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Early Voting is now open! The ballot includes city council and school board candidates as well as a proposition to create a Type B Economic Development Corporation. I personally want to encourage you to VOTE FOR PROP 1.
I have lived in Stephenville for the past 19 years. While attending Tarleton State University, I fell in love with the community. After serving eight years as the director of a non-profit organization promoting the agriculture industry, I was blessed with the opportunity to join the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce. Having served on numerous business, education, civic and non-profit boards and committees throughout the community over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the amazing opportunities that we embrace as well as the significant challenges that we face.
I strongly believe that establishing a Type B Economic Development Corporation is an important step for our community as we work together to provide a unified, business friendly environment for both existing businesses wanting to grow as well as new businesses seeking the right place to invest.
Did you know that the median income for Stephenville residents is lower than the median income of residents in Brownwood, Mineral Wells and Cleburne? Our economic development efforts should focus on providing resources and infrastructure improvements to create, attract and retain stable, higher paying jobs that will increase the median income in our community. As median income increases, residents are able to spend more dollars at local businesses – and the overall quality of life for the entire community improves.
Stephenville is blessed to have a tremendous school system, a growing community college, and a thriving university. Wouldn’t you like to see more of the bright young minds graduating from SHS, Ranger and Tarleton have the opportunity to stay here in Stephenville and invest their talents and skills in our community?
There is no question that Stephenville is growing, but will we, as a community, come together to ensure that this growth is managed and encouraged in a responsible, sustainable way? The formation of a Type B EDC will force local leaders to plan strategically and proactively, instead of simply being reactive. Serving as the ‘Voice of Business’ in Stephenville, our Chamber staff and board members have thoroughly researched this EDC initiative and fully support Prop 1 as a tremendous opportunity for our city to become more competitive and successful in attracting and retaining quality jobs for years to come.
The Chamber and STEDCO Boards are made up of community leaders including successful small business owners, manufacturing plant managers, bank presidents, professors, doctors, accountants, financial advisors, higher education leaders, and health care representatives – all individuals that pay taxes, raise their families here, and that have a deep love for Stephenville. The recommendation to their members and the citizens of Stephenville to support this EDC initiative is based on diligent research and analysis. These individuals recognize the need for focused economic development efforts in order to encourage responsible, sustainable growth in the Stephenville community for years to come. Many board members have had personal experience in dealing with economic development corporations in other cities and have seen firsthand the many benefits realized by those cities. The same rational analysis that has led these board members to be successful in their respective businesses and fields of service, has led them to come together in a unified effort to support this EDC initiative.
There will be no change in any of your tax rates as a result of Prop 1. The measure would simply designate a portion of the sales tax revenue to be spent specifically on economic development efforts. Again, your property tax rate (or any other tax rate) will NOT be affected by this proposition. I would not be advocating for this initiative if it was going to increase taxes in any way.
You can visit this website: http://stephenvilleedc.weebly.com/ to see a press release from the Chamber and STEDCO announcing their support along with a FAQ Fact Sheet and voting dates/locations.
If you have questions about this initiative, please reach out to me and give me the opportunity to address any of your concerns. Please share this letter with your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers and encourage them to join you in voting FOR Prop 1.