Letters – Martindale resident offers different perspective on ‘speed trap’
To the Editor:
Having read both the Martindale article in the Austin American Statesman, and the commentary by John Schmidt, III, in the Lockhart Post-Register”s April 22 issue, I feel compelled to respond to both.
While the Statesman”s rendition of facts did scratch the surface of Martindale”s economic woes, i.e., their debt to the Texas Comptrollers office, th
e writer”s observation that the downtown Main Street “is lined with empty, dilapidated buildings,” must surely represent a source of irritation to the cadre of individuals who have spent many millions of dollars remodeling and rebuilding the historic structures of old Martindale.
The problem lies with a city council, (and I”m certain the investors in downtown Martindale will agree) which appears to approach economic revitalization in an “empty, dilapidated” manner.
This community of perhaps 1100 people boasts a police force, police chief, judge and prosecutor, (none of whom reside in Martindale), several squad cars, and accompanying clerical, and fuel costs, etc.
At the same time, Martindale”s council repeatedly votes down income-producing enterprise that a pristine riverfront community might typically profit from.
A recent example is an investor who applied for a permit to open an RV camping facility.
This request was denied because one council member stated that, “R.V. parks breed pedophiles.”
Additional relevant information, possibly not available to Mr. Schmidt, is that Martindale”s court, presided over by Judge Cindy Allen, has enjoyed a nearly 100 percent conviction rate on trials before the bench, while suffering a somewhat better than 50 percent conviction rate when tried before jury. This alarming data can only be perceived as classic “kangaroo court” preservation of a lucrative position.
Until Martindale”s council matures to the degree that it can accept the fact that yes, it is a radar trap. That yes, we need to open our minds to the obvious nature of the dilemma, which is simply that a Highway 80 radar trap is not a viable economic tool, Martindale will continue to provide payroll to out-of-towners, while failing to provide basic services.