In this week's wrap-up of Dallas news, the mayor returns for another decking, a 9/11 statue is erected, and COVID-19 numbers have mostly declined.
Here's what happened in city news this week:
Mayor strike two
One week ago, Mayor Eric Johnson suffered a big defeat when he tried to get an amendment passed by the Dallas City Council to cut salaries of city staff. In an unprecedented move, his amendment was defeated unanimously. And yet this week, he returned, bringing up the amendment one more time at city council's meeting on September 9.
Nothing changed: He was outvoted again, with the council choosing instead to cut $7 million in police overtime.
During the meeting, Johnson went off on the council, accusing them of playing a "cat & mouse game" and calling the vote an "exercise in theatrics."
The Dallas City Council will take a final vote on the $3.8 billion budget on September 23.
COVID-19 unit closes
Due to a recent drop in the number of cases, Parkland Hospital has closed its COVID-19 unit.
The Tactical Care Unit inside the hospital was serving as the epicenter for treating coronavirus patients, but the space will now revert back to surgical services.
Cases dropped in August although they're starting to climb slightly in September.
Southern Dallas sculpture garden
Dallas' Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Department of Code Compliance Services (CCS), was awarded a $15,000 project grant from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Summer 2020 Innovation and Implementation Fund.
The money will be used on a pilot project called Re: Imagine Vacancy, which will transform an abandoned lot in southern Dallas into a temporary sculpture garden. The majority of the grant will pay the artists and youth who work on this project. GARE is a national network of governmental jurisdictions working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.
In honor of the heroes on United Airlines Flight 93, Old Parkland has erected a specially commissioned bronze statue commemorating 9/11.
The monument by artist Chas Fagan stands at the new Freedom Place building in the Old Parkland campus, and features four statues representing Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, and Tom Burnett who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93, plus a fifth statue symbolizing all who were aboard the flight. A plaque with the statue lists the names of all the passengers.
Rock the Vote class
As part of a new Legacy West University activation, Legacy West is hosting a "Democracy Class," in partnership with Rock the Vote and local attorney Jessica Vittorio. Class will be in session at Neighborhood Goods on September 15 and September 22 from 6-8 pm. This is a free nonpartisan event, open to all ages, but registration is required via Eventbrite, as spots are limited.