The Horse and the Cart

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CENTRAL FIRST BLUEb larger“Putting the cart before the horse” is to do things in the wrong order.  – Cambridge Dictionary
The City of Central certainly has a cart, and our elected officials are steadily filling it with development-friendly legislation, re-zoning, and Master Plan revisions. There has been talk about a horse, which normally goes ahead of the cart, and this horse’s name is “Comprehensive Drainage Plan.”  However, this particular horse has not been sighted in Central, so perhaps it is a unicorn. Undeterred, our officials seem eager to load up the cart with heavy developments and push it down the hill, gathering its own horseless head of steam, with no intent to stop it.
More simply stated, changes to the Master Plan, approval of new developments, and clearing of off-road drainage are moving forward without the long-promised Comprehensive Drainage Plan. To me, that is a classic “Cart Before the Horse” problem. Now before someone calls a press conference to rant about the urgent and immediate need to clear the ditches, I believe that should have started in 2014… as was promised.
In March, the City Council approved a project to hire an engineering firm to study Central’s drainage network and formulate a Comprehensive Plan for the maintenance and improvement of drainage. However, six months later, the project remains just a promise, having never been put out for bids.
Regular readers of this column know that I like to present issues in different and sometimes off-beat ways, just to make them interesting, but this is as straightforward as I can be. I am reading stories almost daily from flood-devastated Houston and still-recovering Louisiana, pointing out the concerns that over-development may have worsened, and in some cases caused, flooding to homes. I have also heard from many citizens who share these concerns, and since last year are understandably anxious every time rain is forecast.
The City of Central needs to stop approving development that is contrary to our Master Plan, stop trying to “update” that Master Plan with the presumed intent to push more development, and stop using the “If you’re not growing you’re dying” panic cry to justify development.
Without a demonstrated, compelling need, this type of “cart-pushing” needs to stop until the promised Comprehensive Drainage Plan is completed (which means it will need to be started) and these decisions can be made based on the best available information. That’s the way I see it.

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