Last night the White Rock Lake Task Force hosted a discussion with the District 9 City Council candidates at Winfrey Point. Here’s a short breakdown of some of the key questions that were asked:

What’s the first thing you’d do if elected?

  • Darren Boruff says he would build a master plan for White Rock Lake.
  • Sam Merten says he would pursue funding for dredging White Rock Lake.
  • Mark Clayton says he’s “going to kill the Trinity Toll Road”
  • Christopher Jackson says he would take officials out to lunch because coalition building is what’s needed in the city.
  • Will Logg says he would looking into the necessary steps to build a bird sanctuary at White Rock Lake.

How does everyone else feel about the toll road?

  • Sam Merten: “I’ve been adamantly against it since 2007, since I did reporting on it. I think it’s a terrible idea.”
  • Darren Boruff: “It’s hard to support the toll road when you don’t know the facts. We don’t know how big it is, the size, the scale the funding plan. So supporting the Toll Road right now is very hard to do. What I do support is the growth of the green space down there and the access to the infrastructure of the park. I support the parks and the infrastructure down there, but not the toll way, especially at this time.”
  • Christopher Jackson: “It’s a very complicated issue. I’m looking into it, getting a copy of the documentation and asking a lot of questions in our own district. People here, it’s one of the last things on their list of major priorities. They care about the lake, they care about the roads, the infrastructure. It comes down to, I don’t want to just say one way or another. I think we need to see what comes about. There has been a lot of work done. We need to look at what it’s going to be. Can it enhance the park? I don’t know. It’s not time for me to fall one way or another on this sword.”
  • Mark Clayton: “Since I was the one who said I was going to kill the Trinity Toll Road… Look, we have all been in this process since last May or June. If you don’t know your position on the toll way by now, you are never going to know it. They’re going to take this freeway and divert a river to build a freeway. I don’t care what document you have to study to figure out that if you divert natural resources and move it right, that’s a bad idea. I don’t know what kind of park you think you’re going to have? It’s called mediums, and my kids aren’t playing being two opposing lanes. So let’s be intellectually honest here: there’s nothing to study; you’re either for it or against it. I’m against the tollway.
  • Will Logg: “I think it’s a colossal waste of money.”

What about the redevelopment on Garland Road?

  • Sam Merten says he would consider to pursuing a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for Garland Road, as well as Casa View shopping center.
  • Darren Boruff also said he would consider a TIF for Garland Road, Ferguson Road and Casa View.
  • Christopher Jackson says he would consider a TIF.
  • Mark Clayton says he disagrees that Garland Road needs a TIF. He thinks it should be pursued in a manner similar to Lowest Greenville, in which the city fixed the streets and lighting and encourage the developer to help make the area better.

What do you think about commercial development at White Rock Lake?

  • Mark Clayton says we should “keep a park a park.”
  • Will Logg says he would take measures necessary to keep commercial development from taking place at White Rock Lake.
  • Darren Boruff says it’s important to preserve White Rock Lake for our great-grandchildren.
  • Christopher Jackson says “White Rock Lake is not the place for restaurants.” It’s public land.
  • Sam Merten says White Rock Lake is “our purest form of nature in the entire city, and we need to keep it that way,” which is why it’s important to appoint someone who believes that to the City Plan Commission.

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