To the Editor:
My wife and I grew up in a small town in Vermont. In 1860, the population was a little less than 3,000, and now it is about 3,900. Not much growth in 160 years. Yet everyone seems to be content and the town is healthy.
My brother was the assistant town manager for several years, and when I was trying to explain “annexation” to him and how we do things in Texas, he said, “If tried that up here we’d have all the farmers around here in here with a shotgun.”
When we came here in 1975 the population was about 40,000. The town was a little slow. It was totally dry for miles around, with blue laws that kept all stores closed on Sunday. No big box stores, and if you wanted to buy something more than the necessities, it was through a mail order store.
But, on the plus side. most weddings and funerals meant something because we usually knew someone involved.
However, most agreed that we should grow a little. And so we did. Until we reached a population of nearly 160,000 today.
Now we are surrounded by strangers and have traffic congestion and pollution of all kinds. And it appears that we are struggling to fund more growth and maintain what we have at the same time. I neither need nor want more growth. Many of my friends say that it is both good and inevitable. My hometown proves that it is not.
When the subject comes up, I am surprised at many folks agree with me.
So instead of just throwing more money at how we are going to plan and manage more growth, maybe we should spend some time and effort to find out how many of our citizens want more growth.