Naked City

Wimberley: City or Not?

If you think Austin's political climate borders on savagery, check out Wimberley's community web site for real blood. Behind the chirpy "share the magic of Wimberley" slogans at www.visitwimberley.com, there lurks the meatiest of all community forum pages -- "Sound Off" -- the cyber-street version of "let's take this argument outside." The topic of the day -- whether to abolish the 2-year-old city government -- will likely continue far beyond May 4, when Wimberley voters seal their fate. Judging from the postings, the pros and cons appear to be 50-50, but who can gauge these things? In one posting, an anti-incorporation Veronica complains that the annual pie social was marred by pro-government folks distributing propaganda, while a pro-city sort warns, "the vultures [read Houston developers] are hovering." And someone calling himself Warren Druggs teases, "Where is Wimberley, anyway?" Oh, the joy of anonymity.

More on Wimberley: Development and real estate interests contributed the lion's share of money collected by the Take Back Wimberley campaign, which supports abolishing the local government. That's according to political push cards being distributed by the opposition, Citizens for Wimberley Good Government, which links six of the seven top contributors to real estate-related fields. City campaign finance documents show that developer/rancher Rocky Romano topped the list of big-money contributors (big by small-town standards) with $1,500. John McCrocklin, owner of a Wimberley real estate firm, and Bob Peerman, of Peerman Land Co. in far Southwest Austin, each contributed $1,000, as did three other donors described by the opposition as real estate investors. The second highest contribution -- $1,250 -- came from insurance firm owner Greg Myers. As for developer Romano, the amount of his contribution doesn't seem all that newsworthy, except maybe in Wimberley. "They came in and asked me for help, so I gave them $1,500," he said matter-of-factly. "And it turned out I was the biggest."

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