San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 15th, 2008
San Marcos Chamber of Commerce channel: ‘We need better roads’

By PHYLLIS SNODGRASS

“If we don’t build the roads, the growth will go elsewhere,”  “Roads are too expensive,” “There are too many people here already, I don’t want anyone else to move here.” Sound familiar?  These are quotes heard often in Austin in the 70’s – by well meaning people who moved to this area because they liked the quality of life, and would have preferred that the door to opportunity and happiness shut right behind them.

Fast forward, circa 2008.  Austin’s roadways are congested. People (and businesses) are still moving to Austin.  And now they are dealing with – in 2008 dollars, a situation that would have been better addressed when the need was first realized, in the 1970’s.  Austin is bottlenecked and congested. Getting from north to south is a nightmare. The same folks that thought not building roadways would keep everyone else out now realize it didn’t work. And the only way the city can afford to build safer roadways for its citizens is via toll roads.  The “pay-as-you-go” plan.

Now, please turn your eyes to Hays County, the third fastest growing county in Texas.  Every day, we drive down increasingly congested and unsafe roadways. And every day, we hear those same voices telling us that we don’t need more roads in Hays County, that too many people live here already.  It feels like Austin all over again.

Not that feeling like Austin is a bad thing.  We, too, have all the wonderful amenities of the Texas Hill Country that make our area desirable and where businesses and families want to locate.  We, too, care deeply about our precious natural resources, the environment that we cherish and the quality of life that we hold dear.  But we have one big advantage to Austin, circa the 1970’s. We don’t have our head in the sand.  We know that population growth has occurred and will continue to occur. And we are smart enough to realize that we are better off planning for the future than hiding from it. We have learned from Austin’s mistakes and are taking the necessary steps, with citizen input, to build the roads necessary to safely move traffic in our county, now and for years to come.

It has been said that those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.  It has also been said that the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome.  Our county is smarter than that.

But it’s up to us to exercise our right to vote and make intelligent choices for our future.  VOTE YES for the Hays County Road Bond Package on November 4. The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce supports the Hays County Road Bond Package. We ask you to urge your friends, families and colleagues to do the same.

If not, you might as well start stocking up on quarters because the toll roads we would need in the future will be far more expensive than the road bond package we have the opportunity to pass today.

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4 thoughts on “San Marcos Chamber of Commerce channel: ‘We need better roads’

  1. I sincerely hope that voters will learn what this bond proposal offers. Not long ago voters turned down a package which would have been a great start for Hays County. It did so largely because the community did not get to see what the improvements would have been. Unfortunately, today most people go to work, go home and during these 24 hours in a day try to take care of the many things on our plate. It’s not fair, but this is our life. Hays County will grow and we had best prepare for it now. Right now, we are the 3rd fastest growing county in the state and< I am told, 13th fastest growing county in the nation. WOW! This potentially scares the daylights out of me. Are we prepared? No, but we can be. A majority of our City leaders and a majority of the County Commissioners are for this vote–openly and actively supporting it. Two members of the Court are not willing to say publicly whether they support the project but are doing nothing to push for passage. We don’t elect leaders to sit on the sideline, wet their finger and stick in the wind to see which way the wind is blowing—they are paid to lead, take a position, do something to warrant the trust given you by voters. Even if you are against the project, stand up and say so, instead of saying things like, “Oh, there are so many things that I like, some I don’t, so many moving parts, the money, etc., I just don’t know. My vote is if the judge elected to lead can’t figure it out then let’s bench her, kick her off the team, whatever so as to not have to deal with her anymore. Instead, of the Judge standing up, she has her minion Charles O’Dell write threatening emails to elected officials using large words with ominous sound and intent. First Charles O’Dell and HAYSCAN is a joke. I see emails from Charles O’Dell accusing me and others of working against Steve Klepfer (and these are your words) Soechting and Etheredge are working closelyh with Will Conley and against Steve Klepfer. The reason is straightforward…control for making money. Now Charlie Boy, I am willing to make a wager that I never profited to a penny while State Democratic Chairman and will ask that you encourage Steve to open up his books abd I will try and get the current Council in Wimberley to open their books and let’s see why you talk about controlling money.

