Dallas mayor focuses on public safety, property tax and parks in next term

The chief of police says becoming the safest big city in the nation is an achievable goal

NBC Universal, Inc.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson laid out three goals for the next four years in his inaugural address Tuesday -- becoming the safest big city in America is number one.

As an example of bi-partisan cooperation, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) gave Johnson the formal oath of office at the inauguration ceremony. Dallas city government is non-partisan but Johnson is a Democrat.

Cornyn said Johnson invited him to attend the ceremony.

“People are members of political parties for good reasons. They don’t always agree with everything. But that doesn’t mean we can’t agree when we find [a] common cause and that’s what the mayor and I have been able to do,” Cornyn said.

NBC 5 News
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, left, is sworn in during his inauguration by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), June 20, 2023.

In his speech, Johnson praised a Dallas reduction in violent crime the past two years in a row.

“No other Top 10 American city has achieved what we have in Dallas, period, full stop,” Johnson said.

His three goals for the next four years were property tax rate reduction, achieving the best park system in Texas and becoming “the” safest big city in the nation.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that goal is achievable.

“There’s a lot of work to do. There’s no question about it. We can’t do this alone. We need to make reinvestments in people and places around the city that I think we all recognize,” Garcia said.

Councilman Jaime Resendez, who represents Pleasant Grove, said his district is an area that needs more investment. Resendez said he supports the mayor's goals but they may not be enough to satisfy residents.

“I don’t disagree that we need to focus on those things, but our city has a lot of needs. We have to also listen to the community members,” Resendez said.

North Dallas City Council Member Gay Donnell Willis said she supports crime fighting and property tax rate reduction to counter soaring property values.

“We have to stick to the basics though, as far as our quality of life, driving down a smooth street, driving down a smooth alley. So we can’t let that get out of our sight,” Willis said.

NBC 5 News
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson delivers remarks on the day of his inauguration, June 20, 2023.

In his speech, Johnson said Dallas dealt with a pandemic and big weather events over the past four years.

“Dallas not only weathered these storms but emerged as a beacon of resilience and a leader on this national stage,” he said.

The mayor said Dallas is prepared to do more in the years ahead.

Wednesday the city council hears a resident survey that includes some priorities that are different than the mayor’s goals.

A budget briefing is also planned, which will provide some insight into how the city can pay for all its needs.

Two new members of the Dallas city council, Zarin Gracey and Kathy Stewart, replace Casey Thomas and Adam McGough who were term-limited from running for re-election.

All of the other council members, including the mayor, are incumbents.

Contact Us