City Council Upholds Ban on Pawn Shops in the Mineola Historic District

Originally posted on May 23, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

This issue has drawn nearly as many emotional responses as the alcohol issue did. Because we are not a merchant within the historic overlay district of Mineola, we have remained silent about this.

As I listened to people discuss this issue tonight, I was overcome with the level of fear on the behalf of citizens and council members alike, fear that if we allow this man to open a pawn shop in Mineola, that a sea of pawn shops would soon follow. It’s a good thing our founding fathers had a greater vision than to worry about the hypothetical.

Rob Carter of The Ponderosa make his case in city hall.

Simple laws of economics will dictate saturation levels that a local economy can support of a given type of business. Ask any antique shop owner in any of these East Texas towns and they will certainly agree with the principles of over-saturation that lead to diminishing returns.

I understand that laws and ordinances are set forth for the long term, but isn’t the principle of modern conservative economics to let the markets dictate what will and what will not last? Or is it that nobody wants to be next to the pawn shop? We have multiple small loan companies in the historic overlay district. Are they really any different than pawn shops?

After this town voted to repeal prohibition I was excited at the surge of progress. What I saw tonight was the quashing of progress in the name of “What if…” scenarios that may or may never come true and are driven by fear.

Kudos to Rob Carter of Ponderosa for doing what he thinks is right and for taking his fight to the council. Hopefully his pioneering spirit will be rewarded by having a successful business despite some members of his community and government rallying against him.

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