February 9 Letters to the Editor

Editor:

Great things are happening in Alpine thanks to a lot of hard-working, dedicated individuals coming together.  

It was recently announced that there will be a new 50-spot day care opening this summer in Alpine. This was a collaborative effort among different Alpine nonprofit organizations such as Alpine Community Projects and the Alpine Business Alliance (formerly known as the Alpine Downtown Association). The Big Bend Regional Medical Center, Sul Ross University and the City of Alpine were also involved in bringing this child care center to Alpine, with Alpine ISD and Dr. Michelle Rinehart being the heavy hitters. 

The increased partnerships between the different groups and organizations have been a refreshing change. The city and the county are working together more frequently also. I personally believe that we can do the hard things when we work together and that we should not accept the status quo for our city, our home. 

In addition, Angels Care Hospice is now servicing Alpine. Plus, there are other exciting things going on currently with many of the aforementioned nonprofits. What they are working on is sure to make Alpine thrive again. Also, there are a lot of great community events in the works for 2023, and they will be certain to fill up your calendar. And I don’t want to fail to mention that the Granada has become an event center with a variety of different activities going on there weekly. 

Our city government is also undergoing a much-needed and positive transformation. We held six town hall meetings between October and December in which residents were able to write down their thoughts and opinions regarding what priorities they felt the city should focus on and post them around the room under whichever broad topics they thought fit. Not surprisingly, after the two boil water notices, the top priority was infrastructure, particularly water and wastewater. 

In addition, we have held three strategic planning prioritization town hall meetings so far this year to discuss how we should go about taking care of these priorities. During these town halls, we have also looked at long-term goals for the city and how we might realize them once we have our foundation and our water and wastewater systems repaired. 

City transparency has improved drastically over the last couple of years. Not only is there more information available on the city website, but we are receiving more information from the city manager and city staff at each council meeting. Everything is being discussed –– our strengths, our weaknesses, our opportunities, and the challenges that face the city.

Along with transparency comes an increased willingness for residents to get involved with what is going on. More people than ever are attending council meetings and are becoming active on our commissions and boards. Those who can’t attend city council meetings or town hall events are often opting to Zoom in or view the recording on the City of Alpine, Texas YouTube Channel. 

During the formal city council meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of most months at 5:30, residents have the opportunity to speak on any agenda item during the three-minute comment period. This procedure has been in place going back at least 10 years. Residents are also allowed to speak during the public hearings portion of the meeting, and if time allows, also during the discussion section if they raise their hands and the council approves them coming forward to speak, which has occurred several times since May. 

I urge everyone to get involved with moving Alpine forward. I believe we can have the Alpine we want if the residents are actively involved and we are persistent in reaching our goals. 

Mayor Catherine Eaves

Alpine

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Editor:

When a sudden cold snap came to Marfa, the Rotary Club of Marfa acted quickly to get “gently worn” coats gathered to keep students at Marfa ISD warm. Through various thrift stores and many kind generous folks, 16 students received coats for warmth. The project was met with such encouragement that the club hopes to continue this “coats for kids” project next fall in 2023 to get coats to each individual in need at Marfa ISD. And we want to say thank you to the thrift stores and individuals who helped us.

Martha Bumpus

Rotary Club