A small city in Parker County is currently wrestling over whether or not it will vote itself into nonexistence.
The city of Reno, which lies about 20 miles northwest of Forth Worth, has a population of only 3,000. Across the roughly 13 square miles, there are no traffic lights, gas stations, or stores. There is no post office, but it does have a city hall and a police station.
Its former mayor, Eric Hunter, does not believe the city can sustain city hall and police station operations with only funds from property taxes. If the city decides to disincorporate, it will merge its essential services with the county.
Supporters of disincorporation have pointed to various city issues, such as a lack of road maintenance and a high turnover rate in the police force, as reasons to dissolve the city’s charter.
Under the former mayor’s dissolution plan, the county sheriff would be responsible for emergencies in the area, and the county would assume responsibility for road maintenance.
A group led by Hunter organized a petition signed by almost 500 people for the city’s disincorporation. The decision was set to come to the ballot in May 2023.
However, the current mayor and city council have suggested that there are not enough valid signatures to bring the decision to the ballot yet.
Furthermore, some residents believe disincorporating would damage the small town’s rural feel. Resident Sharon Abner fears that large new developments will start to crop up without local city management and crowd out the long-time residents.
Another Reno resident, Tim Thornburg, told NBC that “everybody here likes their space, their peace.”