is, Consider a Blues Heritage Festival to generate more revenue
SM – People pushing this plan believe State Fair gets in the way of year round use. Advocates 1) lowering I-30, 2) changing governance to mirror Zoo’s success and 3) find more green space in Fair Park
Do you support use of red light cameras?
Note: Jackson, Merten and Boruff admitted to receiving a ticket from a red light camera……
If Dallas doesn’t start planning for (candidate to fill in the blank) in 15-20 years we are going have a real mess on our hands (sic).
WL- Water availability at Lake Ray Hubbard
SM- Addressing high levels of poverty
DB- Infrastructure to generate jobs
MC- Educating our children
Do you support body cameras for Dallas policemen and women?
Why should you be elected?
SM- Experience at City Hall, Commitment to work full time, Passion for service
DB- Experience working in community w/ Park Board and Centennial Commission, Business experience
MC- Cheerleader for East Dallas, Business experience, Endorsement of three current city councilmen, Good neighborhood listener
CJ- Experience in building roads and infrastructure and rec centers, Public/private partnership experience, Land use experience
WL- 30 year East Dallas resident, Veteran, Business experience, Focus on transparency
Would you raise taxes to achieve the finest library system in the nation?
DB- Support libraries but wouldn’t raise taxes
MC- Support libraries but wouldn’t raise taxes
CJ- Support libraries but wouldn’t raise taxes
WL- Support libraries but wouldn’t raise taxes
SM- Support libraries but wouldn’t raise taxes
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