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.