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April 24, 2009

Joey Dauben raised a rabble in Cedar Hill @ Loop 9

Filed under: Cedar Hill — cedarhilleditor @ 2:32 am

While there were many fine, upstanding residents of Cedar Hill and various Ellis County cities at the special hearing on Loop 9 in Cedar Hill April 23, there was more than a small scattering of people bringing some baggage to the event.

Let me put it this way.

When you get the normally mild-mannered, low-key Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke so riled up he shows his anger to you, and tells you that you need to learn some respect …

If you know Rob, you know you’ve crossed a line. If you don’t, you need to learn.

Other than that, we had, in my guesstimate, about two dozen of the 225-300 or so attendees who stayed for much of the Texas Department of Transportation presentation who regularly talked over TxDOT representatives attempts to answer their questions. (Reportedly, more than 600 people signed up, BUT, the number in actual attendance when I showed up shortly after 7 p.m. and TxDOT folks were speaking was far below that. And, since it was billed as an informational meeting, not a “rally the troops” meeting, my crowd count goes by the people there for the actual TxDOT presentation.)

We had other people broaching conspiracy theories, like the person who got Franke upset in part by claiming local officials were nothing but “moles,” or pawns under the control of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

So “congratulations” to the Ellis Countian now in New Hampshire, Joey Dauben, for stirring up some of these people.

And all for a road that, as Cedar Hill ISD Boardmember Valerie Banks noted, won’t be built for several years. (If it’s built at all.)

As for the Trans Texas Corridor tie-in, it’s true that TxDOT still has TTC -style concepts for some local toll roads. But, Loop 9, as one of those toll roads, was proposed long before the TTC was around. And, given that Loop 9 is, in essence, the southern parallel to the Bush Turnpike, if it is built, and built as a toll road, it could well be run by the North Texas Tollway Authority, if anybody.

If you want a better target for your anger, tell Gov. Perry and the Lege to stop diverting gas tax money to the general fund. And tell both of them to do more with long-term bond indebtedness rather than toll roads.

Beyond this, and in response to Dauben and Megan Gray, over the five years of more of meetings, many of these questions have been asked and answered.

Also, despite residents’ worries that TxDOT might lowball them on housing values because of slumping prices, prices are actually UP 6 percent in Cedar Hill and 8 percent in Ellis County in the first quarter of this year.

That said, it was interesting to see Dallas County Judge Jim Foster in south suburban Dallas in the flesh for pretty much the first time since he got elected.

Try us, you might like us, judge.

It was just as interesting, if not more so, to see him and his nemesis, County Commissioner John Wiley Price, at the same table.


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