Letters: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
Rethinking City Revenue

To the editor: A few weeks ago you published a cover article about Arlington looking into the mirror and asking if it’s white-collar or blue-collar (“Got Those Blue-Collar Suburb Blues,” June 6, 2002). I am disturbed by an issue raised by that article and other recent articles. Those articles present an attitude that the costs of average city government services can only be funded by taxes on richer-than-average residents and residential housing. Note the linking: average services and richer-than-average revenue sources. As much as you and I want to make our lives easier by shifting costs to richer people, what happens if the rich people go away? Where do we get the money then?

Fairness and reality require that costs have to match revenue. We and our representatives in government have an obligation to ensure that we can afford our expenses. We get a reward every time we can find a more cost-efficient way to provide government services.

David W. Olson


Annexation Applause

To the editor: By Gawd! A newspaper finally willing to tell BOTH SIDES of the story. Thank you for your fact-filled article on the Fort Worth annexation issue (“Annexation Vexation,” July 11, 2002). Only wish it had arrived a little bit sooner.

Connie Witherell

(almost) Fort Worth

To the editor: THANK YOU for the July 11 article on annexation. Your article is the most in-depth piece of reporting to date on this issue. It will help to educate a lot of people involved who have not done the research. Your efforts in putting the article together are truly appreciated. Thank you again.

Philippe Lalonde, P.E.

Tarrant County resident

To the editor: Great story on the Fort Worth annexation land and tax grab. Homeowners in these areas need your help and support in getting this stopped. I am in the process of building a new home in the U.S. Highway 287 area of the annexation plan. I am moving from the North Richland Hills area to get out of the city and into some open rural space. Then we find out Fort Worth is trying to annex the area. I do not understand why — no one wants them or needs them. All of the infrastructure is already in place in most areas.

They say it’s not about the money. If so, then why are they annexing areas that are already developed? In these areas nothing is needed. The county supplies all services, and most people have well water and septic tanks. If they have concerns with additional development, then go after those areas and leave the rest of us alone. But as your article stated, many of the areas of undeveloped land are owned by wealthy families. Sure seems to be some kind of political payoff to me. When I drive around Fort Worth I see a lot of areas that are in decline and/or not developed. Why can’t they use these areas for development or redevelopment? It sure seems like Fort Worth wants to be another Dallas, L.A., or Phoenix. I lived in Southern California for many years. I saw whole mountains leveled just for development. We all see what that has done to California — they are packed in like sardines in a can, and the roads are a mess. Fort Worth cannot handle what they have now. The city needs to live within its means and to keep the Western spirit that has made it famous. When will it ever end? For the Fort Worth city council — never. Are they going to expand all the way to Oklahoma? Also, the development director stated that they have concerns with septic tanks leaking into Eagle Mountain Lake. Our septic tanks have chemicals in them to treat the waste. It is a three-stage system. The liquid comes out the last stage by means of a sprinkler system onto the lawn. There is no smell or hazard. The other statement people make is that these rural areas are using Fort Worth services. When Fort Worth citizens go to The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas Stadium in Irving, NRH2O in North Richland Hills (where I live and have paid taxes to build such areas), they also use some other cities’ services. Many services and road projects most likely were provided with the help of state and federal money. So we all have helped pay for these items. I am sure we are not going to put up roadblocks at the entrance to every city to keep non-residents out. No, it is all about the money, political payoff, big money, power, more taxes. No one on any city council should have this kind of power. We, the people of this state, must have the right to decide if we want to become members of a certain city. No one should ever be forced into annexation.

James Manuel

North Richland Hills


In our June 27 cover story (Unreal Estate Transactions), the procedures for prosecuting Class C and Class B misdemeanors were inadvertently reversed. A Class C is handled through a justice of the peace or a municipal court. A Class B is prosecuted through the district attorney’s office. Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.

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