I typically read Letters to the Editor with amusement as I follow the many varying opinions and ideas related to such hot topics as, most recently, the new sign ordinance. However, I feel compelled to respond to the letter from Penny Conn (Letters to the Editor, 21 September 2011) whereby she declares a “take it or leave it” stand, using words such as “arrogant” to describe newcomers to Blanco, of which I am one.
Ms. Conn – I did not choose to relocate to Blanco because of the lack of, an out-dated and ineffective, or a strong modern sign ordinance. Nor did the amount of nighttime light pollution have a consideration in my family’s choice. We chose Blanco because of the PEOPLE who live here – the folks who work at Super S who are always cordial and speak to us when we’re there; the carhops at Sonic who bring my dog treats when they’re with me; the people around the square and who own and work at the fewer restaurants in town, always welcoming with a smile and a handshake; and because Blanco is as far from my place of employment as I’m comfortable commuting. I can sit on my deck at night and admire the heavens unlike the best night at our home in San Antonio, in spite of the bright lights at the Stripes store (which I can only see when we have low clouds, then who cares if you can’t see the stars anyway…?). Five years later, I’m still in awe at the deer, turkey, and other wildlife that routinely stroll through my property. So you see, Ms. Conn, I’m not the least bit interested in telling you what kind of porch light you can have, or what color I demand you paint your house…
However, having said that, even you would have to agree that growth is inevitable if the town is to survive. How many businesses in town have closed in the last five years? At the rate it’s going, how long before our beloved main square is nothing more than a bunch of boarded-up ramshackle buildings with a dilapidated courthouse relic as its centerpiece?
As can be expected, with growth come more and more opinions, more individual standards, and the greater likelihood that there will be folks who are unable or unwilling to “police” themselves; hence the need for more updated, applicable, and strict (if necessary) standards for the community as a whole. Do you think the ramshackle, overgrown, and dilapidated properties travelers or potential visitors encounter as they come into town from the north on Hwy 281 are acceptable standards for the well-being of our town? If you do, then I certainly understand why there is such reluctance for change here. Thank GOD for the new hotel, which brings some semblance of modernization and beautification to the north side of town in contrast to the aforementioned properties. Maybe you should take a look at the town of Kempner on Hwy 190 west of Copperas Cove. That could be Blanco in a few years.
I love Blanco and the people who make the community what it is, not the buildings, not the signs, not the lighting. I also believe, with sensible updates to antiquated standards, Blanco can grow and still maintain the “small town charm” we, as well as visitors, all currently enjoy.