Positive attitude sought for local tourism eventsDear editor,
To the residents and businesses of Rockdale.
Many positive actions have been happening in Rockdale over the past few months. We have just completed a massive street improvement program that is going to help residents in different parts of the city.
Many of the residents whose streets were improved are very appreciative of the improvement and it couldn’t have been done had the city not sold bonds a few years ago and received a grant to help improve some of the streets.
Street maintenance is a high priority to many of our citizens. The city has money available through the tax notes that were sold last year to keep improving streets for the next six or seven years so we will continue to make progress on street maintenance.
Over Labor Day weekend, our motels were booked to the point where one motel estimates that they had to turn away a thousand people.
The bookings were due to the Nocturnal Festival that was held at Apache Pass north of Rockdale. Apache Pass and Rockdale can attract more festivals and events to the area and that is going to help all of us.
Our law enforcement personnel were very busy during the event but we have complete confidence that the police department, the sheriff’s department and the Department of Public Safety can handle the traffic and keep our residents safe.
We really want to commend the organizers of Nocturnal Festival and also Kit Worley for the professionalism and organization of the festival and the manner in which it was conducted.
Most of the young adults who came here just for the festival were polite, well-spoken and very complimentary of Rockdale.
The organizers of Nocturnal Festival are planning more events at Apache Pass and we encourage all of our residents to help make Rockdale more attractive as a destination.
Tourism could be a big growth industry for us and we need to take advantage of this opportunity.
In order to make Rockdale a tourist destination, we need to have positive attitudes about our community and the people or businesses who are already here or are looking to locate here.
We have tremendous competition for tourism and economic development from Cameron, Taylor, Giddings, Bastrop as well as Temple, Round Rock and Georgetown.
If we are to compete successfully, we not only have to have the facilities and policies to stimulate tourism and economic growth, we also have to have attitudes that encourage tourism and economic growth.
At the regular August City Council meeting, a new slogan was presented to the City Council.
The new slogan is “Great events happen here!” That doesn’t mean just music or art events but it includes historical events such as the El Camino Real de los Tejas national historic trail and other historical events that occurred here.
Events include personal events such as weddings, family reunions, business meetings, and sporting events that we can promote and our residents can enjoy.
We are very excited about the new Municipal Development District that the voters approved last May. The council has been working very hard on selecting the board members and that selection is one of the most important actions the Council will take this year.
The voters have given us the opportunity to make improvements to the community and to market the community in new ways so that we can compete for new businesses and jobs for our residents.
The city is developing a website that will be very attractive, useful and informative.
The website will provide valuable information to our residents about city services and policies and allow payment of bills or citations electronically.
The website also will provide prospective businesses, investors and visitors information about the opportunities we have to offer. The city staff is working very hard with our website developer to get the website up and live in February, 2011.
We ask every resident and business to support the city, the Chamber of Commerce, the school district and the business community to make Rockdale a place where not only tourists and visitors can have a great event but where our residents can experience great events.
We need residents and businesses to make our community more attractive by keeping up their property. Litter needs to be picked up, weeds need to be mowed, and buildings need to be maintained, repaired or demolished.
We want to be a community where tourists and businesses tell others about our community in a positive way.
Word-of-mouth is a very powerful communications tool and we need for those words to be positive, upbeat and encouraging about Rockdale and all we have to offer.
We realize that many people are hurting financially. We have a lot of issues to deal with and difficult decisions to make.
All of us on the City Council are dedicated to making Rockdale better.
Everybody in Rockdale is important and we are asking everyone— residents, businesses, the news media and visitors to our community—to help us build and promote a community that other people envy and we are proud to say, “I’m from Rockdale.”
Thank you. Mayor Larry Don Jones Mayor Pro-tem Allan Miller
Council member Gerry Offield
Council member Willie Phillips Sr.
Council member Doug Calame Council member Joyce Dalley Council member Toby Johnson