I have learned something about the town my wife and I now call “home.”
There appears to be a struggle within the town of Fairview among residents, some of whom want to see the community grow, while others of them don’t want any more growth. They like the town just the way it is.
Hmm. I haven’t seen this kind of intra-city tension in a good while.
I have made a fascinating acquaintance in Fairview. He is a member of the Town Council. I hesitate to give you his name because he doesn’t know I’m writing this blog post; I’ll respect his privacy.
He tells me about the strife that’s occurring in this Collin County community. Fairview’s population in 2010 was about 7,200; its estimated population in 2014 had grown to more than 8,400 residents.
It is tucked between McKinney to the north (population of just less than 200,000) and Allen to the south (population of about 100,000). Collin County’s population likely has surpassed 1 million residents.
This is a high-growth, high-demand region of Texas (just north of Dallas), which is a state that is growing rapidly as well.
We lived 23 years in Amarillo before relocating to Fairview. I don’t recall ever hearing much public squawking in Amarillo about the city’s aggressive growth strategies: its use of the economic development corporation to lure jobs; its courting of manufacturing and medical center jobs. All of that meant growth was certain. Indeed, Amarillo’s population will exceed 200,000 by the time they take the census in 2020.
We lived in Beaumont for nearly 11 years before migrating to the Caprock. The Golden Triangle, too, demonstrated an eagerness to grow and to seek diversity in its economic base, which for generations relied heavily on the petrochemical industry.
My own sense is that the pro-growth faction — whoever comprises it — ultimately will win the argument. I have found little appetite in Texas during my 34 years living in this state for wholesale resistance to growth opportunities when they present themselves.
Growth means more revenue, which produces greater means to pay for services. My new friend in Fairview seems to believe the no-growth faction remains a vocal minority.
I trust he is correct, as he knows the town far better than I do.
That also is my hope.