Judging by the reaction of our city council, it appears that maybe some of those folks should dedicate themselves to some of these committees they’re ready to holler at.
The contamination of San Felipe Creek is a big deal no matter who says it and when. If it’s the News-Herald, great. If it’s a visiting hydrologist, great. If it’s a private citizen walking by and there’s a dead deer floating in the Blue Hole, great. Point is, the water we hold so near and dear to our hearts is very important to us and any kind of damage to it should be reported.
The parks advisory board is doing what it can to help Del Rio’s natural assets, something many more of us should get behind but don’t because the attitude we have as a community is, “Meh, someone else will pick it up.” So the parks board is going out and trying to figure out what’s wrong, what can be done to stop this terrible stuff from happening now and how to prevent this stuff from happening in the future. Have I agreed with all their ideas? No, but that doesn’t mean their hearts and minds aren’t in the right place. I’d prefer an 18-hole golf course than a nature preserve, but, again, that’s just my opinion.
I understand the council’s point that the council should be more informed in regards to decisions made by the board, and by proxy all other boards that are appointed or overseen by the Del Rio City Council, but the easiest way to solve that problem is to ensure a member of the council sits on those boards. They don’t necessarily have to participate in voting on measures unless necessary, such as in the case of a tie, but having a council member on those boards would help curtail any concerns the council has regarding communication from those boards.
I also understand city council members are busy people who have lives outside from those dedicated to public service, but if these folks who are appointed to boards can serve, and I’m sure most of them have lives away from public service as well, then what’s stopping council members from doing the same.
At the end of the day, more communication is important, but getting mad in public that you didn’t learn about a problem until a constituent read it in the local newspaper shows that your anger is probably misplaced and maybe as a council person your subscription to the News-Herald could be updated. You can read the newspaper on your phone or digital device, like an iPad, and then you won’t be blindsided again.
Let’s hope all the parties involved can find a proper solution so that the work to improve our community can continue and the things that are truly important and in need of protection get the attention they deserve.
Brian Argabright is the sports editor at the Del Rio News-Herald, where he has worked for the last 22 years.