|JANUARY 15, 2000|
Gated lakeside community now protected from annexation
Talk about a mandate. Voters in deCordova Bend Estates overwhelmingly approved incorporation in Saturday’s election with 88 percent in favor of the gated lakeside community becoming an official city.
The incorporation idea was sparked by deCordova’s fear of annexation from the city of Granbury. Officials in Granbury, however, repeatedly denied any interest in annexing deCordova.
By being incorporated, the new city, called “deCordova,” can protect itself from annexation by Granbury or any other city
deCordova board president Truitt Garrison said he felt the issue would be approved, but not by this wide of a margin. “I didn’t ever think it would (pass) by this degree,” he said. “I can only believe our communications got out to the membership and they voted accordingly.”
Garrison and all fellow board members supported the incorporation proposal.
About 60 percent (1,304) of the registered voters in deCordova (2,178) marked ballots in the election. Saturday’s voting was in the deCordova clubhouse.
deCordova resident Herman Powell, an incorporation opponent, said voters bought the annexation fear. “They (incorporation supporters) got a pretty good snow job in,” Powell said.
Powell doesn’t believe that Granbury had any intentions of annexing deCordova. “If they did maybe it would have been better than us getting in the city business,” he said. “I don’t think we as a private club need to be in the city business.”
The next step will be for county judge Linda Steen to set the city council election date. That’s when deCordova voters will elect a mayor, five council members and a marshal to govern the city.
deCordova, with an estimated population of 2,900, will now be considered Hood County’s second largest city (Granbury first).
It will be a class B city, which is expected to provide minimal services, but can levy a property tax of up to 25 cents per $100 valuation. The board, however, expects little will be changed and expects the association to continue operating deCordova like it has since the beginning 30 years ago.
The board says no property tax will be required unless certain services were transferred to the city, such as security. For that to happen, it would require only a vote by the board.Several residents favor a bylaws change that would require a two-thirds majority vote by members before any services were transferred to the city. The board’s bylaws committee is studying that possibility to put before voters at the May 20 annual meeting. Residents can also petition for a proposed bylaws change by gathering about 150 signatures.
Powell wants a bylaws change even stronger. He favors a change that would prohibit the transfer of services or assets “under any circumstance. That would take care of it from now on.”
Powell points to the expected dues increase election Feb. 26. “If that vote fails, what do you think will be the first thing they (the board) will do? They’ll transfer security to the city. It would take every bit of that 25 cents to pay for that.”
Garrison denies such a scenario, stressing the board isn’t planning to transfer anything to the city.
The security gates, much enjoyed by deCordova residents, will remain unless city money is spent on streets in deCordova. For the city to take over the streets and other assets would require a two-thirds vote by members.
A “city hall” will have to be established. Garrison indicated that the clubhouse could serve as the city hall. The “city hall” must be accessible to the public. Garrison said people having business at the city hall, such as those wanting to attend open city council meetings, could give their names at the security gate and state the nature of their business.
Hood County News