Bret Redman

Fair Park

Breaking: Park Board Members Stage Walk Out, Foil Vote on Fair Park Plan

There's some pretty dramatic stuff unfolding down at City Hall right now.

This morning, the Dallas Park and Recreation Board was briefed on the controversial plan to pass over management of Fair Park to a newly created private nonprofit. That proposal, which has been batted about for months, has come under fire for its lack of transparency, hefty price tag for tax payers, and empty guarantees that it will turn Fair Park into a park that engages and addresses the needs of the community.

That hasn’t stopped the backers of the plan, which is driven by former Hunt Oil exec Walt Humann, from trying to get it approved by City Hall. Before it can get council approval, however, the plan needs to make its way through the park board. That was supposed to happen this morning. However, when the item was moved to a vote, five members of the park board — Barbara Barbee, Paul Sims, Becky Rader, Jesse Moreno and Marlon Rollins — got up and left the room. That left the park board without a quorum, meaning the meeting could not proceed and the vote could not take place.

From what I understand, city attorneys are currently hacking out what this all means. In the meantime, you can watch the walkout in this video stream. It begins just before the 31 minute mark.

As they say, this one is developing . . .

Clarification, 4 p.m.: Today’s meeting was a work session, and there was never going to be a vote taken on the plan. The walkout does call into question, however, whether an anticipated Aug. 4 vote by the park board can take place.