Have you noticed that most good family fights happen in the winter months? Sure, there are years when everyone in the family is on cruise control and there is peace in the valley. There are also times when name calling gets out of control, fists fly and you hope there is an adult in the room to keep a semblance of order.
Winters is like one big “happy” family, most of the time. Every couple of decades something comes up that riles everyone up and the fights can get ugly. I’m not sure that it matters what the subject is; growth, no growth, taxes, parking, lack of communication, traffic, low income housing, which pizza is better or why people should shop in town. Take your pick, but something will come up that will divide the community.
Just bringing up expanding our sphere of influence, where we plan to grow in the future, has stirred up a vocal minority. And, yes, I believe that it is a vocal minority. Most people think things are fine the way they are, or, understand that growth is not always a dirty word. Most of us live in relative new houses that past city councils, and Winters citizens, allowed to be built.
Let me start by saying that I’m not for massive developments, and the homes being built to our northwest are the most homes we have ever okayed at one time. And remember, we okayed them almost 20 years ago and they are just now being built, and there is no guarantee that they will all be built in the next 20 years.
Don’t quote me, but there will be just over 650 new homes built by the time they put the roof on the last one. That is a lot of new people and an opportunity to add some new blood to our community. Can we welcome 50 to 200 new people to Winters each year? I think so. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; new residents add to our community not detract from what we have.
Take a look around at who makes Winters run. Were they born in Winters? Did they graduate from Winters High School? Sure, a few of us did, but the majority of people that make Winters a great place to live and work are new to Winters.
Growth will cause more traffic, you may have to wait longer in line at the grocery store or at one of our restaurants, and you might have to park by the post office when you come downtown, but will it change your life? Does having a new doctor, merchant, hair stylist, plumber, electrician, realtor, teacher, coach, PTA president, FFA volunteer, house cleaner, newspaper publisher, hurt your standard of living?
When people start discussing growth, think about how it will affect you, your family, your neighbors and your community. There are plenty of opportunities to voice your concerns at public meetings, and if you aren’t satisfied you can always run for a spot on our city council.
We’ve had all type of people serve on the council over the years and they have worked together to keep Winters solvent, a nice place to live, and have been working on adding local jobs. If you get into a discussion about growth, remember to smile, and keep your left arm up.
Have a good week.]]>