Resound support for 'top town' leaders
Fredericksburg voters spoke loudly on Election Day and stated “we like our town just fine, thank you.”
Voters chose to return Linda Langerhans to the mayor’s seat, and Charlie Kiehne to a council spot, along with former mayor and councilman Tom Musselman to the other council spot. All were chosen as proven commodities — three people who helped this town become a nice place to reside and a destination for visitors.
We thank exiting councilman Bobby Watson for his years of service and we appreciate his vision for this community. We also extend thanks, and an olive branch, to challengers Jim Bennett, Mo Saiidi and Tim Lafferty.
It’s still true what our fathers taught us: “Respect is earned, not given.” Voters thought the same and turned out to “dance with those who brought us.”
List after list of small-town rankings finds Fredericksburg at or near the top. A reputation for cleanliness, friendliness and unique offerings not found in every small town have driven the ’Burg upward. That success, coupled with an industriousness, work ethic and frugality — not to mention sales tax receipts other small towns would die for — have led to a quality of life that is enviable. It is why many of us chose to live here and invest here.
But even after a divisive election, we all can learn to work together on items of common interest. Single-issue voters — like those driven by dislike of the new short-term rental ordinance — should realize the days of zero regulation were going away, given our two million visitors per year, a desire for safety and little disruption in traditional neighborhoods, as well as the city’s expense of responding to those few visitors who might have a little too much fun.
City council members can listen to STR owners on how to best tweak these rules to be mutually beneficial and keep the burden of regulation to a minimum.
Also, rising property values also are a sign of the laws of supply and demand, not “out of control government spending.” The city’s debt load is small in comparison to many similar-sized towns, yet we continue to benefit from services not found elsewhere, like leaf pickup and a complete lack of potholes on local roads, to name a few.
All this is to say that Fredericksburg remains a pretty great town. Every place will have issues to address, but our town fathers (and mothers) seem to find a way to plug along.
But everyone from peach farmers, to retail shop owners, to winery operators have made this a desirable place to live and visit, and this town has, over the decades, chosen pragmatic thinkers who don’t stand in the way of progress, but have an eye for the uniqueness of this place.
We also congratulate Kelly DiCuffa and Judge Edwards and welcome them to the Fredericksburg Independent School District board of trustees. And we thank Bob Straus and Marion Wiggins for throwing their hats in the ring. Perhaps a future election will find a seat for these civic-minded individuals.
We look forward to working with all the winners and watching this town and school district continue to prosper and be recognized for its successes. – K.E.C.