We emailed three questions to North Dallas council members Linda Koop and Ron Natinsky about the proposed city budget. Koop, who represents District 11, responded by the deadline. Natinsky told us he doesn’t do email interviews. Here are Koop’s answers:
1: How confident are you in the city manager’s prediction that property tax revenue will increase by seven percent?
A: I am confident in the city manager's prediction that property tax revenue will increase by seven percent because the property values have already been certified by the appraisal districts. The values as of Jan. 1, 2008 are 7.4% higher than the values were as of Jan. 1, 2007.
2: Are there trade offs in the proposed budget — like cutting clearance rates for some crimes — that make you uncomfortable?
A: The proposed budget enhances the police department with an additional 200 officers and the corresponding equipment (including additional patrol cars). These enhancements will continue to decrease the crime rate and improve the timeliness and quality of response.
3: Where does the proposed budget cut services that you think need to be restored?
A: I'd like Council to have a discussion about restoring: the zoo's one day a week closure, the volunteer coordinator for the libraries and an immunization education program for seniors.