    Challenge to Charles O’Dell!You have accused me and a former county judge of being , in “your studied opinion, the two most dishonest individuals in the Hays County Democratic Party. Liz, Karen—We get it that your bunch is against the roads. We merely ask that you publicly say so instead of this “I’m strictly neutral. You see Liz not telling the truth in a political setting is the same as lying, and that’s a big problem, people want results, honest converation and government that follows the will of the honestly informed people. The pass through that we lost was lost because you felt that you had to make the past court look bad, even if it meant screwing every man, woman and child in Hays County. thing. That’s a big reason people don’t trust politiicans. Liz my problem with you is personal. It is more than the poor political leadership you demonstrate during critical times, it is the juvenile games you play. I know, I know, you’ve lived in Wimberley for over 20 yeears. How many times have I heard that said. I have also heard Sarah Palin say many things in a few short weeks that have turned out to be stretches. I see a lot of Gov Palin in you and that is deeply troubling. Like Palin you were an unknown before 04. I can promise you that you were an unknown in San Marcos, Kyle and Dripping Springs before you first run in 2002 or 04 and associating with Democrats got you on the launching board to be elected in 06.. Election victory does not necessarily translate into success. Now back to the epistle that Charlie Boy is circulating, the tenor of which is that people have got to start supporting Steve Klepfer. I would suggest an open records request be made to the Village of Wimberley and ask for any records dealing with candidate/then Mayor Klepfer attempting to intimidate and suppress the vote of a city employee—I sure hope those records weren’t destroyed on the way out the door Steve, because if they were, that might be tampering with a governmental record. A city employee was told that she had to tke a sign out of the yard and not talk to the candidate in public because it was “bad for her employment”. Political signs ordered taken down by Mayor Klepfer on private property because he didn’t like the candidates that my friend, the property owner, was supporting. He got TxDot involved and finally, everyone at the City had to admit Steve Klepfer was wrong, Put the signs aside and the employee counseling sessions and look at it for what it was. The signs represented Freedom of Speech, the “counseling” seession Freedom of Speeech, Freedom to associate with whom you choose. Ladies and Gentleman, this is not insignificant. Do you want this kind of person making decisions that affect our daily lives—Democrat or Republican? The point of all of this is simple. There’s no place in government for small minded people when there are such huge tasks ahead of us—things that matter to our communities. I am sorry for the length but it is one of those late night’s when the sleep is not cooperatingLet’s get busy and build appropriate roads, roads based on our needs. Stop saying NO just for the sake of saying NO.

  2. I agree, these roads need to be built. The San Marcos Transportation Advisory Board worked until nearly midnight, with the help of some of our great city staff, to evaluate just about every road project on the horizon and identify three key projects, which will help mobility into and out of the city, as well as within the city.

    These improvements include much needed bike/pedestrian improvements and address some serious safety issues with low-water crossings on congested streets.

    Having participated in one of the county workshops to gather citizen input on projects proposed from all corners of the county, I can say that considerable thought was put into the improvements outside of San Marcos as well.

    It is great to see all of the cities and towns getting together with the county and working together on a road bond that will benefit everyone, and one that will be largely reimbursed by the state (likely our last opportunity to take advantage of that funding).

    Phyllis is correct when she comments that people tried to keep the growth out of Austin and people are now trying to keep the growth out of San Marcos. The problem is that now, nodody wins.

    The people who want growth and the people who don’t want growth all lose, because the good growth stays out, but we still get more than our fair share of low-paying jobs, big box stores and apartment complexes. All the while, getting from one side of town to the other resembles Austin more and more every year.

    So, I will reiterate what Phyllis has said. Please, VOTE YES for the Hays County Road Bond Package on November 4.

  3. Put me on record as supporting the road bond. And please vote Will Conley for County Commissioner.

  4. Wow! So that is why the roads have not been happening. Just as we suspected…political stupidity! We need the roads now for safety sake! We don’t want to wait until we are watching weekly or daily news clips on T.V. about the dangerous road that killed multiple people the day or night before. This has been an issue for way too long! Time to step up to the plate or let someone else play!

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