To the Editor:
First, thanks for your very comprehensive article on who we are and where we are. I would like to briefly comment on where we could be going.
Competition is a healthy thing for it necessarily responds to the wants and needs of present day consumers. Marketing experts have confirmed that adjoining second and third car dealerships, grocery stores or restaurants will attract even more customers for all nearby competitors. And, this voluntary grouping sends another message which is…….I’m in business to compete with the best of them and being here with them next door proves it”. Ever hear of Miracle Mile in Dallas, Motor Mile in Waco or the Vieux Carre’ in New Orleans?
Some enterprises choose to avoid consumer products because the consumer is constantly changing and keeping up with current trends can be a daunting task.
Also, there is a world of difference between hobby shops and bona fide businesses in that the former focuses on the proprietor’s interests while the latter on the wants and needs of the consumer. Further, we cannot force feed yesterday’s products, goods and services on today’s consumers and expect to be successful. The past is indeed past and the future can be bright provided we take the time to fully understand and then respond to today’s consumer’s wants and needs.
Focusing on the positive, Salado enjoys a strategic location as we are somewhat equidistance for eighty percent of the Texas population. And, we are ideally suited for both day-trippers who seek the small town ambiance and meeting venues whose members seek a weekend stay to include fine dining with a day of golf and a meeting on Saturday. And, speaking of meetings, Austin is a treasure trove of associations, businesses and more who all are constantly searching for a brief escape from the big city for a one day meeting or whatever. So, day trippers are more than accommodated. For overnight visitors, Salado has three modern motels, one of which features an excellent restaurant and convention facilities. And, our B & B industry is outstanding and successfully competes with the best of them anywhere.
I believe Salado’s future is NOW and we are precisely positioned for success. All we have to do is identify and then respond directly to the wants and needs of our present, prospective customers. Otherwise, lay back and go to sleep for Salado will invariably become little more than a bedroom community for nearby larger cities.
To the Editor:
My wife and I wish to thank the Aldermen of the Village who voted to not give a alcohol waiver to the Chamber of Commerce for the Pace Park Art Fair. We do not oppose people consuming alcohol in restaurants, but we resent the Chamber President and anyone having tunnel vision to think that after 50 years Salado Art Fair and Salado cannot not survive without alcohol. What a message we are sending to the public that we cancel the Art Fair tradition because we cannot sell alcohol in the public park. Shame, shame, shame.
Also, congratulation for being the first Village Officials to adopt a deficit budget. Should we reduce our spending?
Don and Betty Lowe
To the Editor:
Thank you for your positive and straightforward view of our village in last week’s Commentary, “What is wrong here?”
With your concurrence, please allow me to respond.
Fourteen years ago, Gayle and I moved to Salado after 22 years of military service. Living around world, it was a culture shock returning to “small town” Texas. However, Salado was unique with its own brand of leadership and vision. It was sophisticated, but it was also country; it was intellectual, but it was also down-to-earth. There was a sense of well-being and pride that made one feel secure as well as important. I remember telling people who asked where I lived, “Salado.” Immediately, their response was, “What a great town. I love Salado. You are lucky.”
What made this village so different? Simply, the people. Their love for the village was evident in every business, every event, and every encounter. Everyone united and worked toward a common goal -- a quality community. Like all small towns, there were disagreements, different views on leadership, and two or three folks who could never be pleased. Yet, this village thrived on happiness and genuine care for each other.
It has not changed. The Chamber, elected officials, TxDOT, and the Feds do not make a village. It is the people – their spirit, vision, leadership, and pride. Personally, I believe that this is one of the most exciting and promising times for Salado. We are getting a “face-lift” with a greatly improved highway that will bring new businesses. Homes are selling to some great families that are making a difference.
There are challenges – water treatment plant; annexing issues; highway construction – to name a few. But this is Salado! With a little “elbow grease” and tender-loving-care from each of us, we will be fine.
Recently, I spent 18 months at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. Every morning, I drove by Pikes Peak and outside my office window was the Cheyenne Mountain Range. The beauty was spectacular; the city, vibrant. Woodland Park had a beautiful home to purchase. However, we could not make the decision to move. Colorado Springs was not Salado.
It only takes a spark to get an inviting fire going, and there are some wonderful people that will make it happen. The best is yet to be, this I believe.
I have met many of the folks in this community; some of you I have yet to meet. I wanted to say “Thank You” for the warm welcome the community and the Chamber have given me since the opening of my business, The Hairitage Barber Shop, 1325 N Stagecoach Rd. Salado, Texas.
Locating here from the State of Wisconsin, there was for me, as there is for any newcomer to a community, the concern of being viewed as an outsider. You have removed that concern and for that I thank you.
Salado is a beautiful community with tremendous potential to flourish. I believe it will be those of us in the business community, with the cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce, that will drive the success of this community.
There is no competition amongst us, just the pursuit of providing our customers with the very best experience we can offer them. With that goal in mind, we all will be successful.
