Local government is the most important level of government.
Whether it is improving our roads, expanding our trails and sidewalks, providing water, strengthening our schools, ensuring public safety, or even the promotion of fiscal responsibility, it is our mayors, city councils, and school board members who have an immediate effect on our daily lives. Whereas Washington gathers almost every day and often take years to pass commonsense legislation, our local governments in Texas oftentimes only meet twice a month. Each meeting, ordinances are passed, businesses are approved, and capital improvement projects are established—all without the “made-for-TV drama.”
To this day, one of the highest privileges of my life was serving my neighbors on the Keller City Council. As Councilman, we together fought for a revised ethics policy, fought for taxpayers by introducing the first-ever increase to the Homestead Exemption, renovated and expanded city amenities, improved our roads and infrastructure, and created a business-friendly environment for new and existing businesses to prosper. Accomplishing these goals wasn’t easy, and sure, there were debates along the way; but unlike Washington, we were able to disagree without being disagreeable and move forward for the betterment of our 45,000 residents.
Unlike what many may believe, state and local governments aren’t totally separate entities. In fact, local governments are given authority through constitutional provisions of the state legislature. This means state government can abolish a local government, merge it with other entities, or give it additional authority. But in Texas, where the legislature only meets once every two years, it is, in fact, the local governments who carry forward the acts passed by the state legislature.
As the 2020 primary election ramps up, it is ever-important that we make sure to exercise our right to vote. But when you do in March 2020, don’t forget to come back in May and cast your vote for the folks who will actually be implementing the policies that affect your life on a day-to-day basis. The folks who will debate the size of your local budget, the folks who will implement the local tax rate, the folks who will decide which road to improve, and the folks who will guide your city well into the future for future generations to come.
Former Keller City Councilman
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