Your recent editorial, "Middle class key to next election" (http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=28728137e1769f4a) seemed to start off on the right track. Galveston's middle class is struggling to keep our numbers from dwindling on the Island. However, for me, your story derailed into a fiery explosion once you knocked the commuter train.
My husband and I ARE Galveston's middle class. Our peers and friends that live on this Island that CHOOSE to continue to live here (Islanders By Choice), enroll their children in schools here, and involve themselves in the shaping of Galveston's future are also a large part of Galveston's middle class. And I've got news for you: we're on board to support the commuter train.
"A commuter train service that goes to nowhere"? With all due respect, I beg to differ that the 4th largest City in the country is "nowhere". Would the Zoo, the museum district, Reliant Stadium, or NASA agree with that?! The other end of that statement hits closer to home, though. That commuter train goes both ways. To say that it goes "nowhere" might imply that our beloved city of Galveston is "nowhere" as well. Do you think The Grand Opera House, our small business owners, or the CVB would agree? How about the restaurant association, our great bars, the Strand Merchants and HDGP? Would they agree we're "nowhere"?
I wonder if, knowing you are also serving on the Long Term Recovery Committee, you noticed at any of the community open houses that the transportation easels were littered with post-it notes and dots of approval supporting a commuter rail service? I sure did. In fact, according to the numbers that were compiled from all of those open houses, there were 122 comments posted in support of the commuter rail system, and NONE that opposed it. To put that in perspective, another issue you brought up - gambling - only garnered 34 total supportive post-it votes.
Although I think we could both agree that growth of Galveston's middle class is hugely important, I cannot disagree more with your take on the rail.
To those "wise leaders" you referred to that may be in the running to help write the next chapter of our Island, I respectfully request that they take it FROM a middle-classer: the commuter rail is a MUST, and we can show the votes to prove it.
Message regarding HMGP buyout/elevation programs:
(As I blogged earlier, this particular program is not likely to offer EEHD residents much hope for assistance in elevating costs... We will still be keeping our eyes open for CDBG funds soon, but for now, we'll be completing this application **Be sure to note on the paperwork if you are interested in the elevation (not buyout) program** just in case.... I won't be holding my breath though!)
Good Afternoon Property Owners:
I am Sheila Wiora with the City of Galveston and I would like to inform you that we have the application/handbook now posted on our City of Galveston website.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please fill out the application. In addition to the application the "damage assessment determination" letter you received from the Planning department (if you have it) will need to be included.
Please send the required documents to:
The City of Galveston
P.O. Box 779
Galveston, TX 77553
C/O: Cindy DeWitt
If you do not have a letter of damage assessment from the Planning department, please let us know and we will work diligently with you in acquiring that document. Or you can call the Planning department directly at 409-797-3660.
If you would like more information on this program please click on the link below.
If you have anymore questions, please call 409-762-8873 and either speak with Rachel Ruiz or Sheila Wiora.