My letter to the editor (thoughts on the recent bond election)

November 10, 2010

This letter appears in the 11.11.2010 McGregor Mirror:

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Kevin Houchin for his efforts related to the bond election.  Kevin, you did everything you could to educate the community about the issues facing our school district.

You did an excellent job explaining that we have one of the lowest school tax rates in the area.  You clearly articulated that anyone over the age of 65 would have seen no tax increase. You helped everyone understand that the average tax increase would only be about $12 per month.  You did everything you could do.  Unfortunately, you could not make enough people in this town care. That isn’t your fault.

I would also like to thank the school board and the advisory committee for the time spent on this issue.  You did an excellent job.  Again, the outcome was not your fault.  You cannot force a town to want something better for the next generation.  I’ve heard the argument that what we have is “good enough”.  As a town, we have to wake up to the fact that “good enough” is not what we want for our children or our town.  “Good enough” doesn’t cut it.

I’ve heard grumbling from people about how it was bad timing to put down turf at the football field and then call for a bond election.  Besides the fact that turf actually makes sense and many schools in the area are going this route, that issue is nothing more than a red herring.  I strongly believe that it is simply an excuse that the dissenters are using to ease their consciences.  They know that they tied the hands of our administration and hurt the school district and are using this pretext as a salve for that inner voice that is telling them that they should have voted “yes”.  It is a way of justifying a questionable decision.  But make no mistake: it is specious reasoning.

I believe fear ruled the day.  That is the only conclusion that I can draw.  People are uncertain about the future, and it makes them fearful of spending money—even if it is only $12 per month.  As a community, we failed to do the right thing because many of us were afraid.  If $12 per month is a deal breaker for you, then God bless you.  You did what you had to do to keep your household afloat.  You certainly do not need my approval, but I completely understand and agree with your decision.  For the rest of you, I think you made a mistake.  This is not like federal or even county taxes.  This money is used in OUR community–all of it.  Investing in our town’s school district is never frivolous or a waste of money.

The school district has done wonders on a shoestring budget.  Just like the good servant in the parable of the talents, our school leaders have done much with little and I think it was the right time to give them more to work with.  Unfortunately, it may be that our administrators are a victim of their own success.  They have been able to accomplish many good things without raising taxes.  I think we’ve been spoiled by that, but we have to realize that major projects cannot be done in this fashion.  That is why the bond election was so crucial.

Citizens, if we aren’t pushing forward as a community then we are moving backward.  I am proud to be a citizen of McGregor, but I am ashamed and embarrassed by this resounding defeat of the bond election.  I’d like to think that this is not characteristic of our town and our citizens.  I’d like to think we are more forward-looking than that.  We need to be, or this community will not thrive.  Do we want our community and schools to prosper and flourish, or do we only want them to be “good enough”?

David Taylor (david@davidtaylorfamily.com)
MHS Class of 1990


Good article in the Trib about Convergys and McGregor

August 5, 2008

Convergys making McGregor forget about Dell departure

There were lots of good folks on board that made this deal happen. The article mentions the city manager (Dennis McDuffie), the head of the EDC (Leo Connor), the mayor (Jimmy Hering) and the city council. Also instrumental were Joe Paschall and Bland Cromwell (real estate agents).

I love to see positive news come out about McGregor. This at least serves to offset the sensationalist “journalism” that Channel 25 likes to do. 🙂


McGregor and SpaceX mentioned in the New York Times

August 4, 2008

Launch of Private Rocket Fails; Three Satellites Were Onboard

It sounds negative from the title, but it actually puts a fairly positive spin on it and how difficult it is to break into the private space/rocket market.


Trib Article on McGregor’s Growth Potential

July 11, 2008

I’m glad to see McGregor get some good press! Check it out:

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/07/11/07112008wacmcgregorwind.html


My response to the mudslingers

January 17, 2008

Mudslinger

I thought that I would post a response to all of the garbage being said about our city leaders. This is a repost from the comments section on the WacoTrib.com website (click here).

Fellow McGregorites:

Everyone needs to step back, take a deep breath, and calm down. As the mayor has reiterated time after time, no decision has been made. The sheriff is one option. Do you honestly NOT want city leaders that will explore alternatives and do due diligence on all options? Are you satisfied with the status quo? I’m not, and you should not be either. We should all want more for our town. As a fourth generation McGregorite, I want more for this town. When did it become so wrong to investigate all alternatives?

There were many business analogies used at Monday night’s meeting, so let me use one myself. If you ran into a problem that was hurting your business, would you:

(a) continue to do exactly what you’ve done for years
(b) make a change, but do the first thing you thought of without investigating all of the repercussions
(c) listen to everyone’s opinion and then base your decision ONLY on those opinions
(d) solicit opinions, explore all options, and then make the best decision once all of the facts were gathered

I hope you would choose “D”. Most rational people would. That is all we are doing.

This nasty, shrill rhetoric [as seen on the Waco Trib website] has no place. It serves no purpose. It honestly does reflect much more on you than on those you accuse. As I read through the pages of comments, I was a little angry at first. Then I was somewhat amused at some of the wild accusations. Then I was just saddened. I’m not talking about people that disagree on this issue. That is perfectly fine. What saddened me was knowing that there are people out there who honestly believe that we have corruption in our town and that our city leaders are either inept, dishonest, or power hungry. I know this is a tiny minority that feel this way about the city leaders, but it really saddens me. I’m being completely honest when I say this (and I hope it does not come across and condescending or holier-than-thou): it saddens me not because of what you may think of us, but because of what it reveals in your hearts, minds and lives. I cannot imagine living with that bitterness. I don’t know if I could get out of bed in the morning. Wow–that did sound condescending despite my best efforts. I don’t know how to word it any differently, so just take it for what it is worth and call me self-righteous if you must. :-/

Two pertinent quotes spring to mind. Read them. Ponder them. Let’s all be a little more introspective. I think the simple fact that almost everyone has posted anonymously should clue you in on some things. Most of you would be embarrassed to say what you’ve said under your own name because you know just how ridiculous it sounds. Before you post something, examine your motives. Examine your heart. It is difficult and not something I’m particularly good at myself. Nevertheless, I try to do it often.

“Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society” –Thomas Paine (Patriot and author of ‘Common Sense’. 1737-1809)

“Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly become corrupt” –Samuel Johnson (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)

Sincerely,
David Taylor
david@davidtaylorfamily.com
McGregor City Councilman, Ward 3