Most residents of Missouri City have noticed the recent changes in development that have taken place in our City and been very pleased, I think. Commercial development in particular has emerged with hotels, larger restaurants, grocery stores and respectable retail outlets making their appearance. Seventeen years ago when I moved into Missouri City, many of these stores did not even exist. The recent ballot initiatives also signal a subtle but welcome change in approach toward City government for Missouri City. These initiatives give the City Manager more power, thus curtailing the City Council or political approach toward running the City, which has been so evident in the past.
Missouri City has to be different in its approach toward City management because unlike its neighbors, Sugar Land and Stafford, we have no commercial or large retail tax contribution to help our budget. We are mainly a bedroom community, like it or not. We very much need a strong, hands-on, informed, and objective oriented approach toward running the City to deal with its unique issues.
Past management decisions were heavily based in political initiatives. For instance, we no longer have a population whose primary employer is the Med Center, so rail link contributions are totally unnecessary. In the past, the City incurred huge amounts of debt to placate and satisfy neighborhood-based decisions to invest in golf, tennis, and a City managed restaurant and an event center. The City Council and City Manager don’t need those City based activities to occupy their time. Nor does the City need to support such activities.
Missouri City government now needs to focus on meeting the needs of the entire City, not just one or two Districts, and definitely look at how they can invigorate, renew and renovate portions of the City which have been neglected for decades. By focusing on a whole city approach and rejecting special interests, the City will have a bright future. Clearly, private industry, due mainly to our current City management, is finding the City a great place to locate.
In summary, the City has many challenges but we are definitely moving in the right direction. We undoubtedly face a succession of tax increases to pay off debt incurred due to past decisions but I think the City will surprise many residents with its prosperity and appeal.
Howard E. Moline