It’s our turn to enjoy island life

Chief Concerns

Scott Burroughs is chief of the Port Aransas Police Department.

Scott Burroughs is chief of the Port Aransas Police Department.

I used to think that Christmas was my favorite holiday, but now I am thinking that maybe Labor Day has that distinction.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate how important our tourists are to the local economy, but after the past few months I am ready for a break. My guess is most of y’all would agree.

If ever there was a city that should have an appreciation for Labor Day, it is Port Aransas. While much of the country is struggling with their economic viability, we can’t fill jobs fast enough.

Even though we debate the pros and cons of such a strong tourist industry, there is no doubt the local economy is booming. There is also no doubt that our local labor force is stretched very thin and works ridiculously long hours, especially during the summer.

I know that the Winter Texans are already packing their bags in anticipation of moving to Port Aransas for a few months. But, at least for now, we will be able to make left-hand turns and (maybe?) the ferry-wait times will be a little more reasonable.

We can start eating out at our favorite restaurants without having to wait an hour or more for a table. We won’t be playing dodge ball with golf carts or having to worry about getting t-boned by a lost tourist that can’t decide to turn right, left, or keep going straight through the intersection.

The United States has been celebrating Labor Day since 1894 when the United States Congress passed legislation to make the first Monday of September a national holiday in recognition of the labor force that works so hard to make our country economically strong.

Out of respect for that original intent, I want to say thank you to the men and women that work all day and well into the night to keep this city thriving. Thank you to the wait staff, cooks, and dish washers that keep our visitors and locals fed. Thank you to the clerks, stockers, and cashiers, that keep our store shelves stocked and provide the essentials that help make our lives happier.

Thank you to the housekeepers and staff that provide rooms for our guests and to the taxi drivers that help keep our streets safer by providing transportation to those that have been overserved. Thank you to the trash collectors and the beach maintenance crews that work so hard to make our city clean. I particularly want to express my sincere appreciation to the first responders that provide such professional service to our locals and visitors alike.

Labor Day is the perfect time to pat each other on the back and to congratulate ourselves for surviving another tourist season. Now it is finally our turn to visit the beach, go fishing, and enjoy all the pleasures our island has to offer.

Be sure to enjoy it while you can. Christmas is only a few months away, and the Winter Texans are already packing their bags.

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