Trinity Park Management Plan Draws Opposition

The plan to create a local government corporation to raise money and run the proposed Dallas Trinity River Park is drawing opposition from critics who complain there has been too little public input.

A Dallas City Council briefing on an LGC, local government corporation, is scheduled for Aug. 2, and a council vote is set for Aug. 9, Mayor Mike Rawlings confirmed Tuesday.

“We’ve got to make sure that we have an LGC, a local government corporation that gets the politics out of building a park,” Rawlings said.

A $50 million gift to help build the park from the Harrold Simmons family last year came with strings attached about park management.

Rawlings said the LGC would satisfy those concerns.

“It’s win for everybody, and everybody wants to get this park done,” Rawlings said. “I believe that the LGC is the quickest way to do that, and I think we’ll come together as a council and say let’s make it happen.”

Angela Hunt, a former Dallas City Council member, is a strong critic of plans to build a road along the river and said the LGC plan is moving too fast.

“I think there’s going to be tremendous skepticism about the purpose and motivation of a local government corporation unless the public has a chance to weigh in,” Hunt said. “I’m shocked that the city would consider presenting this to the public on August 2nd and voting on it a week later. Have we learned nothing from Fair Park?”

A public/private partnership plan supported by Rawlings to manage Dallas Fair Park has been delayed after critics successfully fought for competitive bids.

Rawlings said the LGC suggested for a Trinity Park would be an entirely public entity, with members appointed by the City Council.

“It’s a very different government structure that’s used in Houston and Austin, and my lawyers have said we should have done this years ago,” Rawlings said.

Hunt, who is also an attorney, said the details need to be thoroughly reviewed.

“It may be the perfect way to move forward on the Trinity or it may be a disaster….

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