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2016-01-21

Is 'unincorporation' the answer?

Letters to the Editor

I read with interest and approval Steve Ball's OpEd piece in the Jan. 7, edition of the Bandera County Courier.
Fourteen years ago I fell in love with the beauty of the Hill Country, the music and venues, the celebration of a western lifestyle here and, as most of you know, I bought the Cabaret. That, as they say, is when the trouble started.
We faced unfounded accusations by the TABC and the Health Department became involved, despite gutting the kitchen to bring it up to code, the local Fire Marshall was called and Austin signed off on the file. Yet the perception was that we'd been closed down.
None of it was true, including an article in the San Antonio Express-News stating there was a "wrecking ball" over the building. But the damage was done. The then-City Administrator told me directly, "The mayor and I would not like to see the Cabaret reopen."
I chose to sell rather than sue. However, Steve Ball had the money, the business sense, the plan and vision, along with LOVE of and for Bandera and the Cabaret. He has nothing to show for his efforts except huge tax payments to a city that does not seem to have any vision at all.
Like Steve Ball, many of us have grave concerns about decisions made and apathy surrounding what appears as a "downward spiral." I've attended three different planning sessions with various outside planners. I've seen multiple city councils under five different mayors.
Each change of the guard gives hope, but nothing happens. Two "Dollar" stores within a block on Main Street stand testament to the problem. Businesses come and go with disturbing regularity. There are significant safety issues on Main Street.
We are losing what Steve Ball calls "the magic of this place." A population of 860 people in the City should not be in charge of electing those who make decisions affecting 20,400 people in the county.
Is "unincorporation" the answer? I honestly don't know, but it's time for action. It's time for people with solid management and negotiating experience to be in charge. The time is now.

Mary A. Schenk
Bandera, Texas