|This is what many believe to be a typical Baytownian.|
“A horrible black hole of a town. it sucks you in and it is almost impossible to break it's hold on you. It is full of worthless men and stupid women. The few good people are always trying to get out. AKA Dirty Bay God I can't wait to get out of Baytown.”
On more than one occasion, it’s been pointed out to me that I obsess over city parks, hiking and biking trails, and over-concentrating on making Baytown friendlier to joggers and people who enjoy riding a bicycle on our road’s shoulders. One current councilman told me one time that’s all I need to worry about and he would worry about everything else. He scored zero points with me for that self-righteous smug and flippant remark.
Although I admit he was partially true and I say partially because frankly, there’s hardly a shoulder on any of our side roads. Riding a bicycle around Baytown is akin to playing in the street – not a smart thing to do at all. Forget that on any given weekend around the state, thousands of educated and hard-working Texans are competing in foot and bike races, or training for the MS-150, so when I read Chris Presley and Scott Sheley’s stance on the “most viable source of future revenue for the city” in the Baytown Sun, Tuesday, I took a keen interest.
And a little alarm sounded.
Presley went first with this: “We need to stop declining property values. Property values do not appreciate in Baytown like in most other communities. In fact, values have been trending downward in District 2 in recent years. If we can find ways to better stabilize our older neighborhoods and better stabilize those property values, in tandem with being more fiscally responsible with taxpayer’s dollars, we could eventually roll back the tax rate.”
“These people are known to be generally hard-working, if somewhat unsophisticated. Many of these people could be called hillbillies or swampers. Trailer trash is commonly seen in and around the Baytown area. Sometimes these people are referred to as "refinery trash."
|Sometimes these people are referred to as "refinery trash."|
Mr. Presley is in line with what I believe. Not only do we need to stop the downward slide, we need to encourage high end house-building by hook or
crook. It’s been a pet peeve of mine for some time
that many who speak about supporting this town, live in Sommerwood, Atascocita,
or Jersey Village
– anywhere but the Dirty
Bay – a term I resent by
Sheley’s reply sounded okay, but did not make provision for expanding amenities, namely fixing up “what we already got.” Now I like Scott. I think he’s a great guy and to my knowledge, I haven’t met Chris and what I am saying is simple. If we want Baytown to grow, we have to bring it all up at the same time and not just push business expansion.
Sure, Pirate’s Bay is a money maker. I’ve never been there, but folks seem to like it and I have no problem supporting Mr. Sheley on his idea to promote it. I like the idea of the Industrial complex kicking in their share also, but if either of these fellows were in my district and they said we’re going to three-lane the heavily traveled McKinney Road and add sidewalks or connect all of our parks with a hike bike trail (or die trying to get funding), I would poke a hole in their ballot in a heartbeat.
“A crappy city East of Houston that has absolutely nothing to do or see except for a mediocre mall in which half of the stores are either closed or run by ######”.
I’ve got my feelers out and have been communicating with Dustin Schubert and John Dupois about the future of Jenkins Park and the Blue Heron Parkway and as soon as something concrete – no pun intended, becomes available, they are going to help me bring it to this column.
Baytown is in serious need of a certified 3.1 mile (5K) loop so runners can train for races. A 6.2 mile (10K) trail would be better. Recently, my bride and I have been over off Beltway 8 and highway 90 to the Gene Green Beltway 8 Park, which is a well kept secret. It’s basically two detainment ponds separated by a forest. The forest is a giant dog park with a hiking trail snaking through it and around the 250 acres is a wide cement sidewalk measuring 2 miles per circuit.
|A small part of the Gene Green Beltway 8 Park|
Inside, the environmentally-friendly park’s most popular features are a zip-line, an extensive exercise area, a kiddie spray park, tennis and basketball courts, a BMX freestyle course, dog runs, paved trails, an amphitheater and well-equipped skate park. It also has a first class restroom, something we can’t have at Walter Jenkins park due to recurring vandalism. We have a portacan.
“Baytown, the ultimate low of existence.”
Am I saying that Channelview Texas has a better park than the entire city of Baytown? Yes, I am and it saddens me. No, it embarrasses me. We have been in this heavily used park a number of times and always there are men, women, and children of all ethnicities exercising in a safe environment.
Again, I am not knocking our Park’s super – I think he does a great job. I can’t go into one of our parks without seeing maintenance crews doing the place right. What puzzles me is how can these other areas I visit have what we have and seemingly so much more? I’ve been to some retention/detention ponds that have fountains, bridges, benches and all kinds of other amenities and I want it for Baytown.
|Pond B of the Baker Road Extension - Future Retention pond.|
Our Park engineer Dustin Schubert replied to my questions about expansion in an email, knowing full well I will quote him verbatim. “On the Jenkins park connector it is high on our list to make that connection, however funds are not available in the near future. On the retention basin we have not put a plan together as to what amenities it will have.”
City Council. Find the funding. Make Baytown a place where proud Baytownians who have 6 figure incomes want to raise their families, spend their money, and jog, ride their bikes, and support this town.
Quotes, compliments of Urbandictionary.com