City of Hideaway highlighted as part of the 'Connecting Communities' initiative

Photo: (From Left) Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, Commissioners Jeff Warr and Terry Phillips, Hideaway Mayor Pat Bonds and Mayor Pro-Tem Ray Hutcheson, and Commissioners JoAnn Hampton and Cary Nix pose for a picture after Bonds gave a presentation about Hideaway during Commissioners Court on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Courtesy photo.

CASEY MURPHY, Special to the Tyler Morning Telegraph

Hideaway recently celebrated its 50th anniversary since the community was developed by James Fair.

Hideaway Mayor Pat Bonds gave a presentation about the city during Smith County Commissioners Court on Tuesday as part of the “Connecting Communities” initiative.

Bonds said there are nearly 3,500 residents living in Hideaway, the second gated community to become a city in Texas in 2001.

A homeowners’ association makes decisions for Hideaway that a city council would normally make. Homeowners’ association monthly dues pay for the city’s streets, parks, community buildings, golf course, three lakes, garbage pickup and fire protection. There are no city taxes so the city also depends on franchise fees, Bonds said. The City Council meets quarterly and special called meetings are held, as needed.

Bonds said he believes he has one of the best mayor’s jobs in the country.

“I don’t have the operational responsibilities,” he said. “I deal with the people. That’s what I do. The fun part of my job is being with people and helping them solve problems. I love to do that.”

Bonds grew up in New Mexico and attended Hardin Simmons Baptist University in Abilene. After college, he joined the Army and served in Vietnam. After his service, Bonds worked in property casualty insurance in Dallas for 42 years before retiring to Hideaway in 2009.

He said he spotted Hideaway during one of his trips to East Texas and decided to retire there because of its natural beauty, lake and golf course.

Bonds served one term as a city alderman and is serving his second term as mayor.

“There’s a lot of changes that are beginning to happen in Hideaway,” he said.

The Hideaway Club runs about 95 percent of things that would normally be taken care of by the city, Bonds said. But the city takes care of the other 5 percent, he added.

“As we grow and new things develop, it becomes critical for the mayor and city council to do our responsibility, such as enforcing deed restrictions,” he said.

One of the biggest issues Bonds spends his time on is emergency management and developing a plan. He said the city now has an emergency management coordinator, as well as an assistant, for the first time.

Through the “Connecting Communities” initiative, the 11 cities within Smith County will be periodically highlighted during Commissioners Court over the next year. Municipalities within Smith County include Tyler, Lindale, Whitehouse, Arp, Troup, Bullard, Winona, New Chapel Hill, Noonday, Overton and Hideaway.

City leaders will be invited to Commissioners Court to be recognized and give presentations about their city, as well as provide information about the state of each city and future plans.

City leaders from Noonday, Arp and Bullard have previously presented to the Commissioners Court as part of the initiative.

- Casey Murphy is the public information officer for the Smith County Commissioners Court. 

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