Sunday, April 14, 2024 Apr 14, 2024
71° F Dallas, TX



The November general election is still a little more than four months away, which means there’s plenty of time left for lots of speculative if-Bill-Clements-wins-the-governor’s-race items. Here’s one that relates to the Dallas City Coun-cil elections next April. If Clements, etc., local Republicans say he’ll appoint longtime Senator Ike Harris to the bench. That will create an opening for North Dallas City Councilman Jim Richards (who last year moved eastward within his Bill Clements

council district and into Harris’s senatorial district in anticipation of someday running for that seat). Richards wouldn’t mind replacing Dallas County party chieftain Fred Meyer, say the gossips, if Meyer finds something else to do-like run for mayor-but his sights are really set on the state Senate seat. So who would run to replace Richards on the council? Try City Plan Commission member David Kerr, a heavy-duty pro-business type who lives in the district and would like to step up the political ladder, too. Perhaps the most interesting gossip, though, relates to a newcomer in Richards’s district whom some party loyalists were suspicious of at first: Jim Garner, who challenged at-large City Councilman Jerry Rucker in the last election and lost in a runoff, Garner had campaigned in ’85 as the anointed candidate of the “neighborhoods,” and the GOP strategists suspected that he might have made the move in order to position himself to run against Richards or Kerr or whomever, Now they believe he’ll run again for the at-large seat held by Rucker (no one seems to know yet what his plans are) and, get this, he’ll run as a pro-business candidate. That’s what some of Garner’s supporters from ’85 are thinking, too. “He got himself appointed to the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee, and he’s sounded semi-hostile at times on some of those issues that we support,” says one neighborhood leader. “We’re not sure what to think.” Well, then think about this-Harris sounds as if he’s reluctant to give up his seat (because he’s still committed to seeing parimutuel wagering get through the legislature), Kerr is supposed to be building a new home in another council district (Dean Vanderbilt’s), and Richards isn’t the only one who’s interested in running for the state Senate. Former legislator and North Dallas Chamber of Commerce President Kay Bailey Hutchison is very much interested in Harris’s seal and is poised to run. Whatever, this type of talk is certain to continue until the November election. And what if Clements doesn’t win?.. .

Trying to figure out what’s going on with the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee has been occupying the minds of a lot of City Hall watchers since April. ZOAC is a minor city board that never used to attract any attention, but with the wholesale rewriting of the city’s zoning ordinance that has been under way since the Dallas City Council adopted the Planning Policies Issue Paper two summers ago, its visibility-and importance-has soared. That’s because ZOAC is the first body to get a crack at the new ordinances; the city council can’t vote on the ordinances until it gets them from the City Plan Commission, which cannot act until it hears from ZOAC.., which appears to be doing nothing. At least, that was the situation through April, when City Manager Charles Anderson Finally got involved. Anderson said that he and Assistant City Manager Jim Reid were going to take a personal role in seeing to it that the logjam was broken and that the ordinances finally started making their way through the pipeline. But Anderson’s action appeared to come only after he was lobbied by the city’s business leadership, and that rankled neighborhood leaders, who most want to see action on the ordinance. They’re suspicious, in other words, and they didn’t feel any better when Reid appeared before ZOAC to talk about “getting back to basics,” since no one seems sure what that means. To make matters worse for the neighborhood types, all of this occurred at about the same time that Dallas Times Herald reporter David Firestone packed his bags and headed for a new job with News-day in Long Island. Firestone, who had specialized in covering planning-and-zoning and transportation issues for the Times Herald, was a favorite reporter of that constituency, with good sources within it, and his departure “made more than a few of us really sick,” says one of the alliance’s leaders. Firestone’s departure leaves both dailies without anyone who truly has a depth of knowledge of the planning and zoning issues….

Is “Terrible” Ted Tedesco,the hot-tempered and sharp-tongued executive director ofthe Dallas Area Rapid Transit,actually mellowing? Probablynot. His open disputes withmembers of the DART boardhave been widely publicized,and he lived up to his advancebilling as someone who doesn’tsuffer fools during give-and-take with some Dallas CityCouncil members in an appearance before that body back inearly May. But some longtimeacquaintances who’ve seen Tedesco in action in other venuessay he’s actually slower to blowup than ever before. Why? Because he’s been assured by someof the city’s business leaders andestablishment powerbrokers thatthey’ll back him all the way-ifhe’ll just show some progress ingetting the DART mess straightened out. Lovers of emotionalfireworks will be disappointed;Tedesco’s old cronies say he’ssomething to witness when hefinally explodes….

Related Articles


Botanical Mix Updates New Downtown Storefront for Spring

Florist Shane Friesenhahn gives a colorful refresh to his shop near Pacific Plaza Park.
Dallas History

D Magazine’s 50 Greatest Stories: The Explosion that Forever Changed West, Texas

Next week marks the 11th anniversary of the fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 in the small town of West. For this week's edition, we revisit our story from June of 2013.

Dude Perfect Receives $100 Million Capital Infusion

Plus: Cariloop raises $20 million, StrikeReady raises $12 million, and more.