Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kudos to Dallas' City Council!

What you want to see in a political body - city council, state legislature, congress - are bold creative steps in addressing big problems. All too often what you tend to hear politicians tell you is why something can't be done rather than invest their terms working through admittedly knotty issues to get something done.

I have to give the Dallas city council credit for getting this one right. Sharon Grigsby of the Dallas Morning News, points out the imaginative initiative by the council, which plans to use the tax revenue of an area in north Dallas (around SMU), to redevelop areas of southern Dallas, including a business corridor in southern Dallas known as Lancaster-Kiest. By linking several developments along the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) line and making them one TIF (Tax Increment Finance)district, it becomes possible to subsidize the redevelopment of an economically depressed area of the city, with the tax revenue of a more prosperous district.

Dwaine Caraway, the council representative for the Lancaster-Kiest area, said, "The corridor is in such dire straits, where was investment going to come from? Where were those dollars going to come from? This is an opportunity to get it kicked off. Hopefully, it will become self-sustaining; that is the goal."

This is a great move. A 'can-do' move. Councilman Caraway, who is also Mayor pro-tem of the council, has shown himself to a most able representative, Mayor Tom Leppert and the council members who had the courage and the creativity to work with him on getting this done, deserve to be recognized for understanding that the redevelopment of our poorest, most neglected areas of Dallas benefits the entire city.

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