[Dallas, TX] – [In April 2011, the Dallas County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution calling on the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) to finance and undergo a performance review proposed by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and administered through an oversight committee set up by four area county judges: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Collin County Judge Keith Self, Denton County Judge Mary Horn and Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley. NTTA announced its final report last week based on recommended changes produced in the initial review and confirmed that it had successfully acted on ALL 82 recommendations. Judge Jenkins stated, “We are passing a mile marker on a long journey. This agency is more nimble and innovative as a result of this process. We still have some challenges in diversity, collections and opportunity for public-public participation…but we’re in a much better place than we were in 2011.”]
The committee was proposed by Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins as a local alternative to the state Sunset review process. Judge Jenkins was quoted as saying, “The best antiseptic is sunlight and we need to promote efficiency and transparency in all aspects of government, including the NTTA.”
Since 2011, the four County Judges have provided input, made recommendations, and provided oversight of the financial and performance review of the NTTA on behalf of their respective commissioner’s courts and, through Alvarez & Marsal, identified a total of 82 recommendations for monumental changes within NTTA, including Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise involvement, administrative fees and funding alternative in times of cash-flow shortages, transparency, organizational structure and diversity representation on the NTTA Board of Directors as well as a review of NTTA’s financial analysis and liquidity. The NTTA rendered its report based on the review and confirmed that all 82 recommended changes had been met.
Throughout the process Judge Jenkins has fought for transparency, stronger procurement policies and increased diversity, both on the Board and through NTTA contracts. In 2011, the Dallas County Commissioners Court appointed two new board members who Jenkins says demonstrate the kind of diversity we believe is representative of Dallas County: George “Tex” Quesada and Matrice Ellis-Kirk.
Contact: Judge Clay Jenkins
… in hopes of reaching every victim of crime. In his Proclamation before Commissioners Court today, Commissioner Mike Cantrell reiterated the importance of local government to seize the moment in our commitment to a greater awareness for victims’ rights and to providing ongoing support and services. Nearly 19 million Americans are directly harmed by crime each year, which has a domino effect on the community at large. Victim assistance programs provide help and support to child victims of violence and sexual abuse; stalking victims; survivors of homicide victims; victims of drunk-driving crashes; and victims of domestic, dating, and sexual violence and other crimes. Cantrell expressed urgency and called on the community and municipalities to act now, adding “now is the time to embrace new solutions that involve new partnerships with underserved communities and a greater emphasis on learning what works in meeting victims’ needs.” Dallas County is joining forces with victim service providers, criminal justice agencies, and concerned citizens to raise awareness of victims’ rights and observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Photo #1: Judge Clay Jenkins, Commissioners John Wiley Price and Dr. Elba Garcia | Photo #2: Indigo Dillard, Current Desoto Mayor Carl Sherman | Photo #3: back row (Mayor Sherman, Indigo Dillard/Parents; 1st Row (Commissioners Theresa Daniel, Mike Cantrell, Judge Jenkins, John Wiley Price and Dr. Garcia
… Ms. Indigo Dillard, an honor student with a 98% attendance record and 3.5 grade point average. The current Mayor of Desoto Carl Sherman announced with great pride that the Desoto Independent School District has made it their mission to prepare students academically but also as problem solvers, critical thinkers and for leadership. So it was proclaimed that today the City of DeSoto would welcome the service of their new Mayor for A Day. Mayor Sherman hailed Dillard’s submission essay and her level of commitment and leadership, saying “we often wondered how she juggles cheerleading, the honor roll and her leadership roles and she said ‘time management!’”
Commissioner Elba Garcia read the Proclamation and the work of Early Childhood Centers, lauding their work in improving early development and learning opportunities, including early literacy programs in Dallas County. A spokeswoman for the Low Birth Weight Development Center stood beside a mother and her now very healthy toddler who was only two (2) pounds at birth, as living proof of the critical role that agencies play in the development and care of low birth weight children. Commissioner Garcia cheerfully encouraged all citizens to work to make a good investment in early childhood, adding “teachers and others who make a difference in the lives of young children in Dallas County deserve thanks and recognition.”