And Smith County Commissioners claim--yet again--that they are ready to put together a road plan.
It's comical how predictable the Smith County clownishioners are--comical and pathetic. Every two years when some of the members of the commissioners court come up for re-election, they start giving lip service to fixing our roads and bridges. This has been going on for about a decade now, and we still got nothin'. So, yesterday, this brain trust--the clownishioners court--announced a big plan to, well, start working on a big plan:
Link to article: Residents asked to provide input as Smith County makes long-range road improvement plan
So why the hell didn't this happen about six months ago, so part of the plan could be implemented in the budget for the 2018 fiscal year? I'll tell you why: BECAUSE NOBODY WAS RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION! No sooner than Judge Moran and Commissioner Cary Nix had announced their plans to run that all of a sudden they've concocted this big, showy plan to seek "public input." Of course "public input" is going to include a number of "town hall" style meetings at which some or all of the members of the commissioners court are going to be present, right? And I'm sure there are going to be a series of press releases by their propagandist (journalism flunky Casey Murphy).
During campaign season.
It's called "free campaign advertising" for the incumbents. (Well, if by "free," you mean at taxpayer expense.)
Another good thing about the timing of this is that they won't have to really start talking about the cost until after the March primaries, in which most of our county political races are decided. That way they can avoid the politically inconvenient truth about this until the election is over: that they may have to raise taxes or cut county services to make up for a decade of neglecting this problem.
|Typical rural road in Smith County, Texas|
But this is a good thing
In the past, an incumbent county judge or commissioner could simply give lip service to "coming up with a road plan" to placate voters, then go back to business as usual as soon as the election results came in. But ever since Joel Baker screwed things up and got everybody's attention directed to county government, that's not going to work any more. You've got reporters sitting in on commissioners court meetings, taking notes, tweeting and submitting articles within hours. You've got this obnoxious blogger out there... This is not even a plan yet, but a "plan to start planning," so it is in effect, nothing. Yet. But it is the first time they've actually taken any substantive formal action to move ahead. And if they don't make progress we're going to know about it and it will become an issue in the next election. So, given that two of the commissioners come up for re-election every two years, that means that we can probably expect at least a little progress every couple of years. Hey, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?
How this relates to the upcoming election
This sudden and uncharacteristic show of concern for constituents' needs is a form of campaigning. Maybe nobody will run against Commissioners Cary Nix and JoAnn Hampton. If that happens, I'm just wasting keystrokes, but so be it. But if you are thinking about running against Hampton or Nix, you'd better get your ass in gear. Now. The campaign started about four years ago and you are already running behind. But here are a few considerations to think about if you are tempted to take on Smith County's Establishment this time around:
- Look in the mirror. I mean, take an honest assessment of what you see. If you are not as physically attractive as the incumbent, you will probably not win the election. It's an unpleasant reality, but it has been demonstrated by research.
- If you have any skeletons in your closet, stay away. The Establishment will use them to crucify you.
- If you have run for local office more than once in the past (school board, county commissioner, etc.) and lost, stay away. You cannot win this election.
- If more than one of you want to run for office, get together and try to figure out which candidate is most likely to beat the incumbent. If you are not that candidate, drop out of the race. Multiple candidates will split the opposition vote and the establishment candidate will probably win.
- If you run against JoAnn Hampton, you need to run as a Democrat. If you run against Cary Nix, you will need to be a Republican. These elections are won and lost in the primaries.
- If you run as a Republican, you'll need to have a cute, photogenic family--ideally, an attractive spouse and a couple of kids, maybe some grandkids if you are older. If you are single or don't parade your family in front of the public during the campaign, Smith County people will suspect you are divorced, or even worse, gay. And we can't have THAT kind of thing here, can we? (I'm being facetious if you haven't figured it out yet.)
- If you are kooky, eccentric, weird, or espouse some fringe political ideology, stay away. Or at least don't run in the Republican primary. You know who you are. You'll get, like, 27 votes. Instead, please devote your time and energy into helping some decent, ethical, intelligent candidate get elected.
- You'd better be an active member of a "good" church, preferably already serving in a leadership position, i.e. as a deacon or on some committee. Denominational rankings (politically speaking) from "best" to "least desirable" are: Baptist > Church of Christ > Pentecostal > Methodist > Episcopalian > Roman Catholic > other religions. And within denominations, certain congregations are better than others: Green Acres > First Baptist > any other church, and so on.
- And don't forget--I'm here to help. If you're a candidate you probably don't want it known that you are associated with me. But, if some of your supporters decide to feed me information about your opponent without your consent or knowledge, well...
Okay, who wants to sign up?