(19) comments Back to story

Charlotte O'rourke

This article concentrates on the business side of tourism and the workers needed to stay in business for ever more tourism. It does not address in any depth the impact of losing Galveston families from every aspect of Galveston life from our schools to our churches to our restaurants.

Long gone are the days that residents - people actually living here - count for anything.

Don Schlessinger


Sue Emmite


David Hardee

family assembles in Galveston annually from across Texas. Room rates are so high on island they are now opting to off the Island. That is a loss of island income in access of many thousand $. Low income housing and the tourist industry (which is cyclical) are in opposition. The full time employment industries on the island not impacted by cyclical tourism can be summed as UTMB, wharves, ANICO, public services including schools and none tourist local retailers. Markets and capitalizations will balance themselves if left alone. These manipulations and subsidies only create unsustainable band aids and temporary "were fixing it".

Smecca, local business owner, has the only approach that is long term sustainable. Let capitalism work and those that work at it will solve the problems. NGO's and bureaucrats are looking for in all the wrong places trying to engineer society.

Gary Scoggin

As a Mainlander, I am amused at the use of the term “import” regarding Mainland residents who work in Galveston. It sounds like they should need Visas or Green Cards. Perhaps a wall across the causeway.

Ted Gillis

So you choose not to include local business owner Jeff Antonelli in that comment David? Jeff has invested his capital to accomplish the same long term results. Don’t get me wrong, I love Johnny Smecca’s cheese pizzas. They are the best, but a Shrimp n Stuff fried shrimp poboy is by far the most superior sandwich on the island!

David Hardee

Did Antonelli did interviewed? And your appetite is of no value here.

Charlotte O'rourke

From the outlined series, the articles about the high cost of housing on residents is supposed to be forth coming. I would like to read something other than describing the problem again. Solutions please. We need families living and working here, and that will not be accomplished by continuing down our current path and the 50 year focus - almost exclusively - on increasing the volume of tourists.

We need to work on our schools, neighborhoods, city infrastructure, housing, and diversifying the port’s revenue stream by investing in areas other than just cruises to reverse this continuing trend of families leaving the Island.. Exodus of families will continue until the elected officials make residency a top priority.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Deborah Jones


Lizzie Tish

I am curious, and I ask this with all sincerity, what is being done with all of the public housing we have here on the island? Friends who live nearby report that many of these units are empty. What has happened with all of the market-rate units within these complexes, weren't they to be used for workers?

And....lastly, why do we have such HUGE abundance of property OFF the tax rolls? I wish that someone would become very creative and find a fair and equitable way for these tax-exempt entities to pay their fair share of the taxpayer burden.

David Bloom


Your comments and questions are spot on..

Ted Gillis

Do you mean religious schools and churches Lizzie? Yes, I’d like to see that too.

David Hardee

Ted - don't get ridiculous with this thread.

Religious property is not public property. The Tax exclusions on religious property is constitutional. Cities have no prerogatives.

FYI - religious (Catholic) produced the first schools in Galveston and the country. .

As one of the oldest and more historically significant cities in Texas, Galveston has had a long history of advancements and offerings in education, including: the first parochial school (Ursuline Academy) (1847), the first medical college (now the University of Texas Medical Branch) (1891), and the first school for ...

Also - Compared to government BENEFIT wasted public funds the Catholic charities are volunteered and more efficient.

Ted Gillis

Okay, you can say I’m being ridiculous David, but just where do we start? Whose protected tax exempt status is more important? The Shriners? the Elks? Moody Gardens? Do we sell off Scholes Field and tax the new owner? Do we sell the port? Do we sell the alleys between homes? Do we sell the East End Flats? (Well that’s actually not a bad idea).

I’m just throwing out an idea. I’m okay with tax exempt status for organizations that provide a community benefit. (I even send money to the Catholic Church).

But Lizzie has a point. There comes a time when there is tipping point. Too few properties being taxed can be a burden.

David Bloom


David Hardee

whoops - s/b ramifications.

David Hardee

Ted, The article is referencing the PUBLIC OWNED property that is dormant and or unused. Obviously the port revenue producing is not, nor access - alleys and parking areas is not - considered expendable. I don not want to be persnickety and get to all the raifications. Thanks Ted - get your point - David.

Ted Gillis

You always make good points too David.

I enjoy the discussion and discourse.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Lizzie Tish

Ted, and David, thank you both for your helpful information. I appreciate you both! Happy Thanksgiving. :-)

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