Today, I sat down with John Dugan in his office at City Hall. Some of you know that about a month ago, he took this position (Director of Community Development & Planning) with the City. The interesting thing is that the former Arlington Director moved to San Antonio to take the Director's position there, and John left that position in San Antonio to take the Director position in Arlington. I didn't ask about the whys and wherefores because it really isn't my business and doesn't impact me/us.
At any rate, John and I had a good chat. I was not there to make any requests but simply to introduce him to the Ambassadors group and tell him about our goals. We talked about the new senior activity center. He said it's his understanding that the RFP (request for proposal) for developers to respond to with plans/quotes is scheduled to be released in July and we talked about the upcoming 1/4 cent sales tax referendum on the November ballot.
We discussed the work by Ambassadors toward requiring visitability/Universal Design Principles for new residential construction. San Antonio passed Universal Design Principle requirements for any new construction where the City of San Antonio offered the developer any kind of financing or other benefit (tax rebate).
We briefly discussed (or rather just acknowledged) that transportation is a serious issue for older Arlington residents who no longer drive. The City is well aware of this and John said he will serve on the Mayor's transportation steering committee (which has not yet been formed).
He said he appreciates what our group is doing and that he will help when and where he can. It's always good to build friendly relationships at City Hall and I encourage all of our members to do the same when the opportunity arises.
Elva Roy is the Founder of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.