'I'm going to help make it a safer and cleaner city,' he told me.
'That's wonderful, Dallas,' I said, proudly.
He worked tirelessly and within just five years, crime and graffiti rates plummeted. He's always been a visionary, I thought.
Then, in 2009, Annemarie rang in tears.
'Dallas went for a run this morning and had a heart attack,' she sobbed. 'He's died.'
I was completely distraught. My Dallas was only 45. When he was brought home, his Maori friends and colleagues kept a round-the-clock vigil by his body.
The night before his funeral, I also stayed with him.
I talked about all the things we'd done and how much I loved him. 'I'm going to miss you so much Dallas,' I wept.
The chapel at the funeral was packed with his family, friends and co-workers.
Tributes flowed about his great love for his family and his community. His mates also performed a moving haka.
A few days later, I was looking at photos taken at Dallas' funeral. Strangely, in each group shot - and no matter where I was standing - there was a misty patch.
But only on me, I realised.
Bewildered, I took the camera to a photography store.
'What's wrong with my camera? Is there a dampness on it?' I asked.
The man checked it out. 'It's absolutely fine,' he replied.
It was such a puzzle. But when I showed the photos to Dallas' Maori mates, they didn't hesitate.
'This is Dallas' doing. It's him saying goodbye,' they all said .
To me, the mist looks like how you see someone when you're crying.
I certainly shed many tears over my beautiful son.
I like to think the mist was from Dallas, letting me know he was there, watching over me, and saying his last farewell.