December 27, 2017
The new year is here and we’ll all pray for a good year. New residential growth looks very promising with possibly 300 new homes on developer’s planning boards. I believe that Van Alstyne’s population will exceed 4,000 by the end of 2018. We will be due for a new water tower soon, and it will be built near our #5 well, north of Hwy 121 near the college. The city’s budget is extremely tight, but hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised by tax and enterprise fund receipts. Commercial development is hard to speculate on. New commerce will depend largely on the number of residential rooftops that we have, and, as I mentioned, that number will increase.
Growing pains are inevitable for our city, and some of those will be in the political realm. I’m sure there was a time when anyone willing to volunteer would get the job he or she sought and serve successfully, but now there are sharper divisions and voters will need to be more selective. Here, I will say that, thankfully, our Independent School District leadership remains autonomous and they are handling their business exceptionally well without much city government input. This is a great thing because, right up there with our geographical location, our school district is Van Alstyne’s biggest selling point. Thank God for our ISD leadership!
In contrast to our ISD, our city council is not united on what is best for our city. Our elections will become increasingly important. While it may be more complicated, it appears to me that most generally, the biggest divides concern, not surprisingly, the older part of the city versus newer development. Nonetheless, I think that no citizen wishes to diminish the character of the older, central part of VA.
Because of the importance of upcoming elections, I am going to break with my own notion that I should not endorse any candidates for city government places. Brad Clough is up for reelection this May as Place 1 Alderman. He has truly been a bright light on our council in his first term and, if he will run again, he should be reelected. He does his homework and carefully considers his votes. He is always diplomatic, never vindictive, spiteful, or self-serving. Brad Clough deserves to be reelected and Van Alstyne needs him. I hope he will run again.
Please keep in mind our city staffers who have continued to do their best for our city in spite of politicians who sometimes praise them, and then sometimes wish to micromanage them, or load them up with busywork. Our city staff has remained dedicated and steadfast. They deserve everyone’s support.
Happy New Year everyone!
Mayor Larry Cooper