TAX REINVESTMENT ZONE WOULD WASTE OUR LOCAL DOLLARS
The Toll 49 Reinvestment Zone currently being considered by the Smith County Commissioners Court will take property tax revenue from Smith County and give it to the state to enhance a toll road the state has committed to complete.
If the Reinvestment Zone passes, it will take money from other Smith Count road and shoulder projects that would benefit our bicycling community.
Why would the Tyler bicycle Community want to divert it's property tax dollars to an unelected bureaucracy that has arbitrarily and capriciously banned it from the safest place to cycle in the region?
Why would the Tyler Bicycle community take tax dollars from county road budgets that could improve the condition and safety of alternative county roads and cycleable shoulders?
Why would the Tyler bicycle community want to reward unelected Texas Department of Transportation bureaucrats who are vindictively punishing cyclists (those who value their lives above their wallets) with exorbitant $250 fines for cycling the safest pavement in East Texas? Pavement, by the way, that the NETRMA initially agreed by a 7-to-2 vote was the safest pavement to cycle in Smith County.
If the Tyler cycling community cares about how its tax dollars are spent and cares about the safety of its cyclists, it will reject this Tax Reinvestment Zone usurpation.
Last week, the Tyler City Council had the opportunity to become a partner in a state-of-the-art animal care facility in conjunction with the SPCA of East Texas.
The SPCA wanted the city to join them in providing many valuable services to area residents.
The SPCA had received an amazingly generous donation of 60 prime acres in South Tyler and asked the city to build on the property so the groups could work together. There would be no cost to the city for the land.
The City Council decided that free property was not a "bargain."
The city opted to spend over a half million dollars on remote property west of Tyler.
There will be no adoption center at the city location. There will be no animal services at the city location.
It will be nearly impossible for citizens to retrieve pets from the city location.
Almost every animal picked up by animal control and taken to the city location will be euthanized.
The city "pound" will flourish. The facility is being planned to house 50 dogs — a number they will pick up many months of the year. To make room, there will be no choice but the continual euthanasia of thousands of animals.
The people of Tyler expect and deserve more than a return to the "dark ages" of animal care.
The SPCA could have gained city cooperation if the organization had been willing to give the city $200,000 of the hard-earned private donations they have collected for an adoption facility. They declined, as they are good stewards of the money and respect the wishes of their contributors.
Sadly, it appears the City Council does neither.
The City Council should be ashamed and the residents of Tyler should be outraged.
Did you see the Pittsburg Steelers' new uniforms in their game with Detroit recently? I don't mean to be critical, but those were without a doubt the ugliest football uniforms in existence. They looked disturbingly like the outfits worn by contestants in the Texas Prison Rodeo.
Or, put another way, if ugly uniforms were an Olympic event, the Steelers would come home with the gold.
I'm not a betting man, but I'd bet my next Social Security check that the players didn't get a vote on that decision.