City council priorities: a curfew, a promoter and a trans-fat ban?

DMN city council reporter Dave Levinthal apparently spent some time at the city council’s retreat this week, and he highlights a few ideas that council members are considering pushing later this year … here’s a sneak peak at what might come up during the next council term:

• "A daytime curfew for school-aged children in an effort to curb truancy," this idea courtesy of mayor pro tem Elba Garcia.

• Additional crime-monitoring cameras in troubled neighborhoods.

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• Devising a "plan to redevelop aging retail centers," courtesy of Ron Natinsky.
• "Hire an outside promoter to attract new events, particularly soccer games, to the newly renovated Cotton Bowl."

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• A trans-fat ban in restaurants, similar to that instituted in some other cities.

The plan to redevelop aging retail centers would be interesting to see fleshed out, particularly given that short of pumping city money into these centers, the city can do very little to stimulate leasing interest in properties that are either poorly located, run-down or simply outclassed by all of the new retail that has been built the past couple of years.

Of course, if you took, say, $550 million or so and split it into several-million-dollar chunks and started investing that money in "aging retail centers", that type of city activism — a potential equity investment directly in some of the city’s most needy neighborhoods — would have a major impact on the city’s livability.

But where, oh where, would we get $550 million?

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