Greenville Mayor David Dreiling served in his final full meeting on the City Council on Tuesday night as term limits forced him out of office, but it was not without a sense of accomplishment. In Dreiling’s six years in office there has been much accomplished, including overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.
First elected as mayor in 2015, Dreiling had no previous experience as an elected official. He had served for six years on the GEUS board of directors before making the decision to run for public office.
It’s turned out well but even Dreiling will admit there’s still plenty of work to be done. As he leaves office, Greenville will face many big decisions in the coming months, including an unprecedented real estate market that is leading to an influx of new home builders. One of the biggest obstacles to that growth is Greenville’s shoddy roads — much of it due to the composition of the land where the city rests — and voters will be asked today to approve a $50 million bond measure to pay for those repairs. Here’s where the challenge rests with the roads: $50 million is a nice sum to get things started, but the true cost to repair all of the city’s streets, including those maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation, is far greater.
For his part, Dreiling said he’s pleased with the work that has been done, but is also the first to admit that the last year has been difficult because of the pandemic. For many mayors across the country, the pandemic placed them under a microscope because there were extraordinary decisions that had to be made in the face of COVID-19. Dreiling was forced to close down events and issue emergency orders — probably the last thing he considered when he took office.
He also worked hard to shore up some of the neighborhoods in Greenville, where many empty lots dotted the northside of town. When Dreiling took office, the city owned more than 300 lots — mostly through tax liens — and that’s when the mayor started “Project Restore,” which aimed to sell those lots to those interested in building new homes. It’s slowly but surely started to gain some traction and you’re starting to see infill housing.
One thing that is always important to consider when measuring the contributions of municipal officials is that they do it with the bare minimum of compensation. Being the mayor of Greenville, Texas is not a get-rich scheme, but one where the dedication to community is the driving motivation.
Thank you Mayor Dreiling for your service to this community.
MISS: Not fixing Monty Stratton Parkway
As we’ve opined previously the work of our local civic leaders is being imperiled by a Texas Legislature that’s determined to reduce any semblance of local control of regulatory action. For instance, the city of Greenville approved a plan to change the zoning on a 70-acre parcel that could clear the way for 270 new homes.
Now, we are in full agreement that the housing is needed, but we’re struck by the fact that this will be built off of Monty Stratton Parkway. During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting a question was asked about improving the road. The simple answer was nope.
The second part of this simple answer is there isn’t much the city can do about it. This is a complicated issue, due to property rights questions, but it’s a significant problem if a community has any hope of managing growth. In the case of the questionably passable Monty Stratton Parkway it’s a problem that may ultimately be laid on the shoulders of the taxpayer.
MISS: Abbott’s where’s the beef moment
Gov. Greg Abbott spent a few minutes the other day tweeting that President Biden was going to initiate a plan to take beef off the plate of American meals. We’ve said it before that the governor of this great state spends a lot of time on things that are wasteful, including his anti-Biden venom. However, it’s not in his best interests or the interests of the state to continue this line, but, of course, that’s wishful thinking when it comes to this governor.
While we understand the governor has a right to spin things, it’s always helpful to have facts on your side. In this case, this whole thing was made up — at least the Biden part. So, no, Biden doesn’t want to take steak off the menu at your favorite restaurant or prevent you from having a hamburger. However, there are some in the environmental community — including non governmental organizations — that would be happy with that policy.
Abbott’s failure here is parroting false information when he knows better, but that didn’t stop him from blaming solar and wind energy for the state’s energy failures during February’s winter storms. And, about that little dustup with Abbott: the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), once again, issued a report that outages were primarily due to weather-related problems with transmission. Why? Well, Texas hasn’t done a good job of protecting its energy facilities from extreme weather and where does the fault lie with that? How about in the governor’s office?