Four women are vying for the District 9 Dallas City Council seat in the upcoming May 4 election. The Advocate sent candidates Erin Moore, Paula Blackmon, Tamara Brown and Sarah Lamb questionnaires to help you get to know them and their policies.
The third in this series of interviews features Sarah Lamb, a Lakewood neighbor who co-founded Lakewood Citizens for Responsible Traffic. The group lobbied against a reverse T design at the intersection of Grand Avenue, Gaston Avenue and Garland Road. During the campaign, she’s focused on public safety, improving road infrastructure and preserving White Rock Lake, according to her campaign website. Visit lamb4dallas.com for more information.
1. Where do you live?
I live in Lakewood.
2. Where do your kids go to school?
My son Henry, 3, goes to Skillman Church of Christ Child Developmental Center. My daughter, Penelope “Poppy,” 1, will attend Skillman Church of Christ Child Developmental Center in the fall. When they are old enough, they will attend Lakewood Elementary, J.L. Long Junior High School and Woodrow Wilson High School.
3. Bulky trash pickup: yay or nay?
Yes. It is a wonderful amenity that our community appreciates.
4. Pet peeve code compliance violation?
An overgrown and poorly managed alley is not just a nuisance, but also an attractor for criminal activity and a safety concern for our communities.
5. Go-to neighborhood restaurant?
El Vecino Tex-Mex on Buckner Road offers amazing food and drinks and is owned and operated by a wonderful East Dallas family. It is one of our favorites.
6. Most underrated city board or commission?
Dallas Police and Fire Pension System Board
7. Opinion of your predecessor?
Council member Mark Clayton did a good job being accessible to all of his constituents and of balancing the needs of his entire district.
8. What does it mean to “dredge” White Rock Lake? Does it need to be dredged?
The last time that White Rock Lake was dredged was in 1998. It is essential that we prioritize this very important maintenance project. There are a number of dredging techniques. We’ll need to determine which makes the most sense.
9. What is the council member’s role in 3G going forward?
Moving forward, it is essential that the next council member keeps the Gaston/Garland/Grand project on schedule and on budget. It is vital that we have a good partnership with TxDOT on this project to ensure the least amount of impact is felt on our residents and business owners during the yearlong renovation of this important intersection.
10. Why are our streets so hard to drive on? How can they be fixed?
As a city, we have prioritized the funding of vanity projects ahead of taking care of our basic infrastructure. We continue to kick the can down the road and wait until the next bond package in order to fund our road projects. This continual cycle of playing catchup on our road repairs have left us with large potholes and crumbling roads. We need to prioritize the basic municipal services ahead of funding wasteful vanity projects.
11. Have you ever called 311? What happened?
Yes. I called 3-1-1 so that the City of Dallas would look into the possible implementation of a school zone. The Department of Transportation followed up and performed their assessment and concluded that although there was a K-12 private school along a major thoroughfare, there were not enough children walking to school. Therefore, a school zone would not be implemented.
12. Biggest waste of tax dollars?
VisitDallas is an entity that is in violation of their contract and receives nearly $30 million a year from the City’s Hotel Occupancy Tax money. Their CEO makes nearly $700,000 a year in salary and compensation. I would like to see our contract with VisitDallas be dissolved immediately. We need to put VisitDallas, and their marketing function, out for RFP (Request for Proposal) and look at other opportunities for other entities to take over the marketing function for City of Dallas tourism marketing. I believe that by putting the VisitDallas contract out for RFP, we can obtain a better contract, which is not only more efficient, but effective as well.
13. Best place the City could spend money but isn’t?
The ARTS! Only 2.6 percent of our HOT (Hotel Occupancy Tax) money goes to our ARTS programs. This is only $1.6 million of all the hotel tourism money received. Houston allocates 19 percent of their HOT money, Austin 15 percent and San Antonio 11 percent. We need to reallocate a greater percentage of our HOT money to our ARTS. This is tourism money, not Dallas taxpayer funds.
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