Garland, Texas…Questions without answers…
In early 2017 we wrote questions without answers, here is our update:
1-Why doesn’t Garland have a single premier attraction? Why not create one with the large amount of money being spent on consultants hired to improve the city’s image?
Update: Yet another consulting firm recently presented plans to improve the Downtown Garland streetscape. The plan was presented to the City Council at one of their work sessions. Let’s hope this one does not get buried in a file along with its many predecessors.
2-Why do we have a visitors’ and convention bureau when we have nothing to attract visitors and no way to accommodate a convention?
Update: This department of the city’s government has been restructured and no longer functions as it did in 2017.
3-Why is there something called a Richland College Campus? There are no college classes held in that beautiful, largely empty building. The taxpayers who funded that “campus” don’t seem to notice. There is no faculty, there are no ongoing classes, but classrooms are available for rent. Our City Council was recently told that classes are being held “off campus”. The Garland Chamber of Commerce enjoys a suite of offices on the ground level of the structure.
Update: We questioned why taxpayers of the City of Garland were not benefiting from the existence of this “campus”, which is only really a single building. We were told that the COG gave Richland College the property that the “campus” is located on. The City made no further financial investment in the development of the property. Aside from the suite of offices occupied by its Chamber of Commerce, the City remains totally detached from operations of the “campus”.
4-Why is there no full service hospital in Garland? When Garland’s Baylor Hospital became Baylor Scott & White their OB GYN wing was turned into a senior care facility. Expectant mothers are now sent to one of the hospitals in the surrounding, smaller towns to deliver their babies. We were told by Baylor’s CEO that the change was made because Garland is an aging community.
Update: The hospital has now closed completely and we are without any services whatsoever as far as Baylor Scott & White is concerned. The top 2 floors of the shuttered hospital building have been leased and are in operation as mental health facilities. Garland’s 238,200 residents are now without a hospital.
5-Why doesn’t the city better serve that aging, tax paying population by accommodating their needs? Why doesn’t make it safer for the aging population to get around by striping the median strips and repairing sidewalks?
Update: There seems to have been no progress in this area. In addition, we have learned that the senior Activity Center in Downtown Garland is open only during business hours. Active Seniors who are members of the workforce are unable to use this facility due to its limited hours of operation. No evening hours and no Saturdays.
6-Why must Garland residents drive out of town for upscale shopping, dinning, and entertainment? All of those sales tax dollars should stay in Garland, a city that greatly needs infrastructure improvements.
Update: The City’s currents economic development effort are not focused on attracting small businesses. That is no doubt why we have not seen a proliferation of boutiques or individually owned, high quality restaurants. The answer to our question is always the same: “Demographics”
7-How can we attract premier entertainment Facilities like Shenaniganz, Dave and Busters, or Great Wolf lodge? How can we keep our entertainment dollars in Garland?
Update: We have been told that attempts are being made to develop areas along the 190 and I-30 corridors as destination attractions.
We have recently been questioned regarding our electrical grid and charges for our water supply. Why do certain areas of Garland have choices of electric power providers, while others do not, and have to stick with Garland Power & Light. We have not been able to come up with an answer to that question. We have also not been able to answer questions regarding the fluctuation of residential charges for water. There are many other questions to be answered, but the most pressing is, “Does anyone care?” We, as city, have a dire need for qualified, dedicated residents to step up and serve; to challenge the “good old boy” system that merely protects the status quo.