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The Inconvenience of Eminent Domain . . . For DISD


By:  D. Hughes

October 15, 2010


So, here’s a funny story.  Mr. Bruce Parrott, Board Secretary at Dallas ISD, contacted Norma Hernandez, a local community activist leading the fight against DISD and eminent domain, to make a complaint.  During the heated telephone call, Mr. Parrott made it perfectly clear that he was not happy about the inconveniences the fight with DISD has caused.  I mean, he was madder than an old wet hen!  Mr. Parrott was also kind enough to convey his lack of sympathy for the residents and their plight to save their homes, but that’s besides the point.  The inconveniences for DISD have been going on too long and must come to an end!


About a year ago, DISD commenced several eminent domain proceedings against homeowners and businesses in the Jubilee Park area.  (Read all about it here  Each proceeding was filed as a separate lawsuit in Dallas County.  As a result, a different judge was assigned to each case, even though the lawsuits encompass the same neighborhood.  Huh, that actually seems pretty convenient.  DISD appears to have positioned itself to simply cherry pick its way to getting what it wants, piece by piece, home by home.  But I digress.  I have been asked to talk about the plethora of inconveniences the eminent domain proceedings have caused for DISD.  Well, ok, maybe plethora is an overstatement, that would apply more to the residents who are threatened with homelessness, but there has definitely been some inconvenience for DISD.


For example, when DISD filed the eminent domain lawsuits, it could not have expected the kind of push back the residents of Jubilee Park put forth.  In fact, the protests gained so much attention that during a town hall meeting on May 18, 2010, a DISD representative promised to provide a six month moratorium on its eminent domain proceedings.  The community continued to work hard during that time, and in September, one business and four homeowners were spared the economic and emotional hardships that are inherent with eminent domain when DISD filed its Motions for Non-Suit.  A small win for the neighborhood but hardly an end to the fight.  So, when DISD immediately commenced its proceedings on the remaining homes, six months after its promise of a hold, one could not be surprised.  Er, wait, June, July, August, September – okey-dokey.  Looks like someone at DISD needs to go back to school to brush up on the ‘ole math skills.  Ah, but I digress again.  I really do mean to get to the unbearable inconveniences forced upon DISD and not the ones imposed upon the folks who are at risk of losing their properties, at steep discounts, to a school district that only seems interested in paying those near and dear to them handsomely.  Very handsomely, if the latest salary amount reported for Hinojosa is accurate.  Bet Vegas is still celebrating that near miss.  (Read all about that here and here


So, let’s see, where was I?  Oh, that’s right, I was going to discuss Mr. Parrott’s complaint about those ghastly inconveniences for DISD as a result of its eminent domain proceedings.


It turns out that during the, ahem, four month standstill on legal proceedings, some residents teamed together and set out to gather signatures for an alternate site petition.  The organizers received close to 1,600 signatures requesting DISD to move the current location for a parking lot and school to a location it already owns at 4212 East Grand Avenue.  The diligent and hardworking members of the community, who are striving to save their homes, their parents’ homes, and/or the neighborhood from DISD’s eminent domain attack and plan for a concrete wasteland, took time off from work, stood outdoors during the height of summer in Texas, and went door to door to collect signatures for their petition.  But, alas, this is about the inconvenience expressed by Mr. Parrott and not about the residents who stand to lose their homes and properties, and so, without further ado . . .


On September 21, 2010, after being advised by Bernadette Nutall, DISD’s Board of Trustee, that the residents would not be offered any time at the next DISD Board meeting to formally submit their alternate site petition, Ms. Hernandez mailed the petition papers to DISD’s Board members.  (Read the open letter here  As a result of that appalling and inconsiderate action and blatant misuse of our postal system, Mr. Parrott, in his capacity as DISD Board Secretary, informed Ms. Hernandez that he was – inconvenienced.  Yes, DISD’s Board Secretary was grossly, inexcusably, unequivocally, and unwarrantedly (wait, is that a word?), inconvenienced when Mr. Parrott was forced to leave his home and go to the post office to retrieve the signed petition.  The travesty!  The injustice!  The . . . really?  Gosh, sorry dude.  I mean, what, did you have to walk the whole way or something?  You couldn’t get someone else to go for you if it was such a big deal?  Sheesh, you’d probably still gripe with a ham tucked under each arm while on your way to a holiday feast.


Although Ms. Hernandez’s apology should suffice, perhaps others should send their heartfelt apologies to Mr. Parrott for the indefensible injustice done to him and to DISD.  Who knew that an eminent domain fight would be such a terrible, terrible thing for those who started it, and for those, who, um, have to pick up their mail. 


Mr. Parrott can be reached at or (972) 925-3722.

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