Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sustainable Carrollton Bus Tour

Even in the pouring rain, Keep Carrollton Beautiful’s “Bus Tour” came off without a hitch. Last Tuesday, Brad Mink the Economic Development Director for Carrollton, informed 22 citizens during a tour he set up expressly for Keep Carrollton Beautiful participants. Mr. Mink wants to get the word out about what Carrollton is planning for its future, so he’d be happy to give a presentation for your group too.

Peter Braster, Carrollton’s Transit Oriented Development Officer, joined them to provide up-to-the minute information about the DART light rail coming through Carrollton. “I commend Carrollton for planning for future growth and development – planning not reacting,” said Bob Maguire, Keep Carrollton Beautiful participant.

All the participants found out about our many corporate citizens – how they came to Carrollton and what they do. As one participant put it – “Where else can you find Barney, Sam Moon, Chrysler and Mary Kay in one location?”

Mr. Mink was very interested in everyone understanding who contributes to the tax base in our city. Of course without that base, all the services that residents enjoy would not be possible.

The driving rain didn’t keep them from seeing the upgrades that the City of Carrollton has made and are making on some of the older streets and parkways. Mr. Mink explained the changes in building requirements that create a more welcoming and sustainable appearance. Richard Scott, a Keep Carrollton Beautiful volunteer said, “Until one hears about the past, current, and future developments in Carrollton, it is easy to undervalue what we have.” Everyone had plenty of opportunity to ask questions about what they thought was important.

Underlying everything that was said was the history of how we got where we are in the first place – some of the mistakes that were made in planning and in trusting people who had only their own best interests at heart, instead of the city as a whole. Paul Heller was very appreciative of the Bus Tour. He said, “It was a great way to learn about all the economic forces, both business and residential, that have shaped the past and will shape the future of Carrollton.”

Sharon Goddard, Executive Director of Keep Carrollton Beautiful, summed up the tour by saying, “Everyone came away with a sense that we are moving TOGETHER toward a very bright future – as long as we follow all the plans that have been agreed upon for the DART light rail and Transit Oriented Development. Embracing this change will increase property values, improve regional air quality, and bring in new businesses and residents.”

Most of the people were new to Keep Carrollton Beautiful, so they were also given information about Texas Recycles Day that’s coming up on November 10th. To find out how to participate in Texas Recycles Day or how you can get involved in Keep Carrollton Beautiful, go to www.KeepCarrolltonBeautiful.org.