As part of our coverage of the Dallas mayoral race, we’re talking with each of the candidates in an Advocate video podcast series. Our goal is to go further than the 30-second soundbite and offer readers a way to get more familiar with each candidate in an unedited discussion, revealing how they might govern if elected.

In the first installment, Advocate publisher Rick Wamre and I talk with District 12 councilman Ron Natinsky who discusses how he would tackle key issues in the upcoming election.

Below is the first of three segments of the podcast available on our Dallas Elections 2011 page. In Part 1, Natinsky answers our questions about the budget crisis and what can be cut while still maintaining our quality of life. He discusses his staunch opposition to raising taxes (4:28) and why he thinks most citizens weren’t in favor of the recent increase (6:15). Natinsky also  explains why he believes the convention center hotel will pay off in the long run (7:45) and reacts to a quote from The Observer’s Jim Schutze who says these expensive projects are “useless ego trips … that will do nothing to build to the future of our city.” And finally, Natinsky tells us how he can effectively balance the visionary projects with our basic needs like street repairs, libraries and rec centers (11:37).

The following clips will post to the blog Tuesday and Wednesday. In Part 2, Natinsky discusses how he can bring more businesses to Dallas and how to avoid an urban decline in the center of thriving suburbs. In Part 3, Natinsky shares how he distinguishes himself from the other two major candidates.

In next week’s installment, you can hear from former Chief of Police David Kunkle and, in the coming weeks, former Park Board president Mike Rawlings will stop by the office.

Election Day is May 14.