Dave Swarthout; The Hairitage Barber Shop
To The Editor:
You made several valued points in your commentary on Oct. 3. However, the attack on John Jennings wasn’t one of them.
I first met Mr. Jennings just a month ago following my own public comment regarding Johnny’s Outback being too close to the elementary school.
I’ve since learned that Jennings spent a 23 year career in San Antonio law enforcement. He’s a devout family man with integrity, intelligence and a passion to follow the law and do what’s right. Like any other citizen in our democracy, Jennings has the right to his freedom of expression/speech and to protect his property rights to every extent permitted by law. Within these constitutional, state and local rights (and laws), he spoke publicly in order to hold elected officials accountable for real or perceived ignorance to ordinances, permits, and zoning rules already on the books.
Now Jennings himself has been vilified and publicly accused of slandering, harassing and lying - though homebuilder Jim Boynton, who spoke immediately prior to Jennings at the 9/19 Aldermen meeting, lodged the exact same public grievance as Jennings, complete with his own supporting documentation.
The bar for slander/defamation of government officials is appropriately high and occurs only if statements were made with “actual malice”. This wasn’t the case for Jennings or Boynton.
Further, it shouldn’t matter whether Jennings has lived here two months or twenty years, or whether he brings two hundred dollars or twenty thousand dollars to the village coffers. Neither he nor his surrounding neighbors’ voices should be diminished or dismissed by their spent time here or money contributed to the tax base. Jennings is a citizen with equal rights under the law and he’s proudly served his community by putting his life on the line to serve and protect for 23 years.
He deserves better…
To the Editor:
Mr. Fleischer began with an interesting and informative commentary on “What Is Wrong here” (Village Voice –Oct 3rd) referring to Salado. What was surprising was that he decided to attack me personally toward the end of the article leaving the reader with the impression that among other things I’m part of the problem.
Mr. Fleischer was reacting to a presentation I’d given at the Board of Alderman meeting on Sept 19, calling for the resignation of the Mayor Danny McCort. My comments and evidence, including incriminating pictures, were pointed directly to the Mayor and never intended to besmirch the reputations of any business owners, who could have been led to believe it must be legal if the Mayor was supervising their project.
In fact, after my presentation, two Aldermen immediately commended me. The new Village Administrator, who the Board respects, called me directly the following week and we had a productive conversation about the new direction of Salado. In the very next BOA workshop the main topic was taking away the authority of the Mayor to issue and make decisions on building permits. That is currently in the works.
Mr. Fleischer refers to “those who screamed to the roof tops about live music” and compared them to fictional characters in Foot Loose, the imaginary town that forbids dancing. How ridiculous. The truth is when the issue of music and dancing was brought up for conditional use; I spoke publicly in favor of many places that had done it well, including The Range on Main St. I was not in favor of a live concert facility so close to residences.
I am dubious that encouraging more alcohol in Salado, as some have suggested will be the saving of the future. I like the wineries and restaurant use as it was in the past.
Many in Salado have advised me to give it up because the “Good Old Boy “system is well known, and will never change. Some have explained that they respected what I was doing, but unfortunately they did business here and could not publicly support my efforts. Their livelihoods depended on overlooking the misdeeds. We must change that, so business and contractors that previously stayed away will begin to trust that there is a level playing field, where future decisions about building and doing business will not be decided by a connection at the top, the amount of time someone has lived here, or the amount of money they have previously invested. Thankfully the Board of Alderman is working on those issues.
To the Editor:
What makes Salado - it’s the people! I have to shout out an incident of generosity I experienced Saturday October 12 that mirrored a recent letter in the editorial section - It’s the people that make Salado a great place to live.
Lo and behold I was again in Ace Hardware seeking another small home repair job that I needed assistance on - the roller wheels on the bottom of a 1970’s sliding screen door. One of them had broken and the screen door wouldn’t slide anymore.
I first sought to figure it out and repair it myself which failed , then proceeded to take it to a great neighbor who bless his heart sees me coming his way every other week with yet another house, auto, equipment - you name it problem I can’t figure out in which he has a 99 percent rate of fixing. Well, unfortunately on our screen door task he was unable to repair it. So I take it to ACE Hardware and two individuals: Richard Dodge and Steve Collins did what folks at ACE do - went out of their way not only to identify the part, have it in stock, but put the new part on the door which was in my car in the parking lot in which was sticking out of the trunk.
But it wasn’t just the responsibility of the employees as far as assisting customers - they both said they just enjoy helping people!
Then to my amazement another sign of “It’s the People” comes into play - as the two men were fixing the screen door sticking out of the back of my trunk in the parking lot a gentleman in a “pickup pulls up behind us and says - “”say can I assist in helping you get that screen door back to “your house?”” I say thank you but I can get it back and he says are you sure - all we have to do is “put the door in back of my truck - it would be my pleasure.
Thank you Salado! Tom Goldsmith
Letters to the Editor