Dallas officials celebrate as $1.25 billion in bond requests get overwhelming approval

dallas city officials celebrated shortly after polls closed Saturday as 10 propositions that make up a $1.25 billion bond package for upgrades to streets, parks, libraries and other city infrastructure appeared headed for approval by voters in the spring bond election.

At an event atop Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas, Mayor Eric Johnson said, “We’re a city of both dreamers, but also do-ers, and we’ve become a city that the rest of America yearns for.”

Over a span of two weeks, North Texas voters weighed in on dozens of propositions to finance capital improvements, and local races to pick new leadership in schools and municipal governments. Dallas County had 5.6% turnout in the election with 80,129 out of roughly 1.4 million registered voters casting ballots. Voter turnout in neighboring Collin County, was just 6.61%.

Voters across north Texas on Saturday cast ballots for an array of local offices, bond programs, changes to local charters and other propositions. The spring elections often have low turnout, but the decisions can be critically important to residents.

City officials have said they plan to start issuing bonds in the next fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The bonds will be repaid with revenue collected from city property taxes, and that approval of the propositions won’t increase the current tax rate.


Dallas residents who live in Collin County mostly voted against two propositions meant to improve storm drainage and flood drainage, and for housing infrastructure upgrades.

Also on the ballot were two contested seats on the Dallas ISD school board. According to unofficial election results, Lance Currie had 52.6% of the votes in a three-candidate race for the District 1 seat. Ed Turner had 52.3% of the vote in a four-candidate race for the District 9 seat.

Currie, who wants to represent Northwest Dallas, is a lawyer with two children in the district. Currie said if he wins, he wants to prioritize focusing on outcomes by gathering better information on students’ lives after graduation. That will help create stronger pathways to college and careers, he said. Turner, a DISD dad and volunteer, is an insurance broker.

Anna ISD voters rejected the proposal to build a $100 million high school stadium for a second time. The stadium was meant to be used for football, soccer and other district events. According to unofficial results., nearly 57% of voters were against the proposition, according to final unofficial results.

In recent years, some districts have found it more difficult to pass school bond proposals — especially for items some voters might consider extras, such as football stadiums or preforming arts spaces.

Other bond propositions from Cedar Hill ISD and Lewisville ISD, however, were on track to be approved.

Other municipalities voted on members of councils and boards as well as an array of changes to city charters.

In Frisco, propositions that would have created a civil service and collective bargaining for the city’s fire department were voted down, according to unofficial results. The proposals were born out of the need for better working conditions and more transparency in hiring and opportunities for Frisco’s firefighters, said Matt Sapp, president of the Frisco Fire Fighters Association.

For full election results from North Texas, visit dallasnews.com/election-results/.

Dallas bond program

At Reunion Tower on Saturday, dozens of people raised their glasses as co-chair of the Dallas bond campaign Tim Powers toasted a resounding victory.

“For everybody who’s come together on our task force, our executive committee, we cannot thank you enough for getting us this far,” Powers said. “And now we go forward to make the investment. Tonight is our night to celebrate.”

Jeff Ellerman, Board Chairman of the Dallas Museum of Art, said voters made the right choice to back all the propositions, including projects focused on cultural and art buildings.

“These buildings are falling apart,” Ellerman said. “We have infrastructure that hasn’t been replaced in 25-30 years. The buildings are vitally important for a great city.”

The needs in Dallas ranged from $521.2 million for street and transportation improvements to $5 million for information technology system upgrades. Other city proposals included funding for flood protection, arts facilities, public safety — including a new police academy — economic development and money to address homelessness.

Saturday marked the second time this year Election Day has arrived in North Texas, and some voters said they’re feeling the fatigue.

Dallas voter James Wilson said he cast his ballot early, but with primary elections that already occurred in March, Saturday’s local elections, primary runoff elections on May 28, and the general election on Nov. 5, it’s been a challenge keeping all the dates and races straight, he said.

“I’m an active voter, and it’s been hard to keep up” said Wilson, 43, of East Dallas. “I could see this being an election that some people skipped or just didn’t know was happening.”

Lisa Swirczynski happened to be one of those people. While outside the Samuell Grand Recreation Center after playing tennis Saturday, she said she didn’t realize it was the last day to vote. The center was also a polling location. She said she was considering going home to research, but wasn’t sure if she would end up back at the polls later that day.

“National politics take up so much of my attention and focus that I haven’t kept up with more local issues as much as I would like,” said Swirczynski.

Eddie and Martha Velez were reminded Saturday to vote after dropping their kids off to play soccer at Kiest Park in Dallas and saw signs urging people to vote at the park’s recreation center.

The Dallas couple said they supported the entire Dallas bond program because it addressed infrastructure improvements related to roads, transportation and technology. Both voted to approve all 10 propositions. Velez said he heard other soccer parents, too, had decided to go in and vote after seeing the election signs, and wasn’t surprised turnout was low.

“I think everybody’s focused on the national versus the local sometimes,” Eddie Velez said.

In Frisco, Rafael Jimenez said he favored both proposals related to the fire department.

“I support the firefighters, and if they believe that they need a union, we need to support them,” said Jimenez.

For Annie Fendrick, the fire department works well, and there is no need for a union.

“Having a union is not going to help with anything. I think this is right now, and there is no need for change,” said Fendrick.


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