GUEST COMMENTARY by ELIZABETH SUMTER
Hays County Judge
When I think about the future of Hays County, I’m often reminded of a few lines from Alice in Wonderland:
Alice: Would you tell me which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get.
Alice: I really don’t care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
For me, there are some important lessons in those few lines. The lessons relate to why I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on a Strategic Plan for Hays County. Even so, I still need your help, so let me give you some of the background.
For the past several months, through partnerships with the Lower Colorado River Authority, Texas State University, Pedernales Electric Co-op, and Bluebonnet Electric Co-op, I’ve been working with a committee of citizens from throughout the county. The citizens on the committee are Susan Meckel, Whit Hanks, David Glenn, Dianne Wassenich and Monica Garcia. Our goal is the production of a Strategic Plan for Hays County. We’ve already completed some basic elements of the plan. For example, we’ve met with County elected officials and department heads. During the summer months, we met with several stakeholder groups (real estate, developers, conservationist, senior groups, social service leaders, coalition of neighborhood groups, and chamber of commerce / economic development groups). We also developed a community survey that is currently on the Hays County website (www.hays.co.tx.us).
Still, we need your input on several important issues, including the following: Overall quality of life in Hays County; water quality and quantity; delivery of health care and transportation services; and the need for parks and recreation. Attention to these issues in the face of rapid growth in the county will demand a coordinated, well-thought-out plan. Numerous entities in the county will have to work together if we are to find solutions, avoid duplication of effort, and provide a seamless delivery of services to residents.
The month of November is a very important month for the development of this plan. It is particularly important because it involves you. Simply put, I need your help in directing Hays County’s future. Your voice, ideas, and participation at one of the community meetings are essential in developing a Strategic Policy Plan for the county. All meetings start at 6:30pm and should be completed by 9:00pm that evening. They are working meetings — a time to roll up your sleeves and speak your mind.
• Tuesday, November 10, Wimberley Community Center, 14668 RR12, Wimberley
• Thursday, November 12, Chapa Middle School, 3311 Dacy Lane, Kyle
• Tuesday, November 17, San Marcos Police Department, 2300 S. IH35, San Marcos
• Thursday, November 19, Dripping Springs City Hall, 511 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs
I hope you’ll identify a meeting that you can attend. If you can’t attend one of the meetings, I hope you’ll visit the county website to take part in the survey (www.hays.co.tx.us).
If we don’t plan our future together, chances are that someone else will. Apart from participating in the meetings and taking part in the survey, please feel free to email me (email@example.com). I’m always interested in hearing from you. And as I always like to point out, my office is in the county courthouse, but the citizens own the building.
Hays County Judge ELIZABETH “LIZ” SUMTER was elected in 2006.