Dallas City Council Removes Ineffective DART Board Member, Kleinman One of 5 Who Wanted to Keep Him

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The Dallas City Council this week voted 10-5 to remove Dallas Area Rapid Transit board member Richard Carrizales, smack dab in the middle of his two year term. It was a progressive move seen by many as a way to finally wrangle DART and demand some accountability.

(If only it were so easy to get rid of Council members!)

Mr. Carrizales’ was vice chair of the DART board, representing the city of Dallas. His boot was effective immediately,

Council members who voted against retaining Mr. Carrizale’s say it was because they want fresh new blood on the DART board, it is nothing personal.

Sandy Greyson, a member of the city’s transportation committee, said that the vote was about creating a stronger representation on the board,  not because of Carrizales’ vote in October with the majority of the DART board to fund the Cotton Belt rail line, which will travel from Plano to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, as well as a downtown Dallas subway.

But there is speculation that was the very reason why he was let go. In October, the Dallas City Council unanimously passed a resolution to tell DART to prioritize the D2 Subway in downtown Dallas over the $1.1 billon Cotton Belt Line that would serve Plano with a direct route to DFW even as it slices and dices through homes n North Dallas.

Lee Kleinman is the ONLY city councilman still hanging onto the dream of the Cotton Belt. No one else wants it.

Funny thing from our campaign: during a forum for the American Society of Civil Engineers, Kleinman told the group that even his constituents who live near the proposed Cotton belt line still vote for him.

Very funny: later I realized Kleinman ran unopposed in 2015, and I was his opponent one week ago. So that was a big fat LIE.

“This vote today is about taking the opportunity to provide strong new leadership on our Dallas delegation to the DART board,” she (Council woman Sandy Greyson) said. She said at the meeting that the vote was not, as City Council member Lee Kleinman told The News on Tuesday, “a mean-spirited, vengeful reaction to last October’s vote.”

Greyson, a City Council member who actually works hard at her council job, attended several DART board and committee meetings last year and says several Dallas board members “just sat there meeting after meeting, rarely ever asking a question or making a comment or offering a thought,” she said.

Dallas appoints seven of the ___ DART board members (and shares another seat with Cockrell Hill). Six of the city’s current board members are up for reappointment to new two-year terms.

DART needs to be audited and more transparent with how it spends taxpayer dollars. Adam McGough says it was time for a change anyway so that the board can focus on improving other forms of transportation beyond rail — I am so glad to hear him say this:

“Other transportation is crucial to this city, and we need to focus on high-frequency bus system that gets people who need to get there where they are going and I just don’t believe this board has done so up to this point,” he said.

Amen. Voting to remove Mr. Carrizales were Adam McGough, Adam Medrano, Carolyn King Arnold,  Jennifer Staubach Gates, Mark Clayton, Philip Kingston, Rickey Callahan, Sandy Greyson, Scott Griggs, and Tiffinni Young.

Voting to keep him (or oppose the motion) were Mayor Mike Rawlings and Casey Thomas, Erik Wilson, Monica Alonzo and shocker, Mr. Fake Fiscal Conservative Lee Kleinman. Take out a bond to fix our streets and alleys? Heck no. Go into $1.1 billion debt for a rail line for Plano and the ‘burbs? Yes, he is all over it. I just wonder why…

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