The small town of Reno, Parker County, is debating whether it should exist or dissolve and turn over essential services to the county.
Reno, near Azle, doesn’t have a single traffic light. No petrol stations, no shops, not even a post office.
The 13 square mile country town of about 3,000 people has a town hall and a police station.
And now former mayor Eric Hunter wants to put an end to those.
“During my tenure as mayor, it became increasingly clear that the city simply could not support itself on property taxes alone,” Hunter said.
According to his plan, Reno would dissolve, the sheriff would respond to emergencies, and the county would maintain the streets.
“And I think the county has better resources and more resources,” Hunter said.
But not everyone agrees. Many want Reno to stay Reno.
“Yeah, keep it small town,” said longtime resident Sharon Abner.
She thinks it’s a matter of development. Reno limits home building to one home per acre. She worries that developers in big cities want to build big new neighborhoods.
“I moved to the countryside for a reason,” Abner said.
Tim Thornburg agrees.
“At the moment it’s just a small town with big city problems,” he said. “All this growth and everything around it. Everyone here loves their space, their peace.”
Hunter, the former mayor, started a petition and said the county’s election administrator had cleared the 400 signatures he needed to ask voters the question: Should Reno disband?
But the current mayor and council say by their tally there aren’t enough valid signatures and they’re refusing to put the issue on the ballot.
“They are doing everything they can to drown out the voices of citizens.”
Hunter said he plans to consult with a lawyer and possibly take the city to court to force an election.
“The fight is not over yet,” he said.