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Old 04-15-2008, 01:52 AM
 
146 posts, read 514,678 times
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"Involuntary annexation is a controversial issue in those parts of unincorporated Bexar County affected by it. Residents, attracted to the outlying areas by lower taxes and affordable real estate values, often see annexation as a mechanism to increase property tax rates without a corresponding improvement in services such as police and fire protection, while the city regards its annexation policy as essential to its overall prosperity.["



I found that statement on a public info website. I'm wondering what opinions people in norths SA, Bextar County, have about it. Are there enough police in the area? Are the police and fire stations too far away? Any other concerns? Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:47 AM
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Location: Ohio
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I think it's highly subjective. The unincorporated areas are accustomed to a hometown police force that's headquartered nearby and a volunteer fire department that's down the street. They may even be on a first name basis with folks who work for both departments. Replacing those local departments with city police headquartered at a substation a few miles away and professional city firefighters at a station more distant than the hometown station is sacrificing familiarity for a higher degree of professionalism.
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:04 AM
 
4,307 posts, read 9,506,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
I think it's highly subjective. The unincorporated areas are accustomed to a hometown police force that's headquartered nearby and a volunteer fire department that's down the street. They may even be on a first name basis with folks who work for both departments. Replacing those local departments with city police headquartered at a substation a few miles away and professional city firefighters at a station more distant than the hometown station is sacrificing familiarity for a higher degree of professionalism.

Except that as these small communities grow, the demand for such services increases drastically, overwhelming the local hometown police and volunteer firefighters.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the local-ness of these services is a benefit, but when the area grows from a few thousand people to tens of thousands, they can't handle it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:04 AM
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Location: Ohio
17,105 posts, read 37,923,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
Except that as these small communities grow, the demand for such services increases drastically, overwhelming the local hometown police and volunteer firefighters.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the local-ness of these services is a benefit, but when the area grows from a few thousand people to tens of thousands, they can't handle it.
You imply that you're contradicting me, but I agree completely.

It's probably the case that the new residents would prefer upgrading to big city services, while the older long-term residents are content with the status quo. I can see the merits of both sides of the issue, but time marches on and if the current departments are stretched to the limit and unwilling to adapt, annexation is usually the best alternative.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:30 PM
 
529 posts, read 2,703,159 times
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When I lived in unincorporated Bexar County, I had read talks about Windcrest Annexing us. I was hoping for it to happen but it never did. I would have been happy to pay taxes to have the cops crack down on people who flew through our neighborhoods. The streets are real curvey and there are bunch of cars parked on them and lots of kids and dogs in the street. The speed limit of 30 was alreay way too high for a crowded sudivision but people were surpassing that speed all the time.
I was also hoping they would have cracked down on all the stray animals and the fireworks. Even though I was in uncorporated Bexar County, the houses in my development were very close together and completely unsafe for fireworks. I'm not talking about small firecrackers. People were using things that should only have been used at professional fireworks shows.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:52 PM
 
4,307 posts, read 9,506,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
When I lived in unincorporated Bexar County, I had read talks about Windcrest Annexing us. I was hoping for it to happen but it never did. I would have been happy to pay taxes to have the cops crack down on people who flew through our neighborhoods. The streets are real curvey and there are bunch of cars parked on them and lots of kids and dogs in the street. The speed limit of 30 was alreay way too high for a crowded sudivision but people were surpassing that speed all the time.
I was also hoping they would have cracked down on all the stray animals and the fireworks. Even though I was in uncorporated Bexar County, the houses in my development were very close together and completely unsafe for fireworks. I'm not talking about small firecrackers. People were using things that should only have been used at professional fireworks shows.
Maybe Windcrest police are better about this...

I wouldn't bet for SA police to do much of what you describe. You couldn't live much more within SA city limits as I do, and though I'm quite sure I can get police/fire response within minutes (the fire station is a few blocks away, and until Pig Stand closed down, it was full of cops 24/7),
*people sail through the 30mph speed limit streets
*on Sundays park to the edge of the corner (dangerously blocking the view of drivers crossing the street)
*we have tons of stray animals and
*massive fireworks displays (even tho we can readily see the fireworks displays at Hemisfair or Sunset Station)

and except for the King William Fair day, the cops do nothing about the speed/parking issues, fireworks or strays.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:01 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
898 posts, read 2,551,042 times
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I think a big reason for the opposition to annexation in northern Bexar is because if gated communities were annexed, they basically get higher taxes and not much else. Trash pickup would still be private, as would neighborhood street maintenance. There would be SA fire protection, but i dont think that would be worth the increased taxes.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:58 PM
 
529 posts, read 2,703,159 times
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Yes, Windcrest police are much better. I lived less than a mile outside of windcrest and went through their all the time. The speed limit is 20 mph and everyone follows it because everyone knows that the cops enforce it.

When I finally decided to get out my neighborhood, I wanted to go to Windcrest but I couldn't afford a nice house out there, so I moved to Live Oak. The cops here are great as well. They pull people over all the time. Speed limit is also 20.

Oh yeah, the final decision that made me not want to move into San Antonio was not only that they don't enforce fire works bans but that the safe zone burned up! They set up a place that is supposed to be safe for fireworks and 500 acres burned. If it was a safe zone, then it should have been closely monitored!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka View Post
Maybe Windcrest police are better about this...

I wouldn't bet for SA police to do much of what you describe. You couldn't live much more within SA city limits as I do, and though I'm quite sure I can get police/fire response within minutes (the fire station is a few blocks away, and until Pig Stand closed down, it was full of cops 24/7),
*people sail through the 30mph speed limit streets
*on Sundays park to the edge of the corner (dangerously blocking the view of drivers crossing the street)
*we have tons of stray animals and
*massive fireworks displays (even tho we can readily see the fireworks displays at Hemisfair or Sunset Station)

and except for the King William Fair day, the cops do nothing about the speed/parking issues, fireworks or strays.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:00 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,314 posts, read 3,159,241 times
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One thing I think people don't realize is this: although your taxes are lower in unincorporated areas, your property insurance rates are significantly higher due to the lack of a full-time, professional, well-equipped fire department. Even smaller suburbs with professional fire departments typically have a lower (worse) fire protection rating than San Antonio does because their departments are smaller and have less manpower and equipment.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:02 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,314 posts, read 3,159,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
Oh yeah, the final decision that made me not want to move into San Antonio was not only that they don't enforce fire works bans but that the safe zone burned up! They set up a place that is supposed to be safe for fireworks and 500 acres burned. If it was a safe zone, then it should have been closely monitored!
Um, the safe zones are outside of San Antonio's city limits and are overseen by the local fire departments and law enforcement in those areas.
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