Redesigning Sulphur Springs

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Last week, Sulphur Springs residents had the opportunity to participate in the redesign efforts of Sulphur Springs.  A team from Toole Design Group, led by Ian Lockwood, conducted an online survey (with approximately 600 responders), a kick-off meeting (attended by approximately 200), two work days, and a final meeting with first thoughts for a comprehensive plan for the city (attended by approximately 50).

Ian and his team are part educators, part counselors, and part designers. Using what they learned from citizens and city staff, the preliminary concepts focused on:

Family-based values
An aging infrastructure
A desire to maintain the historical aspects of the community
A need to clean up entrances to the community

Many more concepts were discussed, but most stem from the four listed above.  It will be interesting to see what the comprehensive plan will include.

As I listened to all the information provided by Ian, all I could think of is the significance of the seven individuals who will be in the position to approve, fund and enact the comprehensive plan.

I have had the honor to serve on the Sulphur Springs City Council for six years and two or three months (I completed a term for Chris Brown who became the county judge).  I chose not to run this time because I felt it was time for another person serve and so that I could pursue other interests.  When regular elections were held last month, about 320 people voted.  Out of a city of over 15,000 residents, this is shameful.

That election ended in a runoff election between two candidates.  Early voting is happening now, with Election Day being held on June 3.  It would be wonderful to have 500 citizens vote on the seventh person who will decide our collective fate.

I do believe that those who vote have a right to complain, and those who don’t vote should have to remain silent.  In my opinion, those who choose not to vote are part of the problem with government.

The other problem with government is that we treat elections like high school popularity contests as opposed to a new employee hiring process.  Although our city council members are all unpaid volunteers, they should be properly vetted for high moral character, financial savvy, higher level thinking, and their visionary capabilities.

Now is your chance to have a say in our community’s future.  Please go vote.

Early voting runs through Tuesday, May 30 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), with Election Day on Saturday, June 3 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).   The polls are located at City Hall, 201 North Davis.  A bonus:  We have the friendliest election workers in Texas!

4 thoughts on “Redesigning Sulphur Springs

  1. Excellent thoughts! I do wish I could vote for City Council members but live outside of the city limits. This is a critical vote. Sure hope local citizens exercise their rights. Also, I agree with you about not making this a popularity contest. Any public office should never stem from popularity, but should be about a person’s concern for the good of ALL the citizens they would represent. Should have a mind of their own and always be diligent about asking questions. Just my thoughts.

  2. Right words written in the right tone. Wish you would publish this before the election. Thanks for your time and service on the city council.

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