Mayor Johnson Appoints Bond Committee Chair

Dallas downtown: American Lifestyle | Image by Cedric Weber, Shutterstock

Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson appointed a leader Thursday to the Community Bond Task Force Committee of the 2024 Capital Bond Program.

His appointee, Arun Agarwal, said he is “honored to be appointed as chair of this community-focused group that will guide critical discussions about our city’s future,” according to a press release sent to The Dallas Express.

Agarwal is the CEO of Dallas-based textile company Nextt. At the start of the pandemic, D Magazine reported that the company fast-tracked the creation of a new division called Nextt Shield when disruptions in the global supply chain adversely affected their overseas shipping logistics. Nextt Shield started making N-95 face masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment at a critical time when healthcare workers began running out of PPE gear.  

This leader also is president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board and vice chair of the Texas Economic Development Board.

“I am particularly excited to help make major investments in parks, trails, and recreational facilities,” Agarwal said. “Mayor Johnson has been a true champion for our city’s parks and for the efforts to build a safer and more vibrant city.”

He continued, “I look forward to working with Mayor Johnson, my colleagues on the task force, and the residents of Dallas as we prioritize our city’s most pressing needs.”

The Community Bond Task Force is a 15-member group that will help the Dallas City Council review and analyze the city’s $13.5 billion needs inventory. The committee also will recommend a $1 billion package of spending priorities for the 2024 Capital Bond Program.

However, the city council will make final decisions on the possible bond election, not the task force, which serves as an advisory group.

Mayor Johnson said the “upcoming bond program will provide us with a critical opportunity to build for our future by investing in public safety, in infrastructure, and in our most significant needs.”

The improvements Johnson wants to focus on most are his “Three Ps” — public safety, potholes, and parks.

He said, “Agarwal has proven to be an effective and engaged leader in our city and I am confident he will advocate for the right priorities for the people of Dallas.”

While the mayor has praised Agarwal’s civic leadership, the Park & Recreation Department — overseen by the Dallas Park and Recreation Board — has struggled to recruit and retain employees for some time.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Park & Recreation had a 60.7% turnover rate, one of the highest of any city department in 2022. According to a city staff presentation in February, Park & Recreation had the most vacancies at 58%. The department employs 668 staffers and has 904 open jobs.

In other city park news, the city council approved funding last week for the construction of a new park in an area that has been a crime hotbed for several years. The community improvement project is worth nearly $7.5 million.

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