Friday, May 20, 2011


Okay, now he has done it. Sheriff David Greene has switched parties. The world is coming to an end. Not really, but it is a good example of why local government should be run on a non-partisan basis.

How many of you have ever voted for a Republican or Democrat, or any other party affiliation for City Council or the School Board? Maybe you knew their espoused party affiliation, but there was no party affiliation associated with race. You are just looking for good people to serve in those positions. Folks that will get the job done.

There have been several attempts over the years to implement non-partisan elections for the Judicial branch of government. They all failed. However, there are good reasons why non-partisan elections are desirable for judicial elections and local elected offices.

One of the best is that lawmen and judges enforce the law, not political platforms. There is no such thing as Republican or Democrat law. Sure, laws are made by politicians, but enforcement should be on a non-partisan basis.

The local taxpayers pay for elections and going to non-partisan elections would eliminate the need for primary elections. Much like school districts and municipalities there would be only one election with the candidate getting the most votes winning. Like school and city elections the number of candidates would be limited only to the number filing for office, rather than the number of parties.

There are arguments, as with most issues, both pro and con. The reality is in local government there are very few political issues that the local leaders rule on. True they are our voice to those that do make the rules, but our local elected officials’ main focus is on doing what is right for their constituents, not a political agenda.

Bottom line is that we do not need a good Republican or a good Democrat to be the chief law enforcement officer in Milam County. Partisan politics has no place in law enforcement. We need a good Sheriff. David has proven his ability to get the job done. His primary interest in Milam County as Sheriff is fair and cost effective law enforcement for everyone. He needs to continue serving Milam County as Milam County Sheriff. He’s got my vote.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


In his April 27th column Judge Barkemeyer states, and I quote, “I went to the Capitol last Sunday and testified at the redistricting committee hearings along with a number of others including the county judge from Burnett County and the state representative from Round Rock. I mention these two specifically because they along with our state representative Charles Schwertner were the key players in influencing the members of the house redistricting committee in determining what happened in the drawing of the lines in our 3 county area.”

Now if you read that statement as I do it sounds like the Judge is saying that Judge Klaeger of Burnet county was a key player in influencing the drawing of the lines. The way it is written tends to make one believe that Representative Schwertner and Judge Klaeger were directly involved in determining how the lines were to be drawn.

Judge Klaeger and I served together as rural county judges and on the Judicial Committee on Information Technology (JCIT). Judge Klaeger was also appointed to the Jail Commission by Governor Perry. We have had the opportunity over the years to discuss rural county issues, and it was hard for me to believe that Judge Klaeger would be pushing for alignment with Williamson County.

Donna Klaeger is a strong Republican in a Republican County. I have known her for years and know that she as a strong county elected official is interested in what’s best for her county. With this knowledge in mind I contacted Judge Klaeger to discuss the issue of redistricting and the current proposal up for consideration.

She did, as Judge Barkemeyer stated, testify in Austin. However, I believe that his interpretation of her testimony is slightly off base. What follows is the actual text of the resolution on Judge Klaeger's and the Burnet County Commissioners Court's position on the current redistricting plan. filed by the Burnet County Commissioners Court.


WHEREAS, the citizens of Burnet County have always expected their voices to be heard by local, county and state government; and

WHEREAS, living in the Hill Country in a rural setting has always been one of the main attractions to visitors and residents alike; and

WHEREAS, the proposed change in Burnet County legislative boundaries will have an economic, political and emotional impact on the citizens who live here; and

WHEREAS, including Burnet County with Williamson County, our good neighbors, will potentially change our development by including us with counties facing major transportation, environmental, and infrastructure challenges, as well as focusing on the attraction of major industry; and

WHEREAS, including Burnet County with House Legislative District 53 will allow us to continue to work with our neighboring rural counties to address similar challenges such as water supply and infrastructure issues, transportation improvements, regional emergency communications, drug enforcement, and public defense with a continued effort to increase our major economic driver, tourism, which attract visitors and permanent residents to the Hill Country.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Burnet County Commissioner's Court respectively requests to be included in Texas House District 53 which will allow rural counties to continue a collaborative effort to meet our common goals.

Adopted this 26th day of April, 2011.

The Court's resolution says it all. Keep us in a district with like counties with similar issues. My congrats to Donna, and the Burnet County Commissioners Court. She is a great Republican Elected County Official looking out for the best interests of her county.