WASHINGTON : Arun Agarwal, an Indian American business and community leader in Texas, has been appointed by Dallas mayor Eric L Johnson last week, to serve as chair of the Community Bond Task Force (CBTF) Committee as part of the 2024 capital bond programme development process.
The CBTF is a 15-member group that will assist the Dallas City Council and city staff in reviewing and selecting projects for possible inclusion in the 2024 Capital Bond Program. Agarwal and his colleagues on the task force will assess the city’s $13.5 billion needs inventory and recommend to the Dallas City Council a $1 billion package of priorities. The City Council will ultimately make the final decisions on ballot propositions and whether to call a bond election. Bond programmes, which must receive voter approval, are meant to pay for the city’s capital needs.
Agarwal currently serves as the president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board, the CEO of Dallas-based textile company Nextt, and the vice chair of the Texas Economic Development Board.
In his November 2022 State of the City address, mayor Johnson said that he wants the next bond programme of Dallas to focus primarily on improving the “Three P’s” — public safety, potholes, and parks.
“We are working every day to make Dallas a safer, stronger, and more vibrant city — and we are making substantial, measurable progress,” Mayor Johnson said. “The upcoming bond program will provide us with a critical opportunity to build for our future by investing in public safety, in infrastructure, and in our most significant needs. Arun Agarwal has proven to be an effective and engaged leader in our city, and I am confident he will advocate for the right priorities for the people of Dallas.”
Mayor Johnson said Agarwal’s appointment underscores his administration’s commitment to ensuring that parks are treated as a top priority in the bond programme.
“While Dallas has many needs to address through our bond programme, I believe parks, trails, playgrounds, and recreation centres are critical infrastructure in a modern city,” mayor Johnson said. “When I was growing up in West Dallas and Oak Cliff, families like mine — folks who didn’t have access to private swimming pools, gym memberships, or country club memberships — depended on our city’s parks, trails, and recreation centres. Parks are a great equaliser for our communities, as well as an excellent driver of economic development. And I am confident that Agarwal will be a strong advocate for our green spaces.”
Agarwal said he is “honoured to be appointed as chair of this community-focused group that will help guide critical discussions about our city’s future”.
“I am particularly excited to help make major investments in parks, trails, and recreational facilities,” Agarwal said. “Mayor Johnson has been a true champion for our city’s parks and for the efforts to build a safer and more vibrant city. I look forward to working with mayor Johnson, my colleagues on the task force, and the residents of Dallas as we prioritise our city’s most pressing needs.”
Similar to the development process of the 2017 Capital Bond Program, the mayor and each city council member has been asked to identify a total of six appointees to serve on the CBTF and its five subcommittees. Johnson will announce his subcommittee appointments later. The CBTF and the subcommittees are scheduled to begin meeting in May 2023.