City of Alpine Ward 1 deserves better than Judy Stokes. Please read and consider running for City Council
February 14, 2023
Have to admit, when I first drove through Alpine, Texas on my way to Florida last year, I was surprised it was called the alps of Texas. I didn't appreciate the rugged terrain, the wide open vistas, or stop to explore any of the art galleries, the quaint candy store, unique restaurants, and shops, I just kept driving on to Austin, TX because my sister had given me a deadline to arrive at her house by 10 pm due to her work schedule. And I still had 6 hours of driving.
Never in a million years did I think I would ever end up living here as I drove through. I was going to live the rest of my days in Florida, enjoying the sun and the beach, and Governor DeSantis. HA HA HA. When man plans, God laughs. Isn't that the saying?
I've moved so often it's hard to count, but I blame it on the fact as children my mom and dad took us to South America when we were very young and then as teenagers, moved us to Africa for a year. I've traveled through 27 countries, and 4 continents, and have either lived in, gone to school in, or traveled through most of the U.S.
There was a study done years ago by a California university on the effects living abroad has on children and one of the long-term effects was determined to be the need for movement. At least that's my recollection of my participation. Can't find it now so we'll never know if I'm right, but I have been a nomad for most of my life. That's why it's a natural fit for me to finally own and operate a travel agency because if you want to go somewhere, I've probably been there. I also am becoming certified in all kinds of vacation spots because it's also a way to learn where I want to move next, truth be told.
That's why, waking up at 5:30 am to the sounds and vibrations of construction, bright lights, and loud horns blaring sporadically combined with the beeping of equipment backing up makes me want to pack up and leave immediately. I didn't sign up for a year-long construction site outside my bedroom window. What I thought I was going to find here in Alpine, TX was dark skies, and quiet, peaceful living while I build my online empire.
However, what I wasn't taking into account was a city council that, despite their claims they care about the city, allowed not one, not two, but THREE Dollar General stores into this community with a population of 6,000. Who does this without understanding the ramifications of such a ghetto store being here?
Because I watched Ozark, have to admit, it has made me wonder if the cartel isn't using Dollar General as a money laundering tool because the research my friend gave me regarding where Dollar Generals tend to end up is in small towns with naïve city councils. In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer:
I've really tried to hold my tongue, but having drilling previously on Sundays at 10 pm and lights on at 10:30 pm at night with a generator making a horrible noise, I have to ask, why aren't there ordinances in Alpine to prevent this? Why isn't there an ordinance to protect the quaint, small-town experience that generations have enjoyed year after year?
Guess what? Turns out, we don't need a noise ordinance to sue according to a criminal defense attorney. It's considered a public nuisance and I would like to start a class action suit because I'm sure neighbors would want to participate since it's affecting their quality of life as well. If you're interested, contact me via email (email@example.com) and we'll get it going. I know a law firm that specializes in class action lawsuits very open to receiving this information to start one. And if you have an Alpine news tip, send it to that email too.
Filing a noise nuisance lawsuit is easy peasy to quote said attorney.
What I find interesting is that I watched B.J. Novak's Vengeance film prior to moving here and was shocked to learn he had shot some of it right here in West Texas. And that a lot of the issues he references in the film, are currently happening. What? You haven't heard of this film either? Let me give you a taste of what you're missing. Here's the trailer:
After experiencing what I'm seeing lately, I think he could easily write a follow-up script using the greed of the land owners who sold the land for $37,000 to Dollar General (click here for stories about other small towns being decimated by this company) now live behind gated communities (yes, those even exist out in the middle of nowhere believe it or not) with their addresses blurred on Google maps and continue to build their coffers on the backs of small-town people who don't have the legal knowledge or money to fight back.
The classic class struggle.
The other day I sold a compact burner to a woman for $4 who told me her son was going to use it to warm up their house because he has no heat. That reminded me of a single Mexican mom I once rented a room from who couldn't afford to pay for heat in the apartment, rented to me to afford her living expenses because she stayed in a low-paying job believing the owner would eventually compensate her loyalty, and slept on the couch in the living room giving her teenage daughter her own bedroom. She slept with the oven on and the oven door open to keep the house warm which I don't believe is healthy for anyone.
