In Crowded Dallas Council Race, Candidates Stress Need for Transparency, Fair Park Development

Former Dallas City Council member Tiffinni Young left office in 2017 with a reputation for being unresponsive to constituents, with Fair Park's future hanging over her head and with a lawsuit tarnishing her image.Now, with Fair Park on a new path, the lawsuit dismissed and her successor, Kevin Felder, facing a felony charge, Young is hoping for a second act.This year's Council District 7 race — which features nine candidates and many other familiar names — marks the third straight time Young and Felder have faced off. Young won in a 2015 runoff and Felder won in the 2017 runoff. This time, Felder is running while battling a felony charge for allegedly hitting a scooter user with his car and fleeing. Felder denied hitting the scooter user.The candidates' personalities and problems have driven the race in the district — which includes South Dallas, far East Dallas and Buckner Terrace — so far. But voters are also concerned about City Hall corruption, crime and code issues and the future of Fair Park, which is now managed by a private firm.Felder said he's "running for re-election to finish the work" he started in his first term. He takes credit for the recent Board of Adjustment decision to shut down a 24-hour car wash often blamed for crime on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He took credit for efforts to raise funds to revitalize the home of former council member and activist Juanita Craft. He also wants to better code enforcement in the district, he said.Young says she also wants to finish up the work she started in her first term. She highlighted her effort to bring back the Dallas Youth Commission, and wants to be involved in other projects to give the city's youth an opportunity to be civically engaged. She also wants to work on the city's transportation system and improve Dallas Area Rapid Transit, particularly for the district's seniors."For me, it's really just about finishing the work," she said.Young still blames her 2017 loss on a lawsuit filed against her. A woman filed the suit in 2016 and accused Young of trying to steer her toward a lawyer after her mother was mauled to death by a pack of loose dogs. Young was cleared of an ethics charge that year, and a judge dismissed the suit in 2018.“The reality is that played a part in the 2017 election,” Young said. “I was not trying to get over on anybody. I was simply helping a constituent.”  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us