OFF THE RECORD

● Although Robert Medrano’s school board term does not expire until 1981, heplans to oppose one trustee’s bid for re-election this April: Jill Foster, who is an Anglo moderate representing southwestOak Cliff, a mostly black section of thecity. “If I can get a minority liberal elected, regardless of who runs,” says Medra-no, “then the minorities will have poweron the school board, and we can go forthe presidency.” Currently, the nine-member board has only three minority trustees – Medrano, vice-president Kath-lyn Gilliam, and Robert Price. Medrano counts trustee Harryette Ehrhardt in theminority vote, however, and says “allthat’s needed is the fifth vote.” Fosterisn’t worried: “I had the support of blacks in my community before and I expect to have it again.”



● If Willie Cothrum doesn’t run formayor, he may find himself in a re-election battle on his home ground. Many of the younger East Dallasites who recently moved into the area are disgruntled by his lukewarm position on zoning cases and the Roseland Parkway controversy. But despite the talk, no effective candidate seems ready to oppose Cothrum. There’s a good reason: Cothrum’s political bases, the Casa View and Casa Linda neighborhoods east of White Rock Lake, are solidly behind him, and they traditionally turn out more voters than the East Dallas precincts.



● A new skyscraper in downtown Dallas? Southland Life isn’t sure. No formal commitments have been made, no contracts signed, says company spokesman Tom Coughlin. But after years of casual planning and speculating by company officials, the insurance firm is conducting a feasibility study on the construction of a third tower to complete Southland Center: a leased office building parallel to the Sheraton Hotel, which Southland owns, and at a right angle to the 41-story Southland Life building. “It was dormant for a while, but now, maybe it’s being considered,” say Cougnlin.



● If Proposition 13 fever infected the Fort Worth City Council as it put together Cowtown’s new budget, it had to be themildest case in history. The council’s”property tax cut” of 2.6 cents per $100valuation won’t affect most homeownersat all. The cut will shave $7.15 per year off the taxes paid on a $50,000 house -but those paying off mortgages shouldn’t make any plans for the money. Most mortgage payments include taxes, and lenders won’t bother to adjust payments to the tune of 60 cents a mont



● Construction begins in November onthe last segment of Loop 820 around FortWorth. But this loop bears a strong resemblance to an inflationary spiral. When work started on the loop in 1958, the cost was about $700,000 per mile. The last three miles of the highway will cost $5.2million each, a 643 percent increase. Notso bad, though, when you consider that highway construction costs nationwide have increased 720 percent.



● Two women charged with shopliftingat the Fort Worth Neiman-Marcus waitedat the courthouse recently while their attorney bargained with the district attorney’s office over their sentences. Thenthey got up and walked out. The sheriff’schances of finding them may be slim.He’s still looking for Kenneth Leslie Miller, who walked out of the courthousefour years ago after being convicted of attempting to murder a TCU coed.



● We don’t want to make too much ofthis, but we did name Cullen Davis as oneof our 78 people to watch in ’78.

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