A point was made about one of my objections that I considered valid.....so I'm going to back up a teeny weeny bit. I had written that I objected to placing $500K into the bond election for the design and architecture work of a "to be built" fire station. There was no time given for the new fire station. In any event, I felt we should keep the costs together.
It was pointed out to me that sometimes a federal or state grant becomes available for "shovel ready" projects. This is grant money in which the taxpayer is kept "off the hook." That is a valid point for having the engineering and architecture for the proposed fire station already completed and ready to go. That slim chance still sets out a potential value of placing the engineering in the present bond issue proposal. But, that's all that I concede. There are no assurances there will ever be any grant money, and frankly I feel the probability unlikely. However, that eventuality actually creates two more issues.
First, why wasn't that explained to the taxpayers? How can citizens vote with limited information? Second, how often does that kind of grant money become available? I remember one time Rowlett received $2 million of street repair funding on Rowlett Road because we were ready, but that's the only incident I remember. Rowlett "officialdom" needs to tell the taxpayers why they put the "design" expenditure on the bond issue and what chance there is to receive grant money. That plays straight with the citizens and gives them the facts to consider in which to vote. To hold back information is either not smart, or incompetent. A "backfire" in "officialdom's" logic could cost the firemen their training tower. It wouldn't be the citizen's fault. It would be "officialdom" playing fast and loose with the facts. I would like to give the firemen what they need, plus a little.
Another observation that occurred to me was the proposed new fire station would be within seconds of an existing one. That didn't seem too smart. Lo and behold, I learned during my meeting that the other fire station on Dalrock was to be torn down. That creates a whole new source of befuddlement. First of all, why wasn't this information given to the public? Let me guess.........why spend $5.5-$6 million for a new fire station when one already exists about 30-50 seconds away down Dalrock Road? Do you think the citizens might object to this? I still don't see the "synergism" of having the fire training tower next to any fire station. They both have different functions.
So.....now we're talking about $2.6 million for a new training center that can be seen from Greenville (city or Avenue), that will dilute real estate values in the area, provide design for a still unannounced fire station costing $5.5-$6 million, while tearing down a perfectly good fire station 30-50 seconds away. The Schrade Road location is looking worse and worse.
Is that about it? Not quite. The new proposed, but unfunded, fire station would be seconds closer to Robertson Park development for protection.
All the above says to me that Rowlett "officialdom" considers all of us proletariats unworthy of being kept informed. Didn't Robin Hood force the signing of the Magna Carta about 1215 B.C.? That's about when peasants started having property rights and voted.
I have long complained about communication between "officialdom" and the citizens. It's not the number of post cards, pretty pictures, or number of meetings. It's what's in those post cards, pretty pictures and meetings. It's the content that is important.
Of course, that's only if the citizens can think. Of course, they have to vote, too. Or, maybe it's all too much of a pain in the butt.