In the end, there wasn’t much of a conversation around the horseshoe. At the start of its busy Wednesday briefing, the Dallas City Council voted to overturn the recommendation of its transportation committee and name Patrick Kennedy to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board.
I wrote yesterday about what a big deal it would be to have Kennedy represent the city at DART. There are few people in Dallas more qualified to tackle the difficult challenges this city’s public transit system faces, from decisions about how to expand the rail network to ways to re-think the functioning of the agency’s bus system. With Kennedy representing Dallas, we have an expert voice who can help push DART towards a future that focuses on the kind of mobility, access, and transportation equality that will generate sustainable economic growth and opportunity for the city — and the region.
In November, the council’s transportation committee voted to recommend environmental lawyer Howard Gilberg. But during this morning’s vote, two members of that committee, Monica Alonzo and Casey Thomas, flipped their vote and backed Kennedy. In other words, even though the transportation committee originally supported Gilberg, at the full council, a majority of members of the transportation committee voted for Kennedy.
The final tally — 12 for, 3 against — didn’t make the decision look very close. Transportation committee chair Lee Kleinman, vice chair Erik Wilson, and council member Ricky Callahan were the nay votes.
Now the work begins.