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Time for a change in Ellis County politics

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It appears it is time for a change in local politics. It is my understanding our current County Judge has chosen to resign his position and move on to bigger and better things. That much doesn’t surprise me. I seem to recall our previous County Judge also chose to move on to bigger and better things when he was done with our little county. But I digress...lets talk about where we are now and where we may be going.

Until a few years ago anyone who wanted to run for county judge or commissioner almost had to be either retired and drawing a pension, or they needed some form of additional income to survive. Well, thanks to the hard work of the current court those elected officials have seen a substantial increase in their income under the direction of Judge Adams. Not only have they increased their income through normal cost of living raises, but lets also remember the across the board $10,000 per year raise they gave themselves a couple years back followed closely with another 4 percent on top of that.

I stated in a previous article this jump in income would be a double edged sword for the commissioners court. They would be able to reap the benefits of the salary increases, but they may have also worked themselves out of a job. You see, when the salary gets to a point where people can live on it we just might be lucky enough to have candidates with backgrounds and experience which make them more qualified for the job. There might actually be people with professional degrees, professional experience, and extensive resumes run for the position.

Oh my, what would we do then? How can we keep the good old boy system in place if someone wanted one of the positions who was also highly qualified?

The job of county judge is basically same as a companys chief financial officer. He presides over a court which controls the county budget. How much sense would it make for someone to hold that job who has experience in finance, budgets, payroll, or possibly experience as a chief financial officer? How much sense would it make for someone to be elected a commissioner who has actually ran a private business with several employees? Perhaps someone who has experience in not only budgets, but public service and maybe even a little experience in the government sector?

I am not completely sure who is in the running for the job as it stands today. I am aware there are a couple of commissioners who might be interested. That brings up a few questions on procedure and conflicts of interest.

It is my understanding there can be no appointment to the vacant position of county judge until after he has actually resigned. Makes sense since there is no position to appoint to until one is open. Secondly, since two sitting commissioners are interested in the job they would be barred from voting on the appointment due to conflict of interest. Where does that leave us...with two commissioners making the decision? What happens if they each vote for a different person. Or worse yet, what if they both vote for one of the other two commissioners? Would there be tension on the court after that?

I am interested to see how this plays out. I want to see if our commissioners court can make the right decision and do what is best for Ellis County. I am interested to see if they will actually review a short list of qualified candidates, or will they put their own self interest in ahead of our county’s future?

The next four years are going to be a trying time for our country. Eventually the turmoil now being experienced in the housing, banking and investment industries are going to come to Ellis County.

We need our commissioners to focus on any potential appointees positions on taxation, spending and conservative values. We certainly don’t need anyone with ideals of increased taxation during a dramatic recession. We certainly don’t need wasteful spending agendas and we dont need a continuation of the current court or its policies.

Perhaps our commissioners can put aside their own agendas for a while and focus on appointing someone who not only wants the job, but someone who is willing to move our county forward in a new direction. Perhaps we can appoint someone based on their qualifications, ability and conservative values instead of who they know.

Whoever gets the nod for the job will most certainly have more than their fair share of challengers at the next election. No matter who get the appointment they must run again in the next general election, so why don’t we appoint someone who wants the job? Historically, and for some reason unknown to me, we have appointed candidates who stated they would not run in the election for the job when it came up. Why would we waste our time like that? I want someone who wants the job and intends to keep it by doing a good job.

I think the time for change is here. It starts locally and grows to the state level and eventually the national level. We citizens of Ellis County are a pretty conservative group and it show by our voting record. It is time our representative form of government did a little looking out for the people of Ellis County.

It is very important we, as the voters of Ellis County, watch how this is handled by this court. Our decisions on who to vote for in the upcoming elections should be made, in part, by the decisions and conduct of our commissioners in selecting any newly appointed county judge.

I cannot publically endorse any candidate for this position, but I can request accountability by our elected commissioners, and so can you. Lets see how this plays out.

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Nelson Propane

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