Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Democracy in Action... Texas

WHITE SETTLEMENT, TEXAS — Residents held on to their heritage Tuesday night and voted against changing their town name to West Settlement, despite proponents' arguments that the name has racial connotations.

In a record turnout, 2,388 residents voted against the name change and 219 voted for it in unofficial, complete returns.

The city got its name because it was the lone village of white pioneers amid several American Indian encampments in the Fort Worth area in the Texas Republic territory in the 1840s.

Mayor James Ouzts and other city leaders proposed the change, saying the current name is confusing, misleading and has hindered economic development in this 15,000-resident suburb of Fort Worth.

However, the ballot measure angered many residents who said the change was unnecessary and too costly. Signs across town urged folks to 'Be Proud! Don't Let Them Discard the Heritage of White Settlement. Vote No!'

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