By Chuck Roy
Last week’s Op-Ed column received many responses. Not surprising, considering the topic. And, about as expected, they were almost equally distributed between supportive, adversarial, and “are you crazy or just plane [sic] stupid?” Actually, there was only one of the latter, I just included it so that the author would not feel slighted.
The topic, of course, was, and frankly still is, the current conundrum that is the Winnsboro City Council. The focus was, in a nutshell, the failure of council members to support the people of the City that voted for them. The duck and hide, bait and switch routine has not aged well in the minds of those individuals inconvenienced by the odor from the Sigma plant on the east side of town.
And, for those opposed to my opinion, excellent. Because engagement