Early voting ends today for Saturday’s municipal elections across North Texas. The top contest on the ballot is for mayor of Dallas: Incumbent Mike Rawlings and challenger Marcos Ronquillo.
A new term for Rawlings will bring more of the same issues. Among them, the Trinity River Toll Road. The project’s cleared two public votes. Yet 65 percent of those responding to a recent Dallas Morning News poll disapprove of the project. Rawlings is skeptical of those results.
Rawlings stopped by the KERA studios to talk about various issues.
Highlights from Rawlings’ interview:
On the Trinity River Toll Road: “I think the polling was old information. There’s a new idea that we seem to get alignment around throughout the whole city. Finding a common ground versus road or no road, let’s put the right road in and I think we have one that all sides are seeming to come around on.”
On streets and public safety: “There’s no question public safety is the number one issue on everybody’s mind. We’ve made tremendous progress in the last ten or eleven years. And streets are an issue in this city. We’ve got to make some tough calls to make sure we invest in that. What are we willing to shortchange? That’s the question.”
On support of DISD Superintendent Mike Miles: “We have some schools that are great. The problem is it’s not there for all 160,000 kids. To make a change like this is going to be difficult, and the transformational programs he’s put in place are the right things to do.”
On a general manager for the Grow South program for economic development of South Dallas: "Government is in too many silos in the city and throughout the country. I want to create a board for neighborhoods to determine a plan for that neighborhood; get funded a general manager job that reports to that board into the neighborhood; and then their job is like a personal trainer: Pull it together and insist that we're doing those things (pulling together resources, public agencies in various jurisdictions, etc). I think we'll start to bring down the silos."
Election Day is May 9 – find a map of polling locations here.
Listen to his challenger's interview
You can also listen to an interview from Rawlings' challenger, Marcos Ronquillo.