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Leading Off (12/15/21)

COVID cases rise, incumbent county commissioners face tough elections, and questions over a report on the city's housing policy
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Leading Off (12/15/21)

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Dallas County COVID Cases Rise. The 14-day average is up and omicron has been detected at UT Southwestern, which has county health official concerned about increased spread during the holiday season. Hospitalizations, thus far, appear to be relatively stable.

County Commissioners Court Races Shape Up. After redistricting, three incumbents will face challengers in next year’s election. Attorney Billy Clark, a Democrat, and Dallas ISD trustee Edwin Flores, a Republican, will challenge Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Libertarian Tim Miles will take another shot at replacing Democrat Elba Garcia for the District 4 seat. But the most contested battle is for District 2, which was most affected by redistricting. Four Democrats will try to oust Republican incumbent J.J. Koch: investment banker Tom Ervin and attorneys Michelle Faulkner, Philip Kingston, and Andrew Sommerman.

Report Says Dallas Housing Policy Doesn’t Do Enough to Address Housing Inequity. The review of the city’s relatively new housing policy says that it doesn’t set clear benchmarks to deal with racial inequity in housing and doesn’t have a solid funding plan to meet affordable housing goals. Curiously, it also says there needs to be more community-based developers involved with tackling affordable housing shortages. But one (controversial) goal of the 2018 housing policy was to move the city away from community developers that were found to both concentrate affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods and practice, er, questionable bookkeeping.

Prosper Mayor Didn’t Call 911 After Collision With Motorcycle. Rodney Carver, 72, remains in critical condition after he collided with Prosper Mayor Ray Smith’s truck last week on highway 380 in McKinney. After the collision, Mayor Smith did not call 911 and fled the scene, which is a crime in Texas regardless of whether the mayor is found to be at fault for the accident. Smith says he believed a car had hit him and left the scene to pursue that vehicle.

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