Why Some Dallas Council Members Are Worried About the Latest Twist to $1B Bond Package

Dallas voters will likely vote this November on 10 separate propositions that make up a $1.02 billion bond package, something supporters worry could endanger some of the proposals.City Manager T.C. Broadnax said in a memo to council members that the city will move forward with 10 propositions because the state attorney general didn't like the way that City Hall was lumping together some of the categories, such as combining economic development and housing for the city's homeless. But some council members believe more propositions mean a greater chance that voters will reject funding for projects that don't necessarily affect their neighborhoods, such as Fair Park or libraries or flood control.Council member Lee Kleinman said a 10-proposition bond package is "a little unusual.""That's going to be a little bit of a challenge," Kleinman said. "But I think we'll get them all passed."Adam McGough, who represents Lake Highlands and far northeast Dallas, said 10 propositions could cause confusion.McGough fought to get a replacement for the Forest Green Branch Library included in the bond package. The funding could be endangered if voters outside of northeastern Dallas look for a way to cut down their tax burden. Still, McGough is optimistic that won't happen if the city communicates well to voters."I really think that anyone who looks at these propositions will see the library proposition as something that must get passed for the city," McGough said.They're hoping for more clarity in the days ahead. Both council members said they want the bond language to be more clear.City Council members also expect some tweaks to the bond package -- some discretionary funds have yet to be settled -- before they formally approves sending the items to voters next month.The bond propositions will at least give voters some clarity on the true cost of borrowing money. Broadnax's memo revealed that after the interest is repaid, the city's taxpayers will have spent closer to $1.4 billion over the life of the bonds, according to an estimate by the city's financial advisers PFM. But the money will still represent only a small bite out of the the city's $10 billion list of needs and wants.  Continue reading...

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