Rockdale needs vision and better leadership
On May 24, I attended the meeting at the Patterson Civic Center and something the speaker said stayed.
He stated two things help vision for a town to succeed, leadership and a viable education system. We, in Rockdale, have neither.
I am definitely in favor of a positive vision for Rockdale. However, in the eight years I have lived here I know of only one business the city council has supported.
If you look closely at the back of all vehicles used by city employees, you will see that they all come from one dealership and at the time those vehicles were purchased the owner of that dealership was a seated city council member.
In my opinion, Rockdale has been violating the city charter for more than eight years.
Rockdale, has, as far as I can determine, no type of capital improvement plan or any type of fund for infrastructure repair.
From what I have seen, they wait until some part of that infrastructure breaks then try to repair it with nothing more than a band aid.
This is a city that does not even require the governing body, or any employee who resides within the city limits, to pay a water bill, which costs the city literally thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Let’s turn to education. Rockdale ISD, to the best of my knowledge, has a high school and middle school that are rated as unacceptable.
This does not bode well for any kind of vision to improve Rockdale, and now Rockdale ISD is stating there will be a five-cent increase in school taxes.
This is a school district that can afford to spend well over a halfmillion dollars on a new baseball field, and purchase another tract of land near the school, but cannot pay teachers or educate students properly.
Now for the MDD. This is a board that uses taxpayer money uselessly. It has paid out thousands of dollars for signs at the entrances of this city, given a proposed apartment complex a $50,000 forgivable loan and was nice enough to give the Kay Theatre $5,000. I honestly believe that this was wasted taxpayer money and it could have been used more wisely to attempt to court more businesses to Rockdale.
(I applaud the Kay Theatre for as much as it has done, mostly with money raised through fund raisers.)
What this city desperately needs is a way to increase revenue and decrease existing expenses.
My proposal is to examine the feasibility of using the airport as a race way, bringing more revenue and lowering the expense to the city.
The Patterson Civic Center could be used to bring music venues to Rockdale and it could be expanded to include stages for music or other venues to raise revenue, like Downtown Texas does and to show that this is a town that can have something to offer.
This vision plan could be the best for Rockdale but, if something is not done before too long, this town will literally bleed to death.
There are already more people leaving this town than coming in and the citizens, can’t tolerate any more unnecessary tax increases.
It’s time for responsible citizens to speak up and let this city know we actually want something positive to happen here.
As voting citizens, we can no longer afford to be apathetic about our town.
Glenn Landrum 1501 Highland Rockdale