The budget town hall schedule. (Photo from the District 9 Facebook page.)

If you have concerns about streets, trails or housing, don’t miss an opportunity to talk with Dallas City Council members about how your tax dollars are spent.

Budget town halls for District 9 and District 14 are slated for Aug. 15, 20, 26 and 27. For more information on when and where, click here.

The town halls will offer an explanation of how the City of Dallas plans to budget an expected $3.6 billion in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Those who attend can guide the City Council by sharing their thoughts and concerns.

During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, City Manager T.C. Broadnax detailed budget priorities in what he called the “Budget in Brief.”

Broadnax wrote: “This $3.6 billion budget funds many services you have come to expect from the City, including emergency response, clean water, libraries and parks. It also invests in solving problems our community faces, such as homelessness, affordable housing and underserved neighborhoods. Perhaps most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to answer the question, ‘What kind of city do we want Dallas to be?'”

Among the top priorities, Broadnax cited the need for Dallas to be a safe city. In 2019, Dallas is on track to have one of the highest murder rates in over a decade. Last year, the city manager’s recommended budget expressed the need for higher wages for police officers, as well as an increased focus on recruiting police. Broadnax recommended using 60 percent of the general fund for public safety.

Another problem the budget wanted to address was homelessness. In 2019, Dallas homelessness climbed for the second year in a row. Last year, Broadnax proposed fixing the problem at its core by spending $2.3 million on strengthening the homeless response system, providing improved supportive housing for seniors, leveraging innovative and collaborative “shovel-ready” projects for affordable housing units, funding a master lease program and developing a landlord incentive program.

See previous budget proposals from the city manager here and here.

Attend the budget meetings in August and let the City Council know you want Dallas to be.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.