A Breather’s Guide to Voting in Dallas City Council Races

by jim on April 9, 2013

Drilling in Dallas - EveningIn it's recent Dallas City Council questionnaire, The Dallas Monring News asked this question: What is your position, for or against, allowing gas drilling in Dallas and the city's attempts to regulate it?

Here are the answers:

Council District 1:

Delia Jasso (incumbent):
I am most concerned with safety for all the citizens of Dallas as gas drilling relates to clean air and clean water. At this time, I would not like to comment on being for or against allowing gas drilling as there may be future legal issues involved with this issue.

Scott Griggs (incumbent):
I have studied this issue extensively and I oppose gas drilling, fracking, refining, and production within the City of Dallas adjacent to our neighborhoods, schools, and parks. I am opposed to surface gas drilling operations in our parks. Under state law, we must have a gas drilling ordinance and I look to cities such as Flower Mound and South Lake for best practices.


Council District 2:

Adam Medrano:
I do not believe gas drilling has a place in high-density urban areas like Dallas.

Herschel Weisfeld
The Citizens of Dallas deserve the right to have a clean safe environment to live and work with guarantees that our air, water and playgrounds can be protected for generations to come. It is the City Council's responsibility to make informed decisions that are guided by the best information available and by Council Members that are willing to do homework outside of the traditional briefing in order to answer the hard questions that demand alternative evaluation with respect for the best interest of our Citizens and the entire North Texas Region.


Vernon Franco
I am against drilling anywhere in the city that could present a danger to public health and safety. Our civic leaders have an obligation to design, implement and enforce local ordinances that protect the health and welfare of our residents. With our current city efforts to encourage Green building and a transition to cleaner burning CNG-powered vehicles, it is imperative that we make public safety number one as we move forward.

Ricky Gonzales
The City of Dallas has made a spectacle of it's self when it comes to this issue. I have not participated in the gas meetings because Dallas has no right to agree to drilling while they are accepting fees only to deny the actual process. I agree we have to utilize our natural resources in the appropriate manner, but the method should have been scrutinized way before we accepted any funds from the gas industry.


Council District 3

Vonciel Hill (incumbent District 5)

The health and safety of our residents is the primary consideration. However, the City is currently in a litigation posture as to this issue. Therefore, as a sitting Councilmember, I would be imprudent to comment further at this time.

Claudia Meyer

I have spent over three years intensively researching the pros and cons of gas drilling on our air, land, and water. Based on the research, and input of residents, I support passing a more protective gas drilling ordinance which prohibits surface drilling in park land, keeps it out of floodplains, and is kept at a minimum of 1000 feet from homes, schools, parks, dams and hospitals. The decision by the City Plan Commission to deny the pending Trinity East permits should be upheld by the City Council, and any new permits applied for should be processed under the new, more protective ordinance.

Michael Connally
I am for drilling but only if the highest standards for safety and a clean environment will be met. Gas is a resource. It's value can only be realized by tapping the resource. Untapped, the resource remains and will likely appreciate in potential value. We can afford to take the time to get it right.

Kermit Mitchell
Gas drilling should be allowed in the city. Environmental concerns must be respected. The regulatory prohibitions should have been cleared before the RFP was publicized. This is a grievious mistake at the staff level of the City Manager and the Council. The City of Dallas is obligated to regulate such drilling to protect the citizens, the environment, and control the competition for the projected profits. The City of Dallas needs the resultant tax revenues to improve the city quality of life. As Councilor, I would explore the possibility of the drilling site to move to an industrial area, such as the warehouse for the beer distribution in South Dallas, and look to give the residents of South Dallas payment for oil and mineral rights as the oil is drilled in a slant or horizonal pattern underneath their properties. There is acreage in District 3 that might be developed in a similar manner.

 


Council District 4
Dwaine Caraway running unopposed
 


Councl Diistrict 5

Jesse Diaz
I am a person that believes in clean energy, protecting the environment and a green economy. Having said that, I consider myself a pro-business individual. As a Council member I will review the proposal of drilling and listen to proponents and those against drilling. I will not be afraid of asking tough questions and making informed decisions in this and other topics.

Bruce Shaw
I am against drilling at this time seeing how North Texas already has a serious air quality problem. Also,the long term effect on environment in this region is not known.

Rick Callahan
I am for it. Dallas needs the revenue. However, the City of Dallas has an obligation to regulate the drilling activity in a safe, efficient, environmentally responsible way. The City leadership, staff, particularly the City Attorney's office has a duty to make sure that all city ordinances are obeyed to the fullest or change them to reflect the will of the people or majority. That includes, but is not limited to prohibiting the surface drilling in parks.

Yolanda Williams
I can not offer my position at this time. In the future , I recommend the city to be more transparent and educate the citizens. Seek their input.

 

District 6

Monica Alonzo (incumbent)
I cannot support an application until after the council has had the opportunity to debate and vote on the task force recommendations. 

Raymond Salinas
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to our deadline.

District 7

Carolyn Davis (incumbent):
Until we have much better information about potential public health and safety impacts, I am opposed to gas drilling in Dallas. Our city is a densely populated area and this is an environmentally sensitive issue that we need to move slowly on. I want to see adequate protections for neighborhoods. We need to do some more work, and clearly define how and where gas drilling can safely occur with minimal risk to public safety.

Ona Marie Hendricks:
I digress.

Council District 8

Tennell Atkins (Incumbent):
I voted to allow drilling on sites voted upon by the city council, which excluded park land.

Subrina Brenham:
The plan commission is a quasi-judicial board established to provide an indebt view of city's land view policies. Therefore, I have some concerns that Atkins demanded his appointee to the CPC to change her vote to support the Trinity East fracking on parkland. Sure we need money. I have not been convinced of the negative impact on our natural resources.


