By Johnnie Belle Reagan
When do we start holding our Municipal Governments responsible for their duty and holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to executing its responsibility to the Business Owners that pay taxes? To hold Dale Davenport personally responsible for crime in a neighborhood that is perpetrated in plain view is both reckless and irresponsible of the City of Dallas. The Dallas Morning News opinion piece is a disgrace.
For the fourteen years that this paper has claimed to have been reporting on these issue shines a bright light on the City of Dallas’s inability to police out of control behavior, not by the property owner, but by the ineffectiveness of the Dallas City Police Department to do their job. They obviously know where the crime is being reported by their own admission. It isn’t like Mr. Davenport is supplying drug, weapons or prostitutes. Is it a crime to own property? Is it a crime to own a business?
What some might not know as a law is “land use”. The City of Dallas has claimed that the “use” of the land no longer complies with the zoning. Those property rights that are inherent with the property before zoning changes voted or imposed by a Municipality stand as “Grandfathered” and “Vested”. Those land use rights go with the property even when sold. The Dallas Morning News should report on the “law” not what the City of Dallas thinks they know. The Carwash was there before the zoning changes.
From everything that I have read Mr. Davenport has abided with every ordinance and every requirement the City of Dallas has thrown at him. Even when those requirements were questionable as “unethical” such as “requiring” the business owner to hire off duty police officers as security. Paying the City additional to do what they are already paid to do. Obviously by the police reports this paper writes about the Dallas Police are failing this Community and Business Owner miserably. For Dale Davenport it seems to have backfired on him because from the outside looking in his is paying the Police to spy on his business and report back to the City Council to farther their cause.
The Dallas Morning New calls Mr. Davenport property a “bane” to the community. Well guess what? It is the community that uses Mr. Davenport’s property as a meeting place to gather and mingle. I have lived most of my life in Dallas. Crime is not new to the area in and around Fair Park. It hasn’t changed in over 30 years that I am aware. Low income, housing projects riddle the area and crime is not exclusive to the Davenport Property, if it was common sense would tell you that Dallas Police would have an easy time of “cleaning” it up. There it is, all in one spot, go get it!
The article that prompted this rebuttal states the Council Member Kevin Felder has had enough. If that wasn’t a truly tragic statement it would make me laugh. He hasn’t had “enough” to make his employees do their job, Dallas Police, only enough to attack a Property Owner. Does he question the fact that top police officers report to him about the crime they see happening on the property or why they are not doing anything about it. Instead of holding responsibility where responsibility lies, he goes to shut the business down.
Now let us paint a different scenario. Put Mr. Davenport on his property full-time living there and protecting it in the same manner our Police should be. Armed and standing his ground protecting what is rightfully his. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind what would happen then? But, I digress…
My point is that the Dallas Morning News is missing vital facts. We still live in America and even closer to the point we live in Texas. Texas has some of the strongest property right laws in the United States. It is also a right to work State where you should be able to own property and business and expect the Government to support your State and US Constitutional Rights. It is not like we are talking about a strip club, brothel or Hookah bar. This is an open aired property with clearly posted time of operation and no trespassing, drugs or drinking etc.… signs in clear view.
Come on City of Dallas and enforce the real laws and protect Dale Davenports property rights. Start holding your community responsible for their own actions and arrest actual law breakers. Do you really think that changing what is on the dirt is going to change what the people do? It is a symptom of the area they will just either do it at the “new” business, the empty lot or move it on down the road a little.
Totally irresponsible of the Dallas Morning News to help the City of Dallas execute a “land grab” by miss reporting facts and supporting the unlawful side.
I understand that the City of Dallas is currently reviewing the possibility of bring Civil Action against Dale Davenport for nuisance abatement the same way that City of Palestine has attacked Jerry Laza. The argument for both stands in the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas. What the real question will be is do these two men have enough money to fight City Hall. A true David and Goliath story playing out before us. Laza has put up a formattable defense. I hope the City of Dallas sees the error of their ways and Mr. Davenport doesn’t have to endure the same. The only winners are the Lawyers they get paid regardless.