Some of the facts in my prior letter to the Empire-Tribune about Stephenville population decrease, plus the decrease in students in the school district, plus the increase in city tax rate have been questioned by a supporter of the current mayor. My letter stated as FACT the following:
1. Stephenville population decreased from 2010 to 2011. The source of the population decrease information is a document attached to the agenda for the Stephenville City Council Meeting of March 27, 2012, prepared under the current mayor's administration, which stated (in 3 separate places) 2010 population of 18,160 and 2011 population of 17,480, which is a decrease of 680 people, almost 4%. The City document cites as authority, its own "City Planning Department"–see the footnote at the bottom of the page: "Source: North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the City Planning Department". This city document is a public record available to anyone (but not yet on city website). I relied on these official City of Stephenville documents for my statement re population decrease. If the city document reporting a population decrease is in error, the source of the error is the administration of the current mayor.
2. Stephenville school system downgraded from 4A to 3A. This is true. The decrease in number of students (UIL records) from 1,033 students (2010, 2011) to 999 students (2012, 2013 years) is why Stephenville dropped below the 1,005 students required for 4A for 2012, 2013. See www.uiltexas.org.
3. City property tax rate increased under current mayor. The fact is true. The only challenge is to question the responsibility of the current administration for the tax increase.
All three of the above facts about this city going backwards occurred under the current mayor's two terms. The question of why all three occurred under the current mayor is opinion, but the question of whether the city has gone backwards in these three important categories is not in dispute, that is, if the city record of March 27, 2012 is accurate. If the city record is not accurate, the city planning based on it may be flawed, and it might help explain some of the above mentioned negative results. A change to Kenny Weldon, a much more qualified person, will probably produce better results.