Leading Off: 8/12/13

Did Rawlings Put Pension Fund Over Politics With Recent Board Shake Up? Rudy Bush writes about how the changes Mayor Mike Rawlings made to the police and fire pension system’s board of trustees don’t jibe with the conventional city council wisdom that you make sure you have eight allies’ votes in your pocket at all times. Rawlings removed two of his allies, Jerry Allen and Sheffie Kadane, and replaced them with two new members who have been critical of the mayor at times, Lee Kleinman and Philip Kingston.

As DART Turns 30, Public Transit Agency (Still) Eyes Non-Member Cities: Since its founding in 1983, DART has built the largest light rail system in North America. One problem, though, is that most of the region’s growth during that same period has been in cities like Arlington and Frisco, which are not DART partner cities. It didn’t help the public transit agency that those cities used the tax they didn’t pay to DART to subsidize new development. Oops.

Will New South Dallas Golf Course Blow Up? That’s perhaps overstating the situation a bit, but in the Dallas Morning News, artist Laray Polk cites a 1997 fire at the site that is now the Trinity Audubon Center caused by methane leaks, and argues that there is a hell of a lot of methane seeping out of the adjacent former dump that will soon be a PGA-caliber links. Now’s the time to do something about it, she says.

Guy Who Wrote the Book on Money Laundering Lives in Dallas: That’s the local hook to a generally fascinating story about 70-year-old Charlie Blau, the Dallas attorney who, among other accomplishments, helped get Gen. Noriega indicted. I’d love to get a hand on the book just to read the entries on car washes and chicken restaurants.


  • Grant-ed

    Is there any civic problem in Dallas that is not a result of bad real estate decisions or our failing schools?

  • Wylie H Dallas

    Rawlings did the right thing with the pension fund. Under Leppert and Suhm’s tenure, the Fund’s mismanagement led to significant increases in the Fund’s Unfunded Accrued Actuarial Liability. Left unchecked, the risks to future beneficiaries (retired first responders) and City of Dallas taxpayers were becoming unacceptably large.