Three candidates are vying for the District 14 Dallas City Council seat in the upcoming May 4 election. The Advocate sent candidates Philip Kingston, David Blewett and Warren Johnson questionnaires to help you get to know them and their policies.
The second in this series of interviews features mortgage banker David Blewett, a 25-year Dallas resident. As a councilman, Blewett would work to stabilize property taxes, recruit more police officers and improve the quality and walkability of streets, according to his website.
Read the previous interview with Philip Kingston here. Johnson has not responded to numerous requests for comment.
1. Where do you live?
My wife Kristin and I started out in the Village Apartments in the mid-1990s. We bought our first home in the M-Streets in 1999 and lived there until 2015. We now live on Vickery Boulevard by Tietze Park in Lakewood Heights.
2. If you have kids, where do they go to school?
We have seven kids who attend DISD schools: Mockingbird Elementary, Travis Middle School and Townview Magnet High School.
3. Bulky trash pickup: yay or nay?
Yay…but we should be recycling tree limbs and other yard waste rather than taking to landfill.
4. Pet peeve code compliance violation?
Overgrown alleys with tree limbs and vegetation that make it difficult to navigate and provide cover for criminal elements.
5. Go-to neighborhood restaurant?
Terilli’s on Greenville Avenue. We sit at the bar for dinner and talk with everyone.
6. Most underrated City board or commission?
Automated Red Light Enforcement Commission. To look at getting rid of them.
7. Opinion of the incumbent, Philip Kingston?
He’s insulting and divisive, which makes it hard to work with City staff, other council members and constituents…which makes it harder and takes longer to get things done. But we agree on a handful of big issues: no toll road in the Trinity, no gas drilling in parks and a more open process in managing Fair Park. Now it’s time for a change to work together to solve things, not just stop things.
8. Why are our streets so hard to drive on? How can they be fixed?
Our roads will always need repair due to seasonally shifting dirt. I think it is helpful that we have a 311 system to identify and repair new potholes. But I find it unacceptable how poorly they are repaired. I would like to see higher QC and accountability. Part of that is to track the repairs over 3-6 months to make the crews repair them again immediately if they don’t last.
9. Have you ever called 311? What happened?
A few times when trash pickup missed my house. They came back through same day. On a few cars that were abandoned. I was disappointed in how slowly Dallas responded and how many calls it took to get resolved.
10. Biggest waste of City tax dollars?
Boondoggles. We waste money on pet projects rather than paying attention to the priorities we all agree on. Everyone says they want more first responders, but then we put in white water rapids and then take them out. We put in trolley lines that are hardly ridden and then subsidize them for millions of dollars.
11. Best place the City could spend money but isn’t?
Safer crosswalks with lights close to schools and parks so our kids and families can be more walkable and bikeable. Same thing in our entertainment areas so we can safely navigate busy streets at night.
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