Kind of opens your eyes to what white privilege really is when you think about it. Or is it life choices? Because after I moved out, her daughter became pregnant at 16 years old like her mom, dropped out of high school, and is raising this child on welfare. At a certain point, you make your bed and you lie in it if we are being brutally honest. I left after the daughter kept threatening suicide and the mom finally recognized she needed to have her apartment back to deal with her daughter's issues.
But I digress. I didn't sign up for an excess of Dollar Generals in this quiet community and neither did my neighbors. Click to read the story of "Dollar General: The staple in small towns throughout America. Are they harmful or helpful, and why is there another Dollar General for the “wealthy”?" because this is happening all over apparently.
"‘When a grocery store closes up and it’s your last one, you feel it immediately’ Rural areas are losing grocery stores but gaining other kinds of food retailers, such as dollar stores, according to the USDA." Click that link to read the full story.
Even the New York Times has written about this issue, ‘Everything Going the Wrong Way’: Dollar Stores Hit a Pandemic Downturn
Here's a link to the zoning map of Alpine that hasn't been updated since 2013 apparently: https://
That's what scares me the most about this current city council member representing our area, Judy Stokes, is that Ward 1 covers the small local airport too. Who's to say she won't allow more construction, more planes flying at all hours and wherever they want, and other encroachments on our civil rights? Or worse yet, illegal immigration via planes! Don't believe me? Read this article in the Big Bend Sentinel: Pilot in plane crash involving undocumented migrants pleads guilty to felony human smuggling charge
I tried to speak to her at the last city council meeting and she refused to acknowledge that I had the right to add the noise and disruption of the Dollar General construction to the next City Council meeting's agenda. Who does that? If she's not representing her constituents, WHO IS SHE REPRESENTING?
Because apparently, this has been a pattern with Judy Stokes since she came into office if this Big Bend Sentinel article indicates anything: New Alpine City Council throws out top city administration
"Though citizens, the city attorney, and a fellow council member asked Stokes to provide her reasoning or motivations for the terminations she had slated, Stokes refused to talk. “We don’t have to have those, we are at-will employment,” she said. “I put it on the agenda and I feel comfortable in my position.”
Stokes did not return requests for comment, leaving the public with little reason as to why she initiated the swift terminations. On social media, some citizens responding to the terminations complained about Zimmer’s salary and his use of a city vehicle to visit his family in Albuquerque – something that had been contractually agreed upon by the city when Zimmer was hired."
So, to the anonymous person who chose to challenge my blog via email hiding behind your anonymity, here's why I write what I write and where you're wrong. Something is fishy when someone is doing a good job and is fired for no reason. You have to read the above article because it details exactly what went on when this city council chose to unceremoniously dump people who according to the community at large who came to speak on their behalf, were doing a good job.
"Erik Zimmer grew up in Alpine and was one of the most productive city managers in many years. When he was hired in late 2013, the city had serious financial problems with a debt of nearly $10 million, almost as great as its total budget. When he left in 2017, it was about $6 million." (THIS IS WHO JUDY AND THIS CITY COUNCIL FIRED) You can read the full article here: Erik Zimmer returns as Alpine city manager
You know what's really ironic? At the last city council meeting this current city council voted to keep the city attorney who gave bad advice regarding Dollar General in his position as city attorney. WHY?! You just can't make this up.
So Judy, when are you going to listen to us? When are you going to act in the best interests of Alpine, Texas? Or do we need to find another candidate to run against you? I hope the person I've been talking to will do so because we need open, transparent representation, not someone who has her own agenda, refuses to listen to her constituents and isn't acting in the best interests of the area she was hired to represent.
And if you vote Judy Stokes back on the city council this May, you deserve what you get. A town that will continue to be run by someone who doesn't care and will do whatever this puppet wants to fulfill the bidding of her masters. At a certain point, we have to recognize that just because someone grew up in a small town doesn't mean they understand how to run it effectively, or that they're not being manipulated behind the scenes.
I said what I said.