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Ennis Daily News

Stand up for Ennis

Christmas is over.
As much as I enjoy all aspects of it, most of all watching my little girls open up presents that Santa brought the night before, the end of the season brings a little relief.

But it’s time for a new start.

For most of us, that new start should begin at home. Recently the Ennis Daily News has pushed the Chamber, city and retail agenda of requesting completion of the Hwy. 287 Bypass funding. Considering the fiscal crunch we’re under, the Scrooges at TxDOT have already expressed their intention to stick local citizens with even more responsibility when it comes to road funding. If we accepted, it would result in a tax hike of up to 80 percent, according to City Manager Steve Howerton.

This is absolutely ridiculous for the state to propose.

For nearly two years, members of the Tea Party have actively attacked the spending habits of people like Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They’ve attacked the foolish policies passed down by people like soon-to-be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Foolish spending habits of these people, who have a major a disconnect to the people they represent, is something that is unlikely to change unless there’s a change in the type of leadership we elect in Washington.

However, it seems as though many of us have given Austin legislators and bureaucrats a pass. Granted Texas has a healthier economy than most states, but that’s not because of our elected officials. We have a better business environment partly because we can produce nearly anything we need. From agriculture to gasoline, Texas has it.

But we’re still looking at a major pitfall in state government. Why?
The reasons vary, but our government officials are now seeing the effect the national recession, which is unlike any we’ve seen in American history. They are feeling the impact that you and I did 24 months ago.

It’s a ridiculous notion for anyone to argue that they didn’t see this coming. It was written on the wall with the drop in housing values, loss of jobs, slowness of the economy and relatively slow recovery time.

But we have to make those in Austin know what we’re feeling, we must be loud enough to be heard at the State Capitol.

That means Ennis residents may have to launch as big a campaign as we’ve had since we fought the closure of Baylor Medical Center by recruiting the forerunner to LifePoint’s Ennis Regional Medical Center over 10 years ago.

The people of Ennis rallied to support maintaining a hospital, and low and behold we’ve got one still today.

Our next rally will likely be the letter writing campaign the Ennis Daily News proposed on Thursday, and the Chamber leadership referenced in a blast e-mail and Jeannette Patak’s Chamber News column last week.

It is vital that Rep. Jim Pitts, newly elected Sen. Brian Birdwell, TxDOT and even U.S. Rep. Joe Barton understand this plea.

A reason for the state’s decline in revenue is a loss in tax revenue. So, the only logical thing to do is to spend what money we do have for road projects in an attempt to improve that revenue stream. Completing the Hwy. 287 Bypass is essential to the development of Ennis and the generation of more sales tax revenue.

However, that arguably would be a luxury that Ennis might live without.

But an irrefutable fact is the road must be addressed to deal with the ever-increasing road hazards the current highway poses. The state is responsible. Since few people view state officials as representing us, arrogant bureaucrats feel they can send letters to our city commissioners “allowing” us to fund state projects. This recent request just shows the uphill battle we’ll have in getting the Bypass completed. It’s got a hefty price tag, but it is necessary.

Our safety should be addressed as should our already hefty contribution to the state funds and our community should not be ignored. In order to make this a reality, our residents must be willing to take a few minutes to write a letter.

Tre Bischof can help you contribute to the letter writing campaign by sending a draft of your letter to tre@ennisdailynews.com. These letters will not be published but rather become part of the official record when our local Chamber visits the State Capitol in February.

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Posted by on Dec 26 2010. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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