Galveston is caught in a juncture of rebuilding and building for the future. City Council fired the popular City administrator Steve LeBlanc over his supposedly lack of vision. While the voters thought that vision was what the mayor and city council were supposed to provide and that the city administrator was to impliment. Maybe it is because the vision isn’t all that great? Apparently the beloved leaders think we need growth:
Hurricane Ike bit into the island city’s population in 2008, knocking it from 57,000 to about 48,000.
“Our population is going to recover from a bottomed-out low point,” Mayor Joe Jaworski said. He wants to restore the population to 50,000 in one to two years. “My sweet spot is to get it up to 75,000,” he said.
I think they need to explain to us why growth is in the voters interest. Is more traffic, and drains strains on our small islands sewage and water resources going to benefit the voter taxpayer and home owner. Personally, I find Galveston more livable after the Ike than it was before. Its cleaner with less traffic, with seemingly less crimes and fewer panhandlers. Its becoming apparent that the city wants to represent the people who are not here yet rather than the voters who already exist.
The idea, echoed by others in the community, is to capitalize on the layout of the historic neighborhoods, historic downtown and seashore by making the city greener and pedestrian- and bike-friendly.
Jaworski says people are leaving the island for three reasons: a misperception that the schools are poor, the shortage of affordable, attractive housing, and a sense that the city lacks cleanliness and safety.
No Joe, you have it all wrong! They are leaving because of the threat of hurricanes and the extremely high cost of wind and flood insurance. While any efforts to improve the quality of lifestyle for us existing residents is much appreciated, Any efforts by the city should be done improve things for those who live here, but not to encourage growth. If we do certain things to improve the lifestyles, growth will likely happen. An unfortunate side effect of an otherwise good thing. Population growth just for the sake of population growth is against the residents best interest. If we wanted to live in a big bigger city Houston would be most accommodating . We aren’t League City or Clear Lake City and we don’t want to be.
There is currently a recall petition to get rid of Joe Jaworski and some of his coherts in the City Council, Probably not a good idea.
By contrast, the people who are organizing the drive to recall Jaworski do not seem to have a vision for Galveston’s future — at least not one that most islanders can rally to.
Bill Quiroga, who is heading the drive, has offered himself as a candidate for office before. When he ran for mayor in 2010, outlining his vision for Galveston, he received 2 percent of the vote.
We as a city voted for Joe, and really want him to succeed in leading us into the future, but he needs to understand what is best for the voter and residents isn’t always what is best for developers and real estate agencies