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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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Published Wednesday, April 30, 2008 1:10 PM

Letters for April 30

Home investment

Many of the problems in College Station stem from rapid growth and the natural desire of developers to profit from that growth and existing homeowners to preserve the investment they have made in their homes.

Developers have two substantial advantages over existing homeowners. The first stems from the fact that existing homeowners live in existing neighborhoods that cannot help but "deteriorate" over time. Those in recently developed neighborhoods may not think this will happen, but it is a natural part of the urban and suburban process. Although people do reinvest in existing homes they do so at various rates. Over time older neighborhoods come to display patchworks of homes in better or worse shape depending on income and a homeowner's willingness to upgrade property.

As long as new land is available within what people see as reasonable commuting distance to their jobs, the geographic expansion (or sprawl) of the city is thus an unavoidable part of the development process.

The second advantage that accrues to developers comes from the fact that developers have a strong financial interest in retaining political input into the development process. They see getting their representatives elected and appointed to the appropriate bodies as a central part of their job, thus ensuring that city government policies favor new development over redevelopment.

Existing homeowners have plenty of other jobs. Since developers have little interest in existing neighborhoods, this sets up a tension in city government between developers and existing homeowners.

If you want ceaseless expansion and the continued deterioration of existing neighborhoods vote for Derek Dictson, Ron Gay and Chris Scotti. If you want some restraint on that ceaseless expansion and some attempt to revitalize existing neighborhoods, thus preserving your investment in your home a little better, vote for John Crompton, Dennis Maloney and Larry Stewart.


College Station


Excellent judgment

The uproar that special interest front men tried to raise after College Station City Councilman John Crompton suggested that neighborhoods should be given a say in what happens to them is silly. Crompton isn't suggesting anything radical or outrageous.

His re-election campaign Web site says it clearly: "The first priority of those elected to the council should be to do no damage to existing neighborhoods."

What's controversial about this? I say anyone who won't accept this has no business on the council.

Our neighborhoods and the people who already live in them are the city of College Station. We live in College Station, rear our children here, work here, shop here, pay taxes here. If any part of our city deserves not to be damaged, it is the people who live in our neighborhoods.

Crompton suggests that the people of our neighborhoods and the city administration be allowed the tools they need to be sure our neighborhoods remain good places to live. Crompton's opponent and others running with him suggest this is anti-student. It is nothing of the kind. It is pro-neighborhood and pro-neighborhood resident. If student residents of neighborhoods - or any other resident - threaten the quality of neighborhood life, there should be consequences. Enforceable consequences.

I have lived with loud music in the middle of the night, vehicles parked haphazardly in the street and on lawns, beer cans on my own lawn - all courtesy of a house full of students down the street. I also have had student neighbors who were quiet, considerate and friendly -- a credit to any neighborhood. There is nothing anti-student about Crompton's proposals.

I have known John Crompton for 20 years. His integrity and judgment are above reproach. I urge you to support him for College Station City Council.


College Station

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