I know the town of Lavon well enough -- used to drive through it nearly every day on my way to and from our old downtown Dallas office, way back when I flirted with the idea of bein' a Collin County country boy, like that was gonna work out. Driving along State Highway 78, I watched it go from nowhere city to boomtown almost overnight -- cattle pastures gave way to housing developments, that weird castle sprung up on Lake Lavon, and empty byways became slightly congested highways. Only, turns out, all isn't well in Lavon, Texas.
It's bad enough that the plight of Lavon winds up on the front page of this morning's New York Times, beneath the headline: "Slowdown Hits Towns at Outskirts of Texas Boom." Home sales are way down; home construction's damned near at a stand-still. And the city government itself doesn't have much scratch either -- which means no new City Hall, no new paved roads, and maybe no jobs for some folks who work for the city. “I say that very quietly,” says Mike Jones, Lavon's city marshal and chief administrator, “because I don’t want to panic our citizens or our employees.” Maybe he said it quietly; being on the front page of The New York Times kinda amplifies it, just a bit. --Robert Wilonsky
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