From the President
I hope everyone is well and survived their elections; run-off time is nearly here.
It was good to see many of you at the V. G. Young Institute of County Government Annual Conference in February in College Station. Rick Avery and his staff do a wonderful job. I was only able to stay for a few hours, but it looked like a good crowd with some great speakers and a roomful of vendors. I noticed quite a few first-time commissioners and judges at the conference. I remember the first time I went; I opened the doors, and a sea of smoke came out. It was cigar smoke and I thought, “What have I gotten myself into?” I hear quite often that you learn more from visiting with other judges and commissioners than you do in the meetings, and I’ll go along with that. While at conferences such as these we are able to make good contacts with fellow commissioners court members, and we can always follow up via phone or e-mail.
I was thinking this morning how fortunate we are to live the way we do. I believe the only thing you need to know is how to push a button to get by. My automatic coffee maker is on when I go to the kitchen, and my remote is here for the television. I’ve got my electric razor and garage-door opener, which I use when I go out and get the paper. My refrigerator and microwave are ready to go. Sometimes, however, I go to drive away and have a dead battery in my vehicle.
I am old enough to remember ice boxes and no air conditioning in the house, churches, schools, picture shows, courthouses and cafes; I remember those funeral home fans. I also recall when most of our motels were known as “tourist courts.” This country has come a long way, and I just wonder what’s going to happen technology-wise in the future.
With all that said it gets me to thinking about county government. There has been some talk about consolidations with city government. The general opinion is that we could save money on services such as law enforcement, road maintenance and general services. What do we do with water service, sewer systems, jails, councils, commissioners courts, tax revenues, and our sanity? What’s that old saying? I believe it’s, “The inmates will be running the asylum.”
This time of the year when there has been some serious campaign talk I seem to hear more about the Constitution and oath of office. Should we sit down and read the U.S. and Texas constitutions each Jan. 1 along with taking our oath of office? I am going to crack these documents out and re-read them.
How many calls do you get in a day that have nothing to do with your office but do pertain to government? I have had three this morning: one involving a death some three years ago where the mother is not satisfied with the cause of death; another regarding a young lady wanting her juvenile records; and a third wanting the number of the city of Waco. I guess you need a little information on all county and city departments to try to assist, appease, and be polite to all citizens when they call. I find we all get painted with the same brush if we are rude, do something illegal, or pick the wrong baby at a beauty contest. We are all being watched, and we want to make certain we uphold our integrity and act with honor.