EDITOR’S CORNER: Moves show forward thinking
I’ve only been working at the Lockhart Post-Register since December, so if something happened before then, I can only go off what I’ve been told or what I’ve read.
And from what I’ve heard, things are definitely evolving in Lockhart and Caldwell County, which is attracting new businesses, new events and new faces.
Good growth – the right kind of growth – doesn’t happen without a good reputation, and a good reputation doesn’t happen without solid leadership and decision making.
In successive Lockhart City Council meetings, council members have made a pair of decisions following public hearings that have been business friendly and seemingly reflective of the opinions of those who elected them.
Council began March by clearing the way to allow Lilly’s Bar and Grill in downtown Lockhart to apply for a permit that would allow it to serve alcohol, approving a zoning change that could ultimately end its days as a burger joint where you must bring your own beer.
Some of the community’s most respected citizens – and their children – stood before the council and gave their reasons for why they didn’t want the restaurant to obtain its liquor license.
The council listened patiently to those folks, but ultimately found in favor of restaurant owner Lydia Serna, her landlord and her loyal patrons who vouched for the restaurant’s tradition and good works in the community.
But the council voted 6-1 in favor of the restaurant, clearing the way for a zoning change. It still has some hurdles to clear in order to serve beer and wine to its customers, but councilmembers largely acknowledged that downtown Lockhart was becoming an entertainment destination.
And looking forward, they voted to encourage that metamorphosis.
“The past is the past,” Mayor Lew White said.
The entrepreneurial spirit was again encouraged on March 20, when a public hearing on a homeowner’s appeal of a planning and zoning board decision to allow Maverick Horseback a permit to build a riding facility, barn and stables on land located in Lockhart’s outskirts.
The homeowner who filed the appeal didn’t show up to the meeting. But supporters – many of whom were downtown business owners – of Joan Marie McCoy arrived in droves to show solidarity with the equestrian who said she simply wants the option to commercially host birthday parties and other events.
The council granted that, dispensing with the appeal and helping another entrepreneur continue growing her brand.
Caldwell County Commissioners are also listening to their constituents and making decisions to accommodate a growing population.
Earlier this month, the commissioners’ court voted 3-1 to approve an ordinance restricting firearm usage on land under 2.1 acres on subdivisions in unincorporated areas of the county.
This was indeed a hot button issue, with numerous landowners coming forward during a lengthy public hearing. Some wanted stricter gun laws. Some felt restrictions would be infringing on their rights.
In the end, commissioners voted after Chief Deputy Mike Lane with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office gave his opinion.
Lane said it was time to be proactive rather than reactive. It was time to make a decision with growth in mind rather than waiting for a tragedy to force commissioners’ hands.
That’s what they did. They voted proactively. They listened to opinions and determined that doing nothing was not an option.
Forward thinking and attentive leaders.
It’s a welcome sight.