Good afternoon. Thank you very much for reaching out to me. 

Regarding the “Save Cimarron” campaign, I believe this campaign would be detrimental for the City of Mission. 

First, it is my understanding that there are a number of procedural and legal hurdles that the Cimarron Home Owners Association (HOA) would have to jump in order to even bring the campaign to the City for consideration. 

I believe the City of Mission would have to begin a condemnation/taking action against the current property owner and would be required at the end of that action, if successful, to purchase the property at full market value. Such a purchase would cost the citizens of Mission millions of dollars. Not only would the City have to pay millions of dollars for our property, but they would need to pay for the maintenance of this golf course. 

They say they would raise the taxable base on the Cimarron residents to maintain this golf course. Therefore, the increase of any property taxes resulting from the purchase of this property would go directly towards maintaining the golf course and not to the entire population of Mission. That seems questionable to me. I do not see how the citizens of Mission will escape a large tax bill for buying and operating a golf course for the benefit of only the wealthy Cimarron HOA residents. 

I keep hearing that the former private country club at Cimarron is considered by some as “The Crown Jewel of Mission”. The City of Mission already owns the Shary Municipal Golf Course, which is a 27-hole golf course compared to the 18-hole golf course that formerly operated on our property. 

The “Save Cimarron” campaign can try to cloud the idea that the Cimarron Golf Course is for the benefit of the entire City. I could not disagree more: it is entirely for the benefit of the wealthy residents of the Cimarron neighborhood. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.8% of residents of the City of Mission live below the poverty line. How can anyone justify to these nearly 17,000 residents of Mission who live below the poverty line that a second golf course costing millions of dollars of their taxpayer money is a better use of City funds as opposed to using those taxpayer funds for public schools, city streets, county roads, police departments, fire protection, disaster relief, economic assistance to low-income residents, wage increases to our City employees and many other vital programs that our citizens desperately need.

The re-development of our property will not cost the citizens of Mission anything at all. New money will be invested into our city and the enormous amount of property taxes, sales taxes and other revenues that will result from this re-development will go back to the City of Mission for the benefit of the entire population. 

Furthermore, the school districts will be able to receive a very important amount of new students, which would benefit them greatly. As I mentioned before, the goal of the “Save Cimarron” campaign is to protect the property values and golf course views of the wealthy residents of Cimarron at the expense of us, the citizens of Mission.

Thank you very much for reaching out to me.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Joseph Michael Kamel, (pictured above) a businessman, land developer, and one of the owners of Cimarron Country Club. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. 

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service seeks to report all sides in the dispute between the owners of Cimarron Country Club and the Save Cimarron campaign. Click here to read a recent story focusing on the views of the Save Cimarron campaign. We welcome new commentary on this issue. Anyone wishing to comment should email: [email protected].

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