Between now and Super Bowl Sunday, Bill Lively is president and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, which is responsible for funding, staffing and producing the event. Once the Super Bowl has been played, though, it sounds like the Oak Cliff native will be running for DISD’s board of trustees to replace a retiring Jack Lowe, who represents North Dallas and East Dallas on the board.
Lively says he is establishing a 54-person “exploratory committee” to advise him about running for the job, and even though the committee has yet to meet, he says he’s “very, very encouraged” about his potential candidacy. Lively says he’ll likely make his decision before the Super Bowl but won’t announce it until after the game. After talking with him today, though, I think it’s safe to say he’ll be running.
Lively grew up in Oak Cliff and is a 1961 Adamson High School graduate. After picking up a bachelor’s in music from SMU and a master’s in education from UNT, he worked as a music instructor at Greiner Middle School and Sunset High School. Later, he worked on SMU’s staff for 25 years in a variety of roles, winding up as director of SMU’s biggest fundraising project, which pulled in $280 million while he was there. Then he took over as founding president of the Dallas Center for Performing Arts, raising $334 million to build the arts center Downtown before joining the Super Bowl host committee.
The guy can raise money, is a DISD product and likely will have the backing of the Dallas Citizens Council and just about every other big wheel in Dallas for his campaign. The only rap on Lively is likely to be that all he knows of recent DISD issues is what he reads about and hears in the media, because he hasn’t had the time to be deeply involved with the district or the board of trustees.
Lively’s candidacy overshadows a couple of other potential candidates for the same DISD board seat. Bank of America banker, DISD product and Lakewood resident Richard Vitale has long been rumored as a candidate, but Lively’s entry effectively blocks Vitale from receiving the Citizens Council endorsement (and accompanying fund-raising support) and probably knocks him out of the race.
Meanwhile, former city plan commissioner Bob Weiss (who works with the Meadows Foundation and is currently board chairman of Paul Quinn College) and lawyer Vince Murchison — both Lakewood/East Dallas residents — reportedly are still considering a run. Murchison has long been active in DISD neighborhood schools as a parent and is a frequent visitor at DISD’s Ross Avenue headquarters and board meetings Murchison also is head of J.L. Long Middle School’s Site-Based Decision Management (SBDM) group.