It’s no coincidence that the application for a zoning change of a 90.6-acre mixed-use development in North Dallas, approved hurriedly by the City Plan Commission on January 24, was pulled from the February 24 City Council docket and rescheduled for shortly after the April 6 city elections.

It was done at the request of developer Tracy Taylor, a partner with the development company of Watson & Taylor and son of Dallas Mayor Starke Taylor. According to a Plan Commission member, the younger Taylor requested that the item be pulled from Council consideration when he realized that the project had become a politically “hot” issue for his father. Tracy Taylor had originally asked the Plan Commission to hurry its approval of a planned development district so he would not lose options on the land. This request opposed a staff recommendation that the Plan Commission wait until the city’s Galleria/Dallas North Tollway traffic and land-use study was completed.

“We held off because we didn’t want it to be a political issue,” Tracy Taylor said. “The mayor is amazingly tough on my business. I pulled it from the docket because I wanted it to be approved on its own merits.”

Tracy Taylor admits that waiting has caused him to lose one option on a parcel of land in the proposed development, but he said that he has convinced the property owner to go through with the zoning change while retaining ownership of his land.

This is terrible! Not only do our beloved Texas Rangers have to put up with a lot of nagging fans and questionable sports-writer rankings, but now they’ve got to live with the opinion that their own marketing machine is one of the worst around.

That’s according to Advertising Age sports columnist Robert Raissman. He talked to major league baseball marketers who spend the entire year trying to sell people season tickets to baseball games, and they helped him rank the five best and five worst baseball marketing machines. The top two were the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rangers tied for last place in the worst column with the Minnesota Twins.

Maybe they could change their name to the Mavericks?

We should all tip our hats to Goodwill Industries of Dallas Inc., because May marks Goodwill’s 50th anniversary serving the disabled people of Dallas County. When it first opened here in 1935, Goodwill Industries employed six people and collected 15,000 pounds of donated goods worth $1,000. Last year, the United Way agency employed 1,000 disabled people, helped 400 disabled people a day find work, food and shelter and collected 11 million pounds of donated goods worth $2.5 million. The city is expected to designate May as Goodwill Month in honor of the organization.

Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry literally choked down his chicken dinner in front of about 1,600 people attending the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ 13th annual business luncheon at the Loews Anatole Hotel on March 21. Landry, a guest speaker, coughed and sputtered as he tried to continue his speech. His heroic efforts didn’t escape the quips of rival coach and fellow guest speaker Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins (whose team has beaten the Cowboys three times in a row) or former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

“When I got the invitation to come to Dallas to honor Coach Landry, I thought there was a mistake,” Gibbs said. “It made me nervous, so I switched chicken with him. My goal is to get out of here alive.”

And Staubach quipped, “I haven’t seen Tom this choked up since he couldn’t decide who would be starting quarterback.” He added, “I hope Tom doesn’t have any chicken before my Hall of Fame induction.”


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