“As She Sees It” – Opinion Column

By Nikki Caines

I block walked for the municipal elections on Saturday and spoke with a man who wasn’t happy when I told him that I couldn’t have shared with him if he had had a ‘no soliciting’ sign on his door.  He wasn’t happy when I told him that an ordinance passed by council restricted him from replacing his  own fence unless he went to the city and paid for a permit.  He wasn’t happy when I told him that another ordinance will require him to replace some of his outdoor lighting fixtures along with the lightbulbs themselves in the near future.  He asked if the city would enforce these new laws.  I told him, who knows.  He looked intently into my eyes, then smiled and said, “Oh, I get it…control!”

As I headed home I saw something I just had to stop for.  What was it?  A kids’ lemonade stand, of course!   Behind two folding tables were four cute kids, beaming from ear to ear.  My walking buddy and I told them that we just had to have some, but not until they had eagerly showed us the stickers for sale, the homemade bracelets and the chocolate chip cookies.  Oh my!  I placed the order and asked if mom or dad were around.  Mom came from behind an enclosed patio smiling and thanking us for supporting the kids.  My response was, “Who could resist lemonade?”    And then I said, “Besides, I’m a rebel”, to which her face changed to confusion.

I proceeded to tell her that her kids’ operation was now illegal and that Joe Herring and council, except for Roman Garcia, had voted to make it illegal without the city’s express permission.  I told her that they now needed to go to the city to apply for a permit and would be required to follow specific protocols.  She said she knew Herring, but not so much about Roman, to which I offered more info regarding recent ordinances and the voting records of the council.  After adding a couple cookies and happily overpaying, many thanks were offered to which I gestured to the tables and the kids and told mom that we all need to encourage our future entrepreneurs!  I’m still wondering who she will vote for.

Education is paramount to making any decision.  Becoming familiar with the minute details of an ordinance could make all the difference in who a voter supports at the polls.  I applaud each and every person who has block walked, used social media, emailed or spoke with another person to share the truth about our candidates and the issues that impact all of us.  Now, and in the future, I challenge each of us to walk the extra block, make a phone call, invite somebody to a gathering, click on the blue link for an ordinance, or attend a city council meeting or commissioners’ court meeting and share your thoughts with those who take an oath to serve our community.