People can be bizarre. Two people can look at the same facts, and reach totally different conclusions. That's the American way. However, most of this "stuff" is synergistic. It all kinda works together.
I guess if I was advising people, the first thing I would say was that the citizenry must decide what kind of town they want. This would not be a universal arrival at a single point of view. The opinions will ramble all over the place. However, if a majority of citizens conjure up in their minds what would appear a somewhat similar image of what their town should be, that is most likely the way the city will go. Some direction will depend on leadership, however much, if not most, will depend on the image the voters want their city to project.
It is an assumption that all voters want their town to project the best possible image as possible. However, I don't believe that is true. For whatever reasons they have, I feel that some people find some satisfaction in disparaging their community. I would like to think that these negative feelings come from some disagreement with city management about how the city should be managed. City management is what I refer to as "officialdom." I certainly don't always agree with "officialdom." I don't want to get into a long discussion about who's right or wrong, but "officialdom" and Ron Miller often march to different drummers, although sometimes we're in step together. I want to believe that "officialdom" and the citizens collectively want the best for Rowlett, but differ sometimes on how to get there.
I'm selfish. I want my house to double in value and I want to brag to all my friends who might not live in Rowlett, "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." I want to tell my friends in Frisco to jump on DART and come over to Rowlett and visit. "I'll pick you up at the station." Oh, you don't have DART? I'm sorry. Maybe you can drive here tomorrow and we can go sailing on the lake.......or eat in one of the many fine restaurants in Rowlett. That's what I want. If someone wants something different, that's fine.......I'd just like to hear why. I am a curious student of bizarre human behavior.
So.......how do I do that?
Well, I think that Rowlett is setting in a very large poker game. I think we're playing 5 card stud. A lot of other cities, such as Rockwall, Murphy, Sachse, Frisco, and Richardson are all in the game, as well as others. The other towns have all been winning a lot. Rowlett has been drawing lousy cards. Interstates missed us. Major highways missed us. No big industry seemed to be interested in Rowlett. When I worked in the Bryan Tower, right downtown, everybody knew there was a Rowlett someplace, but nobody knew how to get there. Banks weren't much interested in lending money in Rowlett.
We have learned to live without much glamour. Also, we have learned to live within our means. I have been comfortable with both. I have lived here 40 years, and I and others still spend a fair amount of time trying to do something to help out a little. I like Rowlett. It's my hometown.
A few years ago, I began to notice we were beginning to get some good cards. I noticed all the cheap land had been sold off in other towns. Rowlett still had some. In the mid 90's, some developers were buying land in Rowlett and builders were beginning to build. There was a short growth spurt in the mid 80's but it was short lived because of a particularly nettlesome recession. I lived in Rowlett for nearly 20 years before I began to see some growth sustainability. Then, there began to be talk about the George Bush Tollway and DART. Nothing was built yet, but there was talk. Then, someone said something about waterfront land development. This was long overdue. We previously had to trail blaze thru paths cut with machetes to get to the water's edge of Lake Ray Hubbard. Still do. But, we knew the lake was there. It still is.....kinda.......if we can get some more water in the lake.
In the late nineties, I could sense that something was beginning to look good. I started to write articles about Rowlett and Lake Ray Hubbard for the Dallas Morning News. In 2007 and 2008 I wrote 13 articles about the area. I was waking up in the card game. Something was afoot. Still, we were losing most of the pots to Rockwall, Murphy, and Sachse. However, we began to win a few. We finally got the toll way. DART came a year later. There was even a little interest in the lake. We got a kayak park. The medical world seemed to find Lakeshore Parkway. Lots of new medical "stuff" was being built.
Then, I saw the dealer sweat a little when he dealt us an Ace. He gave us the opportunity to acquire Robertson Park. This 257 acres is located on a 23,000 acre lake, with an Interstate highway running right thru it. In my opinion, this land is the prettiest commercial land between downtown Dallas and Memphis........and I'm not sure Memphis has anything prettier.
All of a sudden, we have the best hand in the house. It's a very big hand. The other towns are getting "built out." But now we have a new problem. We have to have someone that knows how to play the hand. Do we?
Well, much will depend on the citizens. It's time to tell "officialdom" what you want. In other words, get off your butt. Get on the email and get to the polls. Send your opinions to the City Council and the City Manager. It's easy to do from the city's website.
I have written in this blog, in an earlier post, that Rowlett has been dealt five cards. They are:
Lake Ray Hubbard
George Bush Tollway
Four cards are excellent. One can be made better. If we cultivate the shallow water issue, say build some nice landings for small, shallow draft, boats like canoes, kayaks, bass boats, and other personal craft, we can encourage people to use the lake in a more congenial manner. Hailing one another, talking, rafting up, and meeting at landings for tall tales could all encourage the use of the lake. I like to think we could place some Spanish Moss in the trees at appropriate places.
If we can adapt to the shallow water issue, we have a pat hand. We can play with the cards we have been dealt.
You have some decisions you have to make. We have elections coming up. Even if you intend to vote, you may have some friends that may not participate. You have to get them interested. Talk to them.
If you research the issues, be sure you're asking all the right questions. Each question has a "yes" or "no" option. Know the reasons for voting both ways. Pick the reason you think is best. Be sure you're thinking from the mind, not the heart. If you know how to invest in the future, we can become like Frisco. If not, we can become like Balch Springs. Neither are good for everyone. Neither are bad for everyone. As I wrote in the 2nd paragraph, people are different. You need to pick the one that you feel benefits you and your future the most. I come down on the side of investing for the future. I like what it does to my house value.
If you don't vote, someone will do it for you.