LUBBOCK, Texas — The theme of Wednesday night at Citizens Tower was “Where do we go from here?”
After Lubbock voters delivered a decisive defeat to the city’s $174.5 million street bond package in November, District 5 Councilman Randy Christian invited residents to share their ideas at an open forum.
“I hope the community gets the sense they had the opportunity to tell us their opinion,” Councilman Christian said. “Even though the bond package failed, the need still exists.”
Residents from across the city filled almost every seat in the City Council chambers, each bringing a unique viewpoint on their vision for future streets.
The major sticking point was, of course, Broadway. Some citizens believed the city’s plans to repair and revitalize the downtown strip was the most important part of their failed plan. Others believed it was the reason it failed.
“One of the issues that clearly defeated the street bond vote was Broadway,” former Lubbock City councilmember and vocal opponent of November’s bond Paul Beane said. “There are many, many street projects in Lubbock that needed to be done. But I was openly opposed to spending $40 million+ on Broadway.”
“Broadway actually has the strongest economic argument out of any of the roads as being the one that needs to be repaired,” local policy advisor Nicholas Bergfeld said.
Councilman Christian advocated for bringing a new bond package to the ballot in May. He argued that the city will owe an additional $6.7 million in interest on the bond if it is pushed to November. Yet, he made clear the night was about listening and learning, and pointed to possible additional sessions in the future.
“I think that’s something we talk about. Is [May] too early? Some people think it is, some people think it isn’t,” Christian said. “It depends on what you put on that ballot, as well. So that’s what we’re really here for tonight. Whether it’s in May or November, what will that new ballot look like?”