Johnson suggests quarterly city report card to ‘provide more accountability’

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The Dallas City Council recently welcomed four new members and Mayor Eric Johnson suggests that the work of city leaders should be more closely evaluated by the people.

As Dallas emerges from the grip of COVID-19, Johnson has said that the city needs to address basic services and infrastructure to improve the quality of life for its citizens and suggested a quarterly report card to gauge how well the city is delivering on essential services.

“City Hall has performance metrics, which Government Performance and Financial Management Committee Chairwoman Cara Mendelsohn is working to improve,” Johnson said in a statement, reported by Medium. “But the city could also take it a step further to provide more accountability. The city should issue a quarterly report card to tell residents how well it is delivering basic services and laying the groundwork for the years to come.”

During his recent speech to welcome the four new council members, the mayor discussed the problems the city needs to tackle and detailed a “back to basics” agenda for the next two years. The report card would advance his agenda to improve basic services which include improving trash pickup, streamlining the permitting process to help businesses open and boosting emergency service response times.

“On the front side of the report card should be the basics, such as public safety, quality of life and economic development,” Johnson said. “In other words, are 911 calls answered quickly? Are the crime trends moving in the right direction? Are police officers and firefighters and paramedics responding to emergency calls quickly? Are building permits approved or denied expeditiously? Is trash being picked up on time?”

Besides improving basic services, the mayor also believes that the city should continue to build for the future. His agenda for the future includes implementing the city’s Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan, advancing comprehensive economic development policy and moving forward on plans to remake Hensley Field and Fair Park.

“The role of city council is to set policy and provide oversight of city functions,” Mendelsohn wrote in a June 16 Twitter post. “Our city performance measures should match what we think is important to our future and to our residents. Residents should be able to easily say how well the city is performing.”

Other issues the mayor said that need work include public safety initiatives, lowering tax rates, coming up with funding for infrastructure and helping the growing homeless population.

The mayor welcomed Paul Ridley, Jesse Moreno, Jaynie Schultz and Gay Donnell Willis as new members to the Dallas City Coucnil who emerged victorious in the June 5 runoff race. 

Three of the new council members replace members who were term-limited and two members defeated better-funded opponents, according to NBC DFW News.

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