Council District 9
Sheffie Kadane running unopposed

Council District 10
Jerry Allen running unopposed

Council District 11

Lee Kleinman
I will not take a postion at this time because the issue is far to complex to evaluate in the midst of a campaign. The Task force spent 9 months on this issue and I personally know and respect a number of its members. The Council has yet to adopt its recommendations and it will take a much deeper study of the facts before I can take a formal position.

Ori Raphael
I am currently for allowing gas drilling in Dallas as long as it is deemed safe and not in a public park, case in point next to a soccer field. A major concern is the fact that the city has already spent the money that the gas companies have paid for their leases. What is to come if and when they request their money back? In the end the tax payers have to fit the bill in legal and other unforeseen costs. The situation was not handled well and the City Council should have made a clear decision on this issue from the very beginning.
 


Council District 12
Sandy Greyson – running unopposed


Council District 13

Leland Burk
As an oil and gas investor, I know both the risks and rewards of drilling. I am against gas drilling on park land, or any land in the City of Dallas.

Jennifer Staubach-Gates
I do not support gas drilling / fracking in or near neighborhoods. I think there are very few areas in our City where drilling could potentially be allowed. These opportunities should be considered on a case-by-case basis with careful consideration to protecting our air quality, water usage and other environmental concerns.

Jacob King
A lease does not always guarantee that drilling will occur, and the city must consider all possible means to generate revenue without levying taxes on the residents of Dallas. I beleive leases should be limited to park land that is not open for recreation purposes as it is, and I do not believe any recreational parks should ever be closed for drilling.

Richard Sheridan
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to our deadline.

Council District 14

Bobby Abtahi
We need to tighten our regulations and recognize an evolving technology. Locating intense uses on city parks is not appropriate and we need to be consistent. I was one of three City Plan Commissioners to vote against allowing a concrete crushing operation to locate near a park. The City Council later reversed the majority of the Commission and denied the request. We also need to keep a critical eye on the Legislature to ensure that our oversight capability is not diminished.

Phillip Kingston
I oppose gas drilling, fracking, and refining within the city limits of Dallas. These activities are inconsistent with my focus on improving residential quality of life, but they will also do long-term damage to Dallas’s ability to attract economic development. I believe our air quality, specifically our EPA non-attainment status, is already limiting Dallas’s growth. As businesses and high-skill workers have more and more choices in where to locate in the future, air quality will factor into their decision making.

David Blewett
I support the City's ability to allow gas drilling in Dallas. However, the city's attempt to regulate it has been inadequate. I do not believe we have done enough to educate our citizens about the potential risks involved (particularly in the flood plain and parkland) and that until we do, we should not be drilling. We must have community input and involvement from the start, no matter the issue, without any back room deals.

Kevin Curley
In Dallas, the potential for natural gas development is only a viable option for a small part of the western perimeter. In 2008, recognizing the economic benefit to other cities, Dallas sought out and entered into lease contracts for drilling and accepted $34 million in lease payments from companies wanting to drill. There are still issues that need to be addressed before drilling in Dallas should move forward. I would support increasing the setbacks for specific uses. I would not arbitrarily support drilling in parkland, but I would support discussions about drilling in remote and undeveloped parkland that included a master plan for development. A good example of how drilling and land use development could work is a former drilling site in Burleson that has been converted to baseball fields and a green for a golf course. Drilling can and has been done prudently in many other areas and with tremendous economic benefits and hopefully Dallas can realize some of its reserve potential. But my first priority would be to assure we have established guidelines that protect the environment, the safety of our residents, our property values and the future development of our park areas.

Chuck Kobdish
Fracking has created a great deal of wealth for municipalities, businesses, and property owners alike. It is highly regulated and so I am for fracking when conducted responsibly. It is safer than burning fossil fuels and that is often overlooked. I am opposed to drilling on land designated as public parks. The equipment creates an eye sore and noise and therefore affects our quality of life.

Judy Limatainnen
Gas drilling is a very difficult subject. If you are talking about the drilling that is one subject. If you are talking about the compressor station being built also ajacent to the part that puts a whole new spin on it. I think that the city of Dallas needs to look very hard at any contract going forward on public land to make sure the public is protected, the environment is not damaged and if drilling occurs that the city benefits financially at the best rate possible. I don't think a compressor station should ever be put that close to public/park land.

Jim Rogers
I am opposed to “fracking” within the City of Dallas. The primary obligation of the City of Dallas is to protect Dallas’ citizens and Dallas’ assets (water). Without question the city must regulate drilling in the city limits including on city parkland. I am absolutely against drilling in Dallas parks or near homes or businesses We know that drilling operations are disruptive to surrounding property owners and have the potential to damage property values. In addition, it is essential to protect our water supply.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Cooper April 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

My husband and I do not live in Dallas; we live in Richardson.  Yet the Dallas election is of much interest to us, especially regarding gas drilling.  As the core city, that is, the largest city in the midst of numerous suburbs, Dallas bears a responsibiity to all of the suburbs that surround it.

Dallas has been in non-attainment for well over 25 years.  Gas drilling would make our pollution worse, and pollution knows no boundaries.  The filth in the air will not only affect residents in the immediate area of drilling, but the winds will carry this filth to communities and rural areas for miles around.

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Craig King May 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Our friends in Midlothian and our friends that feel the need to live in Southern Oklahoma and commute into town are a big part of that inability to comply with air quality regulations. It is a regional problem and the region needs to solve it. Be the change you want to see in the world. Don't just sit on your sofa in front of your giant tv and complain. 

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