Dallas' city attorney turned in his resignation, and a stately mansion was razed. Here are the highlights of what happened in the city of Dallas this week:
City Attorney Warren Ernst is retiring at the young age of 61. He'll leave in six months, earlier if a replacement is found. Ernst was recently under scrutiny regarding his zealous role in the investigation of council member Scott Griggs, one that was eventually dismissed. This retirement announcement comes just a few weeks later.
But Ernst claims that those revelations about his involvement have absolutely-nothing to do with his decision to retire, saying instead he wants to join his wife who is retired already. Asked whether the Griggs imbroglio was a factor in the timing, his response was so golden: "Please quote that I laughed," he said. "My life choices are much bigger than that."
Workers get a raise
The Dallas City Council approved a $10.37 per hour minimum wage for all contract workers. These are workers that are not full-time employees but are instead hired via contracts with staffing companies, such as garbage collectors. Previously, they were paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The mansion on Live Oak Street that became an issue for its neighborhood was demolished. The home at Live Oak and Fitzhugh was acquired by Adam and Alicia Rico, who intended to turn it into a wedding venue. Neighbors wanted the Ricos to seek historical designation, but the Ricos didn't want to deal with the limitations that go with that status, and sold it in July to a developer.
Sad to see a nearly century-old building go down, but Dallas is inching towards making preservation a priority. The city council voted to impose a temporary delay on the demolition of any building 50 years old or older. The delay will last for 55 days: 10 days to review the demolition, and 45 days for the city to encourage the owner to save the building or incorporate a preservation component.
More Katy Trail
A key connector for the Katy Trail was put in place early on November 14 when a pedestrian bridge was installed over Abrams Road. The bridge materials had been on the road, at the ready, for more than a year. The Katy Trail Extension goes north from Knox Street, along the DART line by Mockingbird Station, before veering over to Northwest Highway to connect with White Rock Trail.
There's still a bridge to be built that will cross over Mockingbird Lane to connect the trail to the Mockingbird DART station.
Community leader Hasani Burton is in a hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana, after his car was hit by a suspected drunk driver on November 4. Burton, who ran for city council in District 7, posted on his Facebook page that a drunk driver hit his vehicle head-on, on the highway at 75 mph. "It sent me and my vehicle tumbling off the road, over the fenced divider and onto the other side of the highway," he said. He sustained a broken knee, a broken wrist, and two shattered ankles.