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Dear City Council,

I have always and loudly stood in strong support of the measures to ensure the future conservation of our natural resource, the Comal River, the shortest river in the state of Texas, perhaps in the country and around the globe!

I am still unsure how I feel about a $5 fee for non-residents, I do see both sides of the issue and am willing to hear and learn more from both sides.

At this point I dislike that my relatives from Dallas will have to pay to get in the river when they come visit us. And I cannot fathom how the $5 fee will even begin to cover the staffing required to simply put it in place. The lines will be abominable, people management will be a nightmare, and the ensuing unforeseen issues will bring problems you haven’t even thought of yet!

I understand you are doing this in response to the can ban being overturned. I “get it” and understand that some protection is needed for THIS summer. However, take action that does not make you all seem reactionary and petty.

Why not just make alcoholic beverages and all disposable containers illegal on park property? Place police and staff near the entrances to do random cooler checks and issue tickets to people with cheetos and beer cans, etc.

Either way, my mind is not made up yet on this $5 matter. I do see both sides.

However, implementing a $2 fee for residents is, simply put, unconscionable.

I seriously encourage each member of city council to reconsider this ridiculous action. We, the residents, already pay taxes in support of the river, as well as dealing with extra traffic, extra people, extra litter, extra noise, extra crowds, and more.

Not to mention the ridiculous battle and virtual civil war we have had to endure and fight with members of our own community. We have taken up positions against our friends and neighbors, some of us willingly losing old friends in the process in your defense and in the defense of the river. Also be reminded, many of you are ON RECORD as saying that residents would never be asked to pay.

But somehow, amidst all the noise and controversy that seems to plague our community, I still manage to find enjoyment in our amazing natural resource. I chose to live within blocks of the river because I thoroughly enjoy a daily swim or float with my family.Enacting a fee is absolutely unfair, unreasonable, and a terrible idea.

Enough is enough. With this idea, you have indeed gone too far. This idea is a knee-jerk reaction that hurts your biggest supporters.

A city must provide encouragement to its citizens, in being an active participant in the solutions that will make this city the amazing place it is. This proposed solution adds insult to injury. We already have a heavy burden upon our shoulders. Reducing accessibility to those of us who love and support the river, is frankly a slap in the face.

In addition, I am not even convinced that your action is about the protection of the river as a natural resource.

It seems clear now that the accusations from the opposition may be true. It always comes down to the money, doesn’t it?

A river is not an amenity. It is a natural resource.

Treat it as such. Create a task force to examine how other cities handle the protection of their natural resources. If you do not I ask you, what is next?

Would you like me to pay to park on the street in front of my own home as well? Or let’s start charging for borrowing books from the public library too.

Instead be history changers! Make your mark on this city in a positive way that will be remembered by our grandchildren. Create and organize volunteer river protection teams. Consider creating a part-time paid city staff position to be the voice of the river, oversee river conservation and protection, and design programs to engage community members to get involved in natural resource protection and education. Design community volunteer work days to allow concerned citizens to lend a hand and learn more.Show these citizens who actively engage that there efforts will be rewarded with community recognition.

There are so many BETTER ways to accomplish your goals.

Stop and think before you make the biggest mistake of your term.

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READ THE REVISED VERSION OF THIS LETTER IN THE LOCAL NEW BRAUNFELS PAPER.  PLEASE SHARE & ALSO… Please follow my blog! The follow button is right over there….  it’s easy and fun! Trust me, you’ll see  🙂

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