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SWOT – Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

January 8, 2012

As part of our budget planning cycle, the City Manager has asked that Council members work through this process of describing what we see in these areas.  I’ve prepared mine and sent it to Dr. Neils last week.  He said he didn’t receive it though, so I’m resending it.  As I am, I thought I’d post it here.

Strengths

  • Conveniently located near Fort Worth, Keller, DFW Airport, Alliance Airport, I-820, I-35, the race track, a Cabella’s and many other attractions locally which make living here very enjoyable.
  • Watauga enjoys a stable and mature tax base.
  • Watauga’s city structure is mature and stable.

Weaknesses

  • Minimal participation by residents:
    •  <4% of voters voted in the last municipal election
    • Very little understanding of the principles of limited government
    • Unimpressive ability to persuade as opposed to dictating
    • Weak City Council members
      • 4 of 5 years included no funding for roads
      • 8 of 10 years included no capital funding for water infrastructure
      • 3 water/drainage/sewer rate increases recommended; city council failed to act
      • City Council failed to adequately set the direction for the city
      • Vision overemphasizes government instead of voluntary business or civic ventures
      • City does a very poor job of communicating with residents – typifies the fact that most residents receive very little value from their taxes (otherwise there would be a great deal more outcry about the failures to communicate)
      • Over-optimistic view of the future
        • Watauga 96% built out – very little opportunity for significant changes in property tax base or sales tax base
        • Demographics are changing; Watauga is not adapting to these needs

Opportunities

  • Income from natural resources coming to fruition
  • A population which has had a very vibrant volunteer community
  • Collaboration between cities seems to have been leveraged very effectively in the past which creates significant opportunities for such ventures in the future
  • Membership in TML and other organizations can be leveraged to push back against Austin and Washington, D.C to end unfunded mandates
  • Tea Party and other conservative entities are waking up, engaging and teaching the electorate that there is a better way

Threats

  • Unlimited exposure to fiscal risk from TCEQ and EPA regulations, standards and fines on water rates and water infrastructure
  • Completely dependent upon external  entities for water and power
  • Fiscal irresponsibility of state
  • Fiscal irresponsibility of Federal government
    • Debt levels are unsustainable
    • Benefit levels are unsustainable
    • Taxes tied to five other political entities for collection means little incentive to change or push back
    • Lack of effective feedback mechanisms for constituents to deal with changing governmental visions
    • Potential for water shortages
    • Fracking may put a significant damper on the availability of water resources in the future
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