January is a time for new beginnings. We all make those resolutions that last no longer than a Krispy Kreme donut during a diet.

Beginnings almost always come after an ending. After the end of a pregnancy, a child appears in the world, fresh and new. After the end of school, a new summer vacation for that child to explore and enjoy and after graduation, a new life as an adult.

Royse City is beginning a new phase, too. The old, slow, comfortable small town way of is slipping away. Now the city is home rule, which means they can annex property involuntarily. The extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is 1 mile instead of a half mile. There are more than 7,000 people inside the city limits. In five years, there will be close to 15,000.

It also gives us a strong city manager type of government. We have a new city manager, Karen Philippi. She came here from a small town, Alpine, but prior to that she was in Houston and is very capable of handling the rapid expansion we are experiencing. We have a superior economic development corporation, which is bringing in the industry and amenities we need in a growing town.

Royse City is no longer Mayberry, U.S.A.

But it is still a great place to raise a family. There are good schools, quiet communities, well-planned parks, and it is close enough to Dallas for those that work there and far enough away that we can avoid many of the problems of a metropolis.

There are some things you can begin to do if you haven’t already. Register to vote, so you have a voice in what happens in your area. Business owners should join the Chamber of Commerce. Call Shayna at 972-636-5000 for information. If you are a Rotarian, we have one in Royse City. Call Mary Johnson at 972-636-9008 for information.

Get excited, get involved, make this your own home town.

As for me, this is my last column for the Royse City Herald-Banner. I, too, am starting something new. I’ll still be around Royse City, so say “howdy” when we meet!

Ann Cornelius is a benefits counselor with the Area Agency on Aging, a member of the NCT-COG AAA Regional Area Agency Committee and has served on the board of the Rockwall County Committee on Aging since 1993. She and her husband, James, reside in Royse City.

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