Mapleview says ‘no’ to joining AustinPublished 12:00pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012
When asked about possibly joining the city of Austin, Mapleview candidates gave a unanimous “no thank you.”
Mayoral candidates Arnie Johnson and Larry Naatz — joined by Mapleview City Council candidates Kristine Finley, Simon Hancock, Richard Lamaack and Jody Mens — dismissed a resident’s idea of a possible annexation by Austin at a candidate forum Tuesday night at Mapleview Community Hall.
Several spoke of the town’s small size as a positive, and asserted they had been well enough on their own.
“We do pretty good right now,” Mens said.
Others had less optimism, and feared assessments costs from work Austin did when considering incorporating Mapleview.
“There probably will come a time when it won’t be an option,” Finley said.
Mapleview should have expanded before Austin spread around the town, Johnson said. Now it has little room to do so.
“It’s going to be a struggle to stay independent,” he said.
At the forum, candidates agreed the town needed to take the financial burden off its residents, even as it emerges from debt. Infrastructure concerns led the discussion, leaving candidates hashing out what could be done going forward for Mapleview’s aging roads and water utilities even in the wake of decreased Local Government Aid.
“It’s been an uphill battle,” said Johnson, present mayor. Water towers were first on the list of priorities, he added.
Naatz, his challenger and former mayor, agreed.
“It’s going to continue to need more and more repairs,” he said.
The four council candidates are vying for two at-large seats.