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Dallas Voters Get One Last Look at Mayoral Candidates in Live Debate

Candidates Scott Griggs and Eric Johnson met for a final mayoral debate.

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Photos courtesy of Scott Griggs/Instagram and Eric Johnson/Twitter. Photo credits unknown.

The Dallas Debate, hosted live by WFAA, brought Council member Scott Griggs and state Rep Eric Johnson face-to-face in a final mayoral debate.

In a moderated discussion, each made their case for why they should be Dallas’ next mayor, by responding to questions on topics ranging from property taxes and city services to gentrification and food deserts.

Safety, particularly how the City would recruit and retain police officers, became a recurring topic throughout the discussion.

Griggs favors reallocating budget funds and growing the tax base as a plan to give police officers a raise and increase benefits to make the department more competitive. Johnson favors growing the tax base as a priority and focusing on the overall morale of the department.

After the broadcast, the candidates answered a number questions posed by Dallas residents on social media.

During this round of questions, each offered their plans to address redlining, homeless services, funding the arts and much more.

In a final question, the candidates were asked to give their top priority in a single word. Griggs responded police. Johnson said effectiveness.

Early voting begins on May 28 and ends on June 4. Election day is June 8.

Photos courtesy of Scott Griggs/Instagram and Eric Johnson/Twitter. Photo credits unknown.

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Text to 9-1-1 is now Available in Plano

When it isn’t safe to call, texting is now an option.

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The Public Safety Communications Department (Plano 9-1-1) has announced that  text to 9-1-1 has been implemented in Plano.

The ability to text messages will assist citizens who are hearing impaired, providing equal access to 9-1-1. It can also be used in circumstances where it is unsafe for the caller to physically make a voice call to 9-1-1. (Note: text to 9-1-1 is not available in every city.)

Here are a few important tips to remember when texting to 9-1-1:

  • SMS does not provide accurate location data. You must provide your location as soon as you text.
  • No photos or videos, only text.
  • No emoji’s.
  • No abbreviations, spell things out. Be clear.
  • Only text to 9-1-1 if you are unable to make a voice call.

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Top Ten U.S. Digital Cities

Only one north Texas city made into the top ten.

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The City of Plano has been named a Top Ten U.S. Digital City by the Center for Digital Government.

Now in its 19th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to challenge social challenges, enhance cybersecurity improve transparency and much more.

“Special congratulations go out to Plano, Texas, where the Technology Services Division established a governance board and process for vetting, prioritizing and managing over 320 technology projects and initiatives,” said Phil Bertolini, co-director for the Center for Digital Government. “In addition, through consolidation and infrastructure upgrades, Plano serves as a great example of how a city can leverage technology to increase performance and reduce costs.”

The City will be recognized for this achievement at an awards dinner held during the National League of Cities’ annual City Summit in San Antonio, November 20-23.

The top ten ranking cities in the 250,000 – 499,999 population category are:

1st City of Miami, FL
2nd City of Durham, NC
3rd City of Virginia Beach, VA
4th City of Wichita, KS
5th City of Kansas City, MO
5th City of Plano, TX
6th City of Madison, WI
7th City of Long Beach, CA
8th City of Henderson, NV
9th City of Chandler, AZ
10th City of Greensboro, NC
10th City of Riverside, CA

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McKinney National Airport Receives TxDOT Grant

$15 Million in state funding has been awarded for needed improvements.

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The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has approved a grant of $15 million in state funds from its Aviation Facilities Grant Program for the McKinney National Airport. The funds will be used to extend the existing runway from its current length of 7,002 feet to 8,502 feet.

The first step of the process will be an environmental assessment, followed by design and construction. Construction will likely begin in late 2021.

“Today, business aircraft intending to operate out of McKinney must add congestion to one of the commercial service airports if their operations require additional runway length,” said Airport Director Ken Carley. “We are thrilled and extremely grateful to receive the funding for this project. It is evidence the state recognizes the contributions McKinney National Airport makes to the regional airport system and understands the importance of investing in the airport’s future. Extending the runway by 1,500 feet will benefit the entire DFW area by allowing the airport to more effectively serve its role as a reliever for the region’s commercial service airports.”

Grant funding from TxDOT requires an airport sponsor to contribute a minimum of 10 percent in matching funds. The McKinney City Council approved its matching funds to add to the project in September. TxDOT expects to provide approximately $60 million in funding for planning, constructing, and maintaining community airports this year. About 275 community airports in Texas are eligible for this grant.

Operational activity at the airport is projected to grow throughout the 20-year planning period with increased use by business jets needing longer runway lengths to accommodate heavier loads and longer stage lengths. The current Airport Master Plan recommends accomplishing the runway extension in the next five years to allow the airport unrestricted growth.

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