City News Roundup
Dallas welcomed a movie star to town, here as part of a high-profile film production. The city's chief of police was a hot topic, and there was good news for neighborhoods. Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
We had a little Hollywood in Dallas with the filming of 11/22/63, a Hulu miniseries based on the novel by Stephen King. Parts of downtown, including Dealey Plaza, were shut down. It resulted in a traffic gridlock so maddening that the city was forced to issue an apology to drivers for the inconvenience and a plan to step up police presence.
But hey, actor James Franco was in town, accommodatingly instagramming, and there were period costumes and cool vintage cars from the early '60s. Seeing the recreation of JFK's motorcade had to have been better than walking around the Grassy Knoll trying to imagine it in your mind.
Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez announced four new city appointments, including Alan Sims as chief of Neighborhood Plus, a new program that will provide a "comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization" that's "organized around 6 strategic goals and 23 concepts for policies." Three neighborhoods will become laboratories for the program, all in southern Dallas: Parkdale/Urbandale, the Lancaster Road corridor, and the neighborhood surrounding the University of North Texas.
Other appointments included Bernadette Mitchell to Director of Housing & Community Services; Peer Chacko to Chief Planning Officer, and Resiliency Officer Theresa O’Donnell, who was bumped up to "senior executive" $tatu$.
Score another one for the little guys in their fight against Sam's Club, with a pro-neighborhood ruling by the court. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the East Village Association the right to continue its lawsuit against the construction of a Sam's Club off 75 at Haskell. The neighbors have been fighting the city of Dallas, who claimed that the association has no standing. The court said it does. Next step is back to a Dallas County judge where their fight will continue.
Brown trending up
Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown was the week's top topic. First came the private meeting between city council members Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Erik Wilson, and city manager A.C. Gonzalez. There was after-the-fact disagreement about the topic: Either they talked about firing Brown (what Wilson and Mayor Mike Rawlings say), or they talked about his retirement (what Medrano and Griggs say). Using words like fire, terminate, or resignation would violate city charter, Rawlings said. Resignation, retirement — same thing in the end.
Most city council members gave Brown a thumbs up. The Dallas Police Association and the Fraternal Order of Police gave him a thumbs down. A Hispanic Dallas police association gave him a thumbs up. Mayor Rawlings threw a rally. But two Dallas officers filed a whistleblower suit claiming they'd suffered retaliation for reporting misconduct, and one officer filed a complaint claiming that two officers had sex while on duty. We've hit the level of noisy din.