Harborside vs. the NTTA: The Rest of the Story

Last time, I promised to go into more detail about the issue of toll way noise and the NTTA. That’s because Mr. Spor has said in multiple venues that it was the reason he ran for council against Michael Gallops, and his supporters have made it an issue in his campaign, especially within our neighborhood. I was on the Harborside board when the NOISE committee was formed, so I know what really happened.

Here’s the truth: Michael Gallops has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to further the neighborhood’s cause to get the toll way noise reduced. Here are just some of the things he’s done:

  • He was the one who set up the initial meeting with the NTTA and our HOA members to discuss the issue and procured the use of city facilities for that meeting.
  • He personally spoke to Dallas County Commissioner Cantrell about the severity of the noise problem.
  • He leveraged his personal relationships with members of Senator Carona’s staff to bring their attention to the issue and followed up with them throughout the process.
  • He was the one who got State Representative Cindy Burkett involved in the noise reduction effort, and met with her on multiple occasions about the issue.
  • He helped Rep. Burkett’s staff draft the legislation that would require the NTTA to do noise studies.
  • He went to Austin and testified before the legislative committee to advocate for get the bill passed, showing up early to discuss the issue with legislators beforehand (Mr. Spor, who was also asked to testify, arrived late and the hearing on the bill even had to be postponed while they waited for him).

Why did Michael do all this behind the scenes instead of as part of the committee that Mr. Spor led? Here’s what really happened:

When the PGBT opened, the issue of excessive noise in the part of the neighborhood close to the toll road came to the forefront.  A committee was formed by some of the residents who opposed our policies when we were on the board.  The committee insisted on not being under the control of the board. When those of us on the board at that time whom they didn’t like tried to get involved or help, we were seen as interfering with the committee.

However, when the committee started planning its strategy to attempt to get relief from the NTTA, they felt it would be beneficial to have a city councilmember represent the committee. Although this might indeed have been influential, both of the councilmembers who were serving on the HOA board declined to be that public representative. Why? It would have presented a potential conflict of interest because the councilmember could be seen as speaking for the entire council and city staff. That could be a legal quagmire. 

The board president served as the committee chair for a while, but there were some conflicts with committee members and he stepped down from that position. The committee then recruited John Spor to chair the committee.

Now Mr. Spor’s supporters are saying Michael Gallops didn’t support the community’s efforts to get relief from the noise, because he didn’t represent the committee at the NTTA board meetings. Mr. Spor himself documents that allegation in his answers to the Rowlett Tea Party’s questionnaire: http://rowletttexasteaparty.com/?p=965 (question 1):

Because of the success of our efforts under my leadership, several of my neighbors asked me to run for the City Council, Place 6, as they felt that the existing councilman for Place 6 did not support our efforts, or represent our neighborhood well.”

However, although Mr. Spor appears to believe all the credit for the progress made in getting the NTTA to fund noise reduction efforts is due to the committee’s efforts, the truth is that Michael’s behind-the-scenes work was also instrumental in that accomplishment. Both of the Place 6 candidates were heavily involved in representing the impacted citizens in that fight. I recognize Mr. Spor’s part in that. It’s too bad he and his supporters don’t likewise acknowledge Michael’s role in accomplishing this for our neighborhood.

This blog is published and funded by Debra Littlejohn Shinder

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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1 Response to Harborside vs. the NTTA: The Rest of the Story

  1. TexasFred says:

    And that my friend is exactly why I support and voted for Michael Gallops… 🙂

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