City News Roundup

Dallas votes no on poker and plinths and more city news

Dallas votes no on poker and plinths and more city news

People playing poker
Aww, Dallas City Council never lets us have any fun. Photo courtesy of Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel

The Dallas City Council is debating the teen curfew, and doesn't approve of poker. Meanwhile, another week, another candidate for mayor.

Here's what happened in Dallas news this week:

City election update
A high-profile candidate is running for mayor, and a city council rep announced he won’t run for office again.

Councilman Mark Clayton announced via a Facebook post that he will not seek reelection, leaving an open playing field for the District 9 spot, which represents East Dallas, Lakewood, and Casa View.

Clayton said that holding down two jobs has become unmanageable.

"By the time my term ends this spring, I will have worked two full time jobs for four years," he said. "It has been hard to balance my time between the two and too many times my family has had to play third string to my jobs."

Paul Sims, who has served the city as a member of the Park and Recreation Board, announced he will run for the seat.

In the mayoral race, Democratic state Rep. Eric Johnson of Dallas is running for Dallas mayor, but says he will not resign his current position.

Teen curfew up
The city's teen curfew has expired, and the Dallas City Council is considering whether to reinstate it or let it expire.

The curfew has been in place since 1991. It prohibits children under 16 from going outside without an adult after 11 pm Sunday-Thursday, or after midnight Friday-Saturday.

At its January 23 meeting, the council approved two public hearings:

  • February 6 at 9 am, at Dallas City Hall
  • February 13 at 6 pm, at Park in the Woods Recreation Center, 6801 Mountain Creek Pkwy.

Opponents argued that the curfew unfairly criminalizes kids and impacts minorities far more than whites.

"Why, because it is affecting 90 percent youth of color [and] 77 percent were Latino youth,” said Councilman Omar Narvaez.

Black council members disagreed, saying a majority of their constituents wanted a curfew.

No poker
The Dallas City Council rejected a members-only "card house" in the Valley View area where gambling would be legal among members. Lee Kleinman, in whose district it lies, supported the project, but South Dallas reps were concerned about a double standard, with legal and illegal gambling in the city.

The company has run a card house in Austin, and is opening more in North Houston and the Rio Grande Valley.

Confederate plinth
In the latest chapter on Confederate monuments, a granite plinth that held the Robert E. Lee sculpture in the Oak Lawn area is being removed. Conservators began creating a plan for removal, which could take up to eight weeks at a cost of $155,000.

Dallas removed the sculpture in 2018 and renamed the park its original name, Oak Lawn Park.

Parks and Recreation will plant grand new landscaping to replace the site and serve as a new welcoming gateway to Oak Lawn Park.