Joey G. Dauben for Mayor on Facebook
Filed under: City of Palmer, Palmer, Palmer 75152, Parks & Recreation Commission
Palmer is a town of 2,000 citizens (2010 U.S. Census data here), and yet, we don’t even have a single park. Ballfields we have, but not a park. According to the data I have from the U.S. Census Bureau, 36 percent of Palmer’s population is within my age bracket — with children. That is a massive chunk of the population that cannot even take their kids to a hike-and-bike trail, a picnic table or open green space, or even a playground that doesn’t belong to Palmer ISD. That is going to change. If elected on May 14, I want to assemble a Parks and Recreation committee full of a cross-section of people in our town: young people, students, business owners, city officials, school district officials — basically anyone who wants to help our town by working together to fulfill the needs of our citizens. I’ve already heard from a half-dozen of you that you want to be involved in the planning and planting stages for a park system. Palmer won’t just have one park or three. I envision this 9.56-square-mile town full of lots of open and green space.
For those that don’t want the “town to grow,” I have some sad news for you: Ellis County is one of the fastest-growing areas of our state, and especially our region. People are moving to this county whether you want them to or not. That doesn’t mean Palmer will explode into another Ennis or Waxahachie (who’d want it to?), but we must plan and prepare for an entirely new way of thinking, and that thinking first must be to provide parks for our young people and families. The ballfields are nice, and in fact, if I could manage to do it myself, I would plan and build a regional sports complex right within the city of Palmer’s 9.56-square-mile boundary.
The open green space behind one of the ballfields on FM 878 is a perfect, prime location for several things:
- Picnic tables
- Walking trail (asphalt or, preferably, concrete)
- Additional bleachers
I wouldn’t stop with baseball, though. We need soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, sand volleyball pits, hike-and-bike trails and six-man and 11-man football fields. We need practice fields, as well, or just a simple backstop near our businesses and industries (that we do have) for rest and relaxation for workers and citizens alike. It’s something that we need to do because this is our town. And it avails us nothing if we are or aren’t related to so-and-so in town. Pretty soon, the city must move forward and that first step was made on Nov. 2, 2010 when citizens passed the beer and wine referendum. We must — and will — move forward.
A few more of these in the open, green space behind the outfield fences of Field No. 1 — dotted with some trees here and there — and we would have our first picnic-and-park in the city of Palmer. There are numerous businesses ready to donate (i.e., give for free) materials and trees for this purpose. Why has it taken so long to finally get this? Why did it have to take from 1872 to get these ideas and visions off the ground? (for those local history buffs, 1872 is when Palmer was founded)
A grocery store is coming to Palmer (to be located mere blocks from downtown), and part of the facility will house a BBQ restaurant, and yep, they’ll have a beer/wine permit (or at least apply for one.) This is great news for Palmer citizens!
I don’t know the name of the business, but can say that the store will be located on Business 45 several blocks from downtown Palmer.
The U.S. Census demographics data is available for the City of Palmer (from 2009/2010.) Apologies for the link being so jumbled:
Filling-A-Need Inc. is the non-profit that will oversee the women’s shelter in Palmer. Right now, due to everything being in the preliminary planning stages, Filling-A-Need Inc. is assembling a board of directors. To volunteer, donate or serve on the board of directors of this needed community-social service, contact Elizabeth Shabazz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-767-3244.
I tire of the Bloods vs. Crips factions in these small towns. That’s why my generation of 21-to-35-year-olds (I turned 30 Feb. 8) are seeking a new way out of all that in Ellis County and virtually elsewhere. But mainly, Ellis County is unique. I own nearly 40 newspapers and one thing that is constant, from big towns (Balch Springs, pop. 26,000) to small towns (Palmer, pop. 2,000), and that is this intra-town warfare between families and political alliances. You dance with one of two groups in these small towns, and I’ve learned that more so by living and establishing Freedom of the Press Group HQ in Palmer. Then, there are the silver linings. I’ve met a lot of very interesting people in all of these towns (some towns, such as Venus, are a bit more public than the rest), some I consider my closest friends. Sometimes, when those friends are related to public officials, it becomes extremely difficult to explain why I have to “expose” wrongdoing — and that sometimes includes writing about the very people my friends are related to. In the 10 years and counting I’ve been doing this business, I’ve not made very many super-close friendships. Then, some people who I’ve let in my inner-circle over the years as either writers, reporters, etc. have turned out to be snakes — John Allen “Jay” Hoskins, Exhibit A.
This is by no means the final version of the Jan. 14 issue, but it is 85 percent complete: