Thursday night’s toll road debate at Brentfield Elementary sponsored by the North Dallas Neighborhood Alliance provided an opportunity to hear what North Dallas council members Ron Natinsky and Linda Koop could bring to the table for the Vote No! side.
Natinsky and Koop appeared to be basing a lot of their knowledge on a PowerPoint presentation and other information given to them by the Vote No! campaign. During the PowerPoint presentation, a graphic appeared comparing the current alignment with the Industrial alternatives. I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw the cost listed at $939 million and that number was told to the audience.
When they were taking questions from the audience, I addressed the Vote No! side.
Dallas Blog: In your PowerPoint, you listed the current alignment at $939 million, is that correct?
Ron Natinsky: “That’s true.” [Koop shakes her head yes]
DB: According to the mayor, it’s $1.3 billion right now.
Natinsky: “We received that information just the other day.”
DB: So you’re sticking with…
Natinsky: “I’m not sure where the mayor got his numbers.”
DB: So you’re saying the mayor’s information is wrong?
Natinsky: “I didn’t say that.”
DB: Well, either your information is right…
Natinsky: “I just don’t know. I wasn’t there. So I really don’t know, Sam.”
This wasn’t Natinsky’s first slip-up of the night. He also misinformed an audience member who was asking him to clarify the ballot language and what will be voted on.
“The thing that you’re gonna vote on says if you vote yes, you will kill the road known as the Trinity Parkway," Natinsky said. "If you vote no, you will leave things the way they are currently set.”
This statement is untrue. The ordinance clearly does not “kill the road known as the Trinity Parkway.” It says that if it stays inside the levees, it will have a maximum speed of 35 mph, a maximum of four lanes and must provide direct park access. It does not prohibit putting the road somewhere outside of the levees.
Natinsky also said that if this referendum passes, “there will be no Project Pegasus,” which is also not true. Project Pegasus needs a reliever route, but TxDOT has never said it must be inside of the levees. Commissioner John Wiley Price, also on the Vote No! side, has admitted the project will go forward with another alignment.
When former Councilmember Sandy Greyson brought up Mayor Leppert’s famous quote, “It depends on your definition of exact,” Natinsky provided this response.
“Well, it’s exact to the point that I’m not sure that a tree might not move from here to here. You know, exact is a pretty exacting word,” Natinsky said. “In defense of the mayor, TxDOT, the NTTA, everyone involved in this project has seen these graphics and signed off on it. So I would say it’s pretty darned near exactly what we’re gonna get.”
I’ll have more from last night’s debate along with my thoughts from Monday’s debate in Lake Highlands and Tuesday’s debate at the Fairmont Hotel coming soon.
... written by Mike , October 05, 2007
One thing that all of these debates are revealing is just how many stupid or devious people we have in our so-called city leadership.
... written by David , October 05, 2007
I also heard that Leppert told a reporter that the TrinityVoteYes people wrote the ballot language, and that's why it's so confusing.
The "Vote No" folks aren't content with just spinning the facts anymore. They're actually starting to tell lies.
Anything for another big fat contribution from Harlan Crow, huh?
... written by John McClelland , October 05, 2007
Natinsky provided the same misinformation about this project during our council campaign, both in public and during our Dallas Morning News editorial board interview.
His favorite line when I was around him was "I'm no engineer, but..." and then he would go into engineering "facts" and compare our situation to some road he saw in Korea. Not to mention telling everyone the money would disappear. It was truly entertaining.
And since I differed in opinion on the road, the DMN said I was against the entire Trinity Project. So all of this rhetoric is nothing new and will continue up to and past November 6.
... written by HSH , October 05, 2007
The ballot language was written by the City Attorney and approved by the City Council (including the Mayor). Maybe someone needs to help our forgetful Mayor remember what he did at Council that day.
... written by Wylie H. , October 05, 2007
I've heard Natinsky talk about the "road in Korea" before... as someone who has seen this road, it's really unbelievable he would use this as a comparison. There is, indeed, a big freeway in Seoul which runs along a river, with a little bit of parkland squeezed in... it looks pretty hellish, if you ask me.
... written by Lorlee Bartos , October 05, 2007
And this surprises anyone?
I was one of the speakers in the original 1998 referendum and they lied through their teeth then and continue to do so.
They just hope that if they keep putting up pretty pictures, we will get distracted.
And the DMN needs to recuse itself or else file a Political PAC designation for its coverage.
... written by Margaret , October 06, 2007
So, how are your supposed to vote?
... written by John McClelland , October 08, 2007
Vote NO and you get a 6 lane toll road. Vote YES and you get the 35mph access road that voters approved in 1998.
... written by john k. , October 09, 2007
Vote "Yes" if you don't want it. Vote "No" if you do want it. Don't vote if you don't care. Don't care if you really do care. Vote by mail if you don't want to be in the same area with those that you might disagree with. Go to the polls if there are those gathering petion signatures for an alternative plan. Remember a vote for General Electric is not for our continued presence in Iraq.