Jennifer Mora not only attended, but spoke at, her first city council meeting this week.
“I know I’ve watched a little bit on TV before," she said. "So that was a new process for me. Definitely a bit intimidating.”
Mora, along with seven other citizens, was there to comment during a public hearing about impact fees.
Impact fees are one-time fees paid by property developers to fund infrastructure needed for growth. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports the cost of major roadways, water and wastewater lines is currently spread across the town and paid through citizens' city bills.
Developers and industry groups have argued against impact fees for water and wastewater, projects that benefit larger parts of the community than just one subdivision. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, two people representing builders said the fees could affect Lubbock’s housing affordability.
A growing group of citizens is advocating for impact fees to be based on a development’s location. They’re asking for no impact fees inside of Loop 289, what they’re calling “Old Lubbock,” and maximum fees outside of the loop.
These people are organizing as the Lubbock Compact. A private Facebook group started this week has added over 1,200 members. Their goal is to attend city meetings, write letters and emails and talk to others about Old Lubbock’s future as new development continues to move south and west.
Mora says she and other members of the Lubbock Compact group feel they have a lot to learn about the ins-and-outs of local government. But that they're willing to do that.
Cannon Roberts was another citizen who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting. He grew up in Lubbock and has been a part of the local political scene for a few years.
Public hearings about impact fees will continue. The Lubbock City Council is expected to vote on the fees this fall.
Hear what Mora and Roberts said to the city council in the audio story above.