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City council provides happy ending for inner-city park and more Dallas news

City council provides happy ending for city park and more Dallas news

Reverchon Park
Good news for Reverchon Park. Photo by Conner Howell

In this roundup of Dallas news, it's already time to start thinking about the city's annual budget, and there's a promoter ordinance in the works that needs public input. The Dallas City Council is working to keep Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas. They also approved a loosening on the ordinance to accommodate neighborhood farmers markets.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Budget time
The City of Dallas is seeking input from residents on the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget. They already held a hearing on May 25, too lte for that, but the Office of Budget and Management Services is also conducting a survey, available online in English and Spanish from May 2-July 2. Get in there and tell them that Dallas Animal Services deserves more money! Paper copies are also available at select Dallas Public Library and Recreation Center locations.

Keep Neiman Marcus in Dallas
At its May 25 meeting, the Dallas City Council approved a grand to the Neiman Marcus downtown, which can qualify for up to $5 million if it keeps a certain portion of its employees at its headquarters. If the company retains at least 1,100 jobs in Dallas, it can get up to four million dollars. (Retail employees do not count.) And if it creates at least 300 jobs by the end of 2026, it'll get another million.

The positions must be full-time with benefits and receive a W-2 form from Neiman Marcus and cannot include retail employees, contractors, part-timers, or interns. The average wage must exceed $49 per hour, and a least 35 percent of those employees must live in Dallas.

Promoter ordinance
Dallas is seeking input from residents, businesses, and promoters on a proposed Commercial Promoter Program Ordinance, which will establish standards for events run by promoters which are currently unregulated.

There will be five public meetings, running from June 1-10, a mix of virtual and hybrid, with Spanish translation available and no pre-registration required to speak:

  • June 1 at 6 pm – Hybrid Meeting - in person at CR City Hall L1FN Auditorium, or call 469-217-7604 / Phone Conference ID: 794 619 759#
  • June 2 at 10 am - Virtual Only - call 469-217-7604 / Phone Conference ID: 882 099 257#
  • June 3 at 11 am – Virtual Only - call 469-217-7604 / Phone Conference ID: 224 763 98#
  • June 7 at 2 pm – Virtual Only - call 469-217-7604 / Phone Conference ID: 606 874 621#
  • June 10 at 3 pm – Hybrid Meeting - in person at CR City Hall L1FN Room B, or call 469-217-7604 / Phone Conference ID: 201 523 28# 

For details, visit dallasspecialevents.com.

More neighborhood markets
Dallas City Council approved an ordinance that allows churches, nonprofits, and businesses within residentially zoned areas in Dallas to be granted a neighborhood market permit, meaning they can host farmers markets.

In her comments advocating for the ordinance, Juliana Bradley Yeefoon, who serves as Director of Food Justice for nonprofit For Oak Cliff, pointed out that the previous city ordinance charged farmers and vendors to pay $250 for each event, instead of a more equitable annual fee of $100. It's entertaining to watch her swat down council member Omar Narvaez who tries to challenge her on the shortage of supermarkets in his district, at about 14:15 minutes in.

Reverchon Park
An inner-city park benefits from a new deal forged between the Dallas City Council and the Dallas Independent School District to save the Reverchon Park Baseball Field, which sits on the premises of the park. This is the same field the city council almost handed over to private investors fronted by Don Nelson, general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, who were angling to build a 3,500-seat stadium for sporting events and concerts, until the neighbors sued. DISD will contribute $5 million towards renovations for the field which serves as home base for North Dallas High.

Beto rally
Probably not enough time to get there but Beto O'Rourke is participating in a rally against gun violence at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St. in Houston on Friday at 12 noon, as Texans gather to hold politicians and the NRA accountable. The rally follows the killing of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde. O'Rourke, who is running for governor, now-famously confronted Gov. Greg Abbott and a whole pack of pudgy white males at a press conference on the school shooting, before he got hustled off by police.

Friday's rally is hosted by advocacy groups including Moms Demand Action, March for Our Lives, Texas American Federation of Teachers, Houston Federation of Teachers, Black Lives Matter Houston, Indivisible Houston, FIEL Houston, and the Harris County Democratic Party.