DALLAS ISN’T what it used to be, thank goodness.
“We know what the city looks like today and it doesn’t look good,” said then-mayor Steve Bartlett to City Council members nearly five years ago. “And we know what it will look like in 2025 if we continue in the direction we’re going, and it will look worse.”
To reverse the “well-managed decline,” community leaders hired private planners and consultants to create a vision. In 1994, the City Council unanimously passed the resulting Dallas Plan, a document charting six initiatives over 30 years to transform Dallas into the “City of Choice” for living, playing, working, visiting, and investing. All of the proposals included in the 1998 bond program can be linked to and support The Dallas Plan.
Karen Walz, executive director of The Dallas Plan, is quick to point out that the fulfillment of the city’s long-range goals is not solely reliant on bond money. But she is just as quick to note that voters’ approval on May 2 is an essential step, especially with regards to the chores of running a city, like filling potholes and correcting drainage-what she calls “fixing the backlog.” And that’s exactly what a large portion of the bond money is intended to do.
From street resurfacing to playgrounds to libraries to an animal control facility to a police headquarters, the bond program allocates money-and more importantly provides leverage from state and federal resources-for Dallas to pursue the 30-year vision already adopted.