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Tuesday, April 22, 2008
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Published Tuesday, April 22, 2008 2:22 AM

Letters for April 22

Terminal myopia

When one looks at the programs of College Station City Council candidate John Crompton and his cronies, the only proper description of their policies is terminal myopia. One can say that Crompton has cost the city millions in tax dollars by his anti-development stance in defiance of established zoning codes.

This is especially true in the case of development on Rock Prairie Road and Texas 6. This area was already zoned for the development of commercial activity when the developer purchased the property. [Editor's note: Only a portion of the land purchased by Weingarten Realty was zoned for "big box" commercial development. The city council voted not to rezone the rest of the land for that purpose.] Crompton led the charge to deny the developer the use of his commercially zoned property.

This anti-development, unfriendly and demagogic attitude is leading business to relocate to other cities. This is causing College Station to lose not only desperately needed tax dollars for our schools, etc., but causing business to reject College Station as unfriendly to business and development.

One only has to attend a session of the Planning and Zoning Commission to see that we have some of the best and brightest planners in three states. They insist developers not only follow the rules, but that they invest heavily in infrastructure to reduce city costs for necessary growth. They are protecting the integrity of older neighborhoods. No developer gets a free ride. Now is not the time to be myopic.

It is time to look through the selfish, myopic, anti-development, anti-growth stances of politicians such as Crompton and look to our future. College Station is destined to continue to grow. Our most valuable resource, our young citizens, need jobs and opportunities if they are to stay in the area. Those jobs will not happen if we have anti-development, myopic politicians such as Crompton and his ilk in power.

Vote for our future. Vote for realists Derek Dictson, Ron Gay and Chris Scotti.

JIM MANESS

College Station

No urban sprawl

Recently, I drove through Buda, Austin, Dripping Springs, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Georgetown and Hutto. It is one continuous sprawl of developments, franchise outlets, stoplights and toll roads. It is not the Austin I once knew. Austin was once a nice city edged with fields of bluebonnets, Indian paint brush, grazing cattle and trees. Now it is just unrelieved suburban sprawl. There is no more "Austin" in Austin.

I returned to College Station. It may soon become Bryan-College Station-Wellborn-Millican-Navasota. Soon there may be no more "College Station" in College Station.

College Station now covers about 42 square miles. That is about twice the area occupied by Boston. Our density, is very low.

Much of the land inside the city is undeveloped. Some established residential areas are being "McMansioned." Others are sinking into absentee-owner rental zones.

Development is eating up land south of town at an awesome rate.

The most beautiful cities are those that control their growth. These are cities that have defined their edges. These are cities with defined community centers, parks, hike and bike trails and other amenities that increase the quality of life for its citizens. These are cities separated by natural environments. The city stops. Nature begins.

City taxpayers cannot afford and should not subsidize suburban sprawl. We must support in-fill development. We need growth, but we need planned growth. Urban sprawl lowers our quality of life.

On May 10, we will elect three city council members. Some council candidates support giving developers more freedom to develop. Other candidates support reasoned in-fill, taxpayer quality of life and planned growth. I urge your support for increased taxpayer quality of life planned growth. I urge your support for John Crompton, Dennis Maloney and Larry Stewart.

RAYMOND D. REED

College Station

Reminder to voters

Several months ago, a large number of residents attended a meeting with the College Station City Council. On the agenda was the proposal by Weingarten Realty to build a Super Wal-Mart on Rock Prairie Road. Thankfully, the proposal did not pass.

Two of the three council votes in favor of the project were by Ron Gay and Chris Scotti, both of whom are running for re-election.

This is a reminder to the voters: Do you want to save our neighborhoods or do you want the developers to make the decisions for our city?

MARIE ROBISON

College Station

Disrespectng the flag

On Thursday, The Banner Press in Brenham ran a picture of students signing the American flag to "support the troops." It is scheduled to be displayed in the Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Bryan-College Station. I think it's wonderful the students want to support our troops, however writing their names on the flag shouldn't be permitted.

The flag is not a place to be written on it's a flag that stands for freedom, courage, safety and protection. Also it expresses patriotism and love of the country.

The colors on our flag actually stand for something: The white stands for purity and innocence; the red, for hardiness and valor; and the blue, for vigilance, perseverance and justice. The stars on the flag stand for heaven and the divine. The stripes mean rays of light from the sun. The flag also stands for hope, beliefs and accomplishments of our nation.

In 2003, President George Bush autographed a small flag. This picture was circulated around the Internet, noting the violation of the Flag Code: "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature."

I just lost an awesome hero and friend, Staff Sgt. Jeffery Hartley who was killed in Iraq last week. This young man and many other soldiers are the reason why we stand at attention, hold our hands over our hearts, and say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the Star-spangled Banner. The flag does not tell us that we are perfect, but we must always strive for perfection.

Therefore I feel the American flag that the students have signed should not be displayed as a way of "supporting our troops."

TRACI BILKS

Brenham





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