I wanted to take a few minutes to share my thought on the future on Kennedale. I have been a resident since 2015 – a drop in the bucket in comparison to some of the long term families such as the Middleton’s, Coker’s, Gilley’s, Turner’s, and others. Kennedale has a proud heritage going back well over 100 years although it was not officially a city until 1947 when the majority of the 300 residents voted to incorporate. Kennedale has had its ups and downs over the years just as all cities do when they begin to grow. Fast forward to 2020 and we find ourselves in the midst of a crossroads. Financially we are struggling and as a community we are headed towards some major decisions on how to move forward. There has been some talk of annexation in the past few days and this is what I have chosen to share a few thought on today.
Annexation is certainly an option any small town in a metropolitan area is faced with at some point in time. Small cities surrounded by large ones do struggle in one way or another. Finances, infrastructure, development standards, tax rates, and many other things are challenges for small communities. Some people look at annexation as a “way out” of these issues and certainly under the right circumstances that may be true but there is also a cost to annexation. Over time your city loses its identity. The new city comes in and implements their standards, laws, and codes. These might benefit the “new” part of their city and it might not. History and time have to be the judge of the outcome. It is easy to say things would be better if we were taken in by a city such as Arlington and over time there would certainly be change implemented from annexation but it is up to us, the citizens of Kennedale, to think and reflect on what those changes might be and are they truly the changes we want and desire.
If we choose and fight for the future of Kennedale the price may be in the form of taxes, accepting new development, growth of the school district, and possibly the loss of some things which have in the past have brought Kennedale to where we are today such as race tracks and heavy industrial use of the available land. We once had railroads and brickyards but over time these industries stepped aside as new opportunities arose. Potential benefits in the long term could be retail shopping, restaurants, additional parks / trails, and lower taxes. Some people may see the benefits of annexation as greater than the risk of seeing what Kennedale could be in the future and to be honest, no one can predict the future of the city with 100% certainty. What I can tell you without a doubt is that it wouldn’t happen overnight and might not happen in our lifetime but in time Kennedale would just be a memory for most people and that has a price as well.
Kennedale City Council Place 2