Most everyone is familiar with these famous words that Dorothy spoke to her beloved Toto when she opened the door to her house that had fallen from a tornado into Munchkin Land. I want to convey to you today on a totally personal opinion level that Dublin has been falling from a tornado for some time now and, depending on how one perceives it, she has landed either in an enchanted, exciting place or a scary, haunted place full of spooks and wicked witches. Personally, I prefer to find myself and my city in an exciting, enchanted place.
The Dublin of my childhood and youth, with all of its wonderful memories and its once thriving downtown business corridor, does not exist now and cannot exist and survive in the world in which we now live. Just because “we’ve always done it that way” or “it was good enough back when” is not a valid reason for doing something forever in a certain manner. I am not talking about losing basic values and beliefs. I’m talking about inevitable changes in methods set in a world that our forefathers could not have even imagined.
The City of Dublin and this community of great people have landed in a critical spot where there are hard decisions that must be made in order to survive. To put it bluntly, there are no options and no choices if we are to endure.
The citizens of Dublin have a dedicated City Council that possesses the same valuable characteristics that the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion wished for—brains, heart and courage–to guide Dublin along the yellow brick road. By electing these people to represent you and make decisions for your city, you have entrusted them to make the tough choices and position Dublin to survive and prosper in the coming years. This may mean coming up with creative solutions and unusual ideas. The decisions that the Council has before it currently–setting the tax rate and presenting an aggressive, balanced budget–is a frightening task that must be accomplished. In simple terms, Dublin businesses will not stay or new ones come if they do not have running water or flushing toilets. Families will not stay or move here if they do not have public safety and amenities such as libraries and parks. Churches will lose their congregations and those left will have no place to openly worship. Without these things, there is no community. The City Council’s goal is not to add staff to create bigger government. However, repairing the imminent problems takes more manpower than we currently have on staff and that’s if we can keep the capable staff we now employ. The City cannot afford to wait and see if the economy improves, to see if we receive a grant, or to see if a millionaire wizard wants to give us a large monetary gift. The infrastructure and basic purpose for the establishment of a city government and city services has crumbled to the point where it has to be fixed immediately or it will lay in ruins unable to be restored by any measure that this city can provide. When the City of Dublin can no longer collect enough money to buy your drinking water or to contract with the trash collection company to pick up your trash or meet payroll or pay its bills, then the State of Texas will come in and take over at that point. Your elected officials and city administration do not come to this conclusion lightly. The authorities and experts have been consulted and this is their determination.
By now some of you may have proclaimed me the Wicked Witch of the West or at least a Flying Monkey. However, as I have mentioned to you before in this column, I have great dreams for Dublin. And, furthermore, I BELIEVE that we can accomplish this and start seeing positive changes right away. The City Council, the City Staff, the Dublin EDC, the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations and individuals who are trying to move forward need your support and encouragement and time. I am excited about all the positive movement that I am already seeing around town.
Please consider being part of the positive outlook and solution and help Dublin become the best little town in Texas….and remember….”there’s no place like home.”