The Palmer Post


Joey G. Dauben | Parks in Palmer by Joey G. Dauben
May 2, 2011, 3:40 pm
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.

Palmer has two ballfields and that’s it. This must, and will, change.

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
  • Trees
  • 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)

One Palmer Youth Athletic Association official told me there are excavation companies that could and would donate excess dirt and “fill” to level off the floodplain that exists behind the two Palmer ballfields. Why has no one sought to facilitate getting this from City Hall? I’ll tell you why: no one has had the vision to plant the right ideas in Palmer! We don’t need taxpayers funding everything a city does. But we do need a sympathetic City Hall willing to help facilitate the creation of the Parks & Recreation board to oversee, manage and plan for our park system. A lot of people want to just talk about such things. I want to actually do them.

Palmer’s new city motto should really be the “City of Baseball.” This is a tradition in the town that should be welcomed, celebrated and expanded to include not just a few ballfields, but a baseball complex. That’s why it is so important this year to make sure the visions and dreams of individuals in our town are carried out through a visionary mayor, or school board trustee, or city council member. By facilitating the creation of a framework for growing our town into a prosperous Palmer, a peaceful Palmer and a pro-active Palmer, the keys of success are merely a plan and planting away.

Palmer, Texas | The City of Baseball

People think I’m crazy or making stuff up when I tell them there are palm trees growing in Palmer. Here’s some proof in Green Acres, the neighborhood that contains two-thirds of our entire town’s population. The parks plan that a Mayor Joey G. Dauben would implement immediately if elected:

  • Creation of Parks & Recreation committee (membership would be open to all Palmer citizens)
  • Planning for a park in the Meadows subdivision
  • Planning for a park in Virginia Estates
  • Planning for a park east of Stacks Road
  • Planning for at least two parks in Green Acres
  • Planning for the picnic/open-area behind the Palmer ballfields
  • Creation of a City of Palmer Parks Master Plan that would plot, plant and plan for parks in a year, two years, three years, five, 10, 20…
  • Taking up those corporations and companies’ offers to donate materials, labor, etc for our parks

This election is a clear-cut choice between an individual who has had nothing to show for his service to our community since 2004 as a city councilman, and an individual who wants to prosper Palmer through innovative, creative, coalition-building efforts that will not just bring people and ideas together, but fully eradicate the hostility towards and from and to various segments and families in the community. We must move forward. We must not delay any more businesses wanting to put their services here. We must not ignore the wants and needs of our citizens. Finally, Palmer most move forward. We have to. And we will.

Pol. Paid Adv. | Committee to Elect Joey G. Dauben Mayor | PO Box 221 | Palmer | Texas | 75152

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