In all fields of endeavor there is always room for improvement. No doubt that I could be a better publisher, manager, business owner, etc. And the same follows through for the hearts of service of those elected-volunteers on the Winnsboro City Council.
None of the Alderpersons are professional politicians, thank goodness, for it would be an unnecessary burden that the citizens of Winnsboro would not well tolerate. And you should already know that I do not like to put bad news on this paper’s front page.
However, the circumstance and situation that has faced the City Council for the most part of a year has also been more than our citizenry should tolerate. The Sigma Partners facility just east of downtown Winnsboro has been a chronic nuisance and offender for many families residing near, or downwind of the plant.
Simply stated, the gaseous and liquid effluents of the facility are noxious to the residents and generally suspect as to the environmental impact. I am ignorant as to the why of the odor, but the what of the smell is as obvious as the noses on our faces.
However, when, time and time again, citizens of the area pleaded with the City Council for relief, the council routinely deflected responsibility, and suggestions for remedial action, to third parties.
With no relief from City administrators, a group of highly polarized individuals sought, and won, injunctive relief from the Wood County District Court. A temporary restraining order was perfected by Judge Brad McCampbell, District Judge of the 402nd Judicial District Court of Wood County a few days ago.
The legal situation will proceed to develop its own life in the months to come and no one thinks it will be ephemeral. But the situation in the City Council remains and improvement must be forthcoming.
Basically, to put it in Texan terms, the city council’s failure to support their electorate, amounts to allowing a lynch mob mentality to form. This time, however, the good old boys did not get a rope — they got a court order, effectively flanking the city council effectively rendering the Council as not relevant.
If citizens can, and more importantly, do, abandon their first line of defense, one must question the efficacy of the Council as a forum for our community.
If this failure to perform is, in fact, representative of this city council, would it not also be OK for a city appointed clerk to rubber stamp petty matters and leave the heavy lifting to the Police, Sheriff, or courtrooms?
The ineffective resolution of a city matter is stunning and in no way should be allowed to continue.
Winnsboro has but two choices in this matter – both doable and fundamentally effective.
First – Begin a dialogue with the present City Council members and remind them that they are our recognized defenders and protectors of our trust. They are our first responders, our triage nurse who can make positive differences in our lives.
Second – If the erosion of trust is not rectified, if this Council continues to dodge and weave difficult questions, and if the history of inactivity corrected — then another group of citizens may really get a rope this time. And I will then be forced to put bad news on the front page of The Winnsboro News. I would not like that.