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In visiting with other counties having approximately the same miles of roads to maintain, I found it interesting to compare the efficiency of the unit road system versus the precinct system both in cost per mile to maintain and the number of employees to do so; the unit system was substantially lower. – Wayne Everett, Uvalde County Road Dept. Administrator, “County Progress,” May, 2018
Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas – The darkness of night, the ignorance of truth gives size and shape to power, while it conceals the faces of the powerful, distorts reality, warps perception of just how to get things done.
In a rural society devoted to the study of the past – the area’s only museum is devoted to the Civil War – the activists chose to make a bold new move in the general election of November 6, 2012.
In a plurality of 61 percent to less than 40, the voters rejected the “ex officio” system of each Hill County Commissioner serving as his own road supervisor, and adopted the system sixty-four Texas counties out of 254 use, that of a consolidated road department overseen by a professional civil engineer.
This post includes the responsibilities of budgeting maintenance and improvement of the roads, pools all resources including equipment under one roof, and supervises all employees in one cohesive department.
The innovation lasted less than one biennial – doomed to failure by the intransigence of the five elected officials in charge of the Commissioners’ Court – the County Judge and each of four precinct Road Commissioners.
So much for one man – one vote. Who knows? Maybe it’s time to take a look at that old 3/5 of those in involuntary servitude, excluding the Indians not counted…You know, the one they fought that Civil War all about? Yeah. There’s a rumor going around.
In fact, the pesky concept required adding a dash of confusion to the mix, just to keep everyone on their toes: Behold, this is what it looks like when you outsource the crunching of such massive numbers to a vendor of the kind of voting technology it takes to ride herd on way less than ten thousand ducats, iotas and simolians.
Long before the election of 2014 rolled around, the engineer had resigned in frustration and was replaced by another political place holder.
The naysayers said the change in concept was for no other reason than a power grab.
And though the amount spent on information management by a staff of two technologists on call 24/7 has increased by 104 percent in only a short time, there is little information to support the fervent argument that the old ways of maintaining the roads are the best; in fact, there is little or no hard evidence presented that it’s true.
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And so when we ran across the guidance of those who evaluate all this throughout the Lone Star State – and have made it a matter of state law – we found out that no one contacted seems to know just how that is done.
Like, who files the reports? Where are they stored? How does one get access to them? Who knows?
According to experts, the key talking point, the king pin concept, is information in the form of reports each “ex officio” road administrator – read County Commissioner – is required to file in the ninth month of each year, prescribed by a subsection of the State Transportation Code.
As one may see, the information contained in the reports is very detailed, and at a glance would tell any taxpayer, any rural resident relying on county roads to get to market, school, work – just anywhere, anywhere at all, just how much energy and time their elected official devoted to keeping the drainage, surfacing, culverts, and traction of the thoroughfares in shape to do something other than wear out tires and break axles and springs.
Check out the “new” requirement, number seven.
There is even a supplemental report required each ninth month of the calendar year detailing the “county energy reinvestment zones” where county roads have been widened to their maximum easement and modified as haul roads for the massive rigs that bring in directional drilling rigs, workover derricks, strings of pipe, loads of mud, the rigs used to sink injection wells, the earth moving equipment it takes to build the slurry pits and settlement ponds for fracturing techniques.
“Reinvestment” – hey, such a deal. You can hear them groaning in the board rooms up and down King’s Row, already. After all, it was such a big deal that Dub-yah and Cheney went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the “energy plan” as secret as possible.
Fracking was a proprietary technique of Halliburton – or so they preached to we in the nickel seats.
Could be, some are more equal than others. Who knows?
The County Judge is out of town, but will be calling in come tomorrow morning. Maybe he will know where those reports are filed.
Similarly, the County Clerk is also out of town, at a conference or seminar – or something or the other.
That handles the Constitutional Officers, but what about their staff?
No information! Wait awhile!
Therefore, we of The Legendary propose to learn the e-mail address of the Custodian of Record in order to make an electronic request for those reports, to be furnished in electronic format in order to lessen the amount of research and trouble for the staff.
So, we know who is holding down the Chain Saw post these days. Next stop: Just who is playing the role of Horse Collar?
Stand by to stand by.
The floggings will continue until morale improves.
And, hey, that ulterior motive, the hidden agenda of the people who knocked on doors, registered voters, got them to the polls, reminded them of absentee and voting by mail?
They wanted some funding for a humane animal shelter that does something besides euthanize pets people drop off out in the country when they need to move along without Fido or that extra litter of kitties.
Meanwhile, the County Judge gets an extra $25,000 per year for hearing cases he doesn’t hear because the County Court-At-Law handles them, and got slapped down when he asked for another $20,000 in annual salary to top it off.
He even threatened to file suit for defamation of his character, high and mighty elected official that he is.
What a guy!
So mote it be.
- The Legendary