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Mayor's Message

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February 2017 Mayor's Message
Much of what you will read below comes from a column I wrote two years ago on annexation, because once again, annexation is in the news. It’s a big topic in the State Legislature, and it’s a big topic here in Guadalupe County.

Just to squelch the rumors floating about the county – The City of Seguin has no immediate plans for annexing anything.

So many people have expressed the above rumor to me lately with opinions that sound like this - “I already have electricity and water – all the city can do is pick up my garbage.” Or “The city can’t do a d@#n thing for me! All they want is my tax dollars!” And the classic “No taxation without representation.”

I find it a bit odd that these conversations usually take place in a city-owned venue, at a city-sponsored event. Or they take place at an event that could only take place in the city, because a concentrated population is necessary to make the event possible.

Most people fail to understand the importance of the city in their lives. If people in outlying areas think that the city has nothing to offer them, why do they live where they live? I’m sure most of them were sold on “city conveniences without city taxes”. If indeed, the city does nothing for them, then why not live alone in the desert, or on Mars for that matter?

A city is the critical mass of organized civilization that makes modern lives livable. This is true even if electrical service, garbage pick-up, sewer, or other services are already in place. If the city is not here, there is no cultural center, no sense of place or identity. There is no HEB, no TLU, no churches no schools, no parks, no golf course, and no other entertainment. There is no economic development. There are no jobs. There are no streets, no roads, no police, and no EMS.

Then there is the “no taxation without representation” meme. People living just outside the city limits pay no city taxes, but their lives are affected greatly by what the city does. They have no representation. They cannot vote in city elections, cannot participate on boards or commissions and have no voice on city council. Once they become a part of the city, they have a voice, and have much more control of their destiny than before. They can vote us out!

During the past election season, I lost count of how many people told me they wanted to vote for me, but they couldn’t because they lived outside the city. For the most part, these were people who were totally involved in the city for virtually every aspect of their lives. They told me how much they loved the city too, and how much they have enjoyed everything we’ve done over the past few years. Then I would ask them “Then why don’t we annex your neighborhood, and you could vote for me?”. They would look at me like I just asked them to jump off a cliff!

Yes, the tax dollars are necessary, but they are not the goal, and not a windfall. There are many reasons to annex, and most of them don’t have anything to do with a greedy city government out to grab your taxes.

Over the past 20 years, we have taken in Windwood Circle, Deerwood Circle, Tor Village, the Chaparral and Parkview area and Oak Village North. Virtually none of these folks wanted to be annexed. Can you imagine the city now without these neighborhoods? We need these areas to participate in our civic society. Our city charter requires our elected officials and our commission appointees to live in the city limits. We need these folks to add their professional talent and their intellectual capital to what we do as a community.

The fact is that without annexation, Seguin would be a very small, very poor, and very backward place with a very bleak future.

Annexation is a good thing.

Gosh I love this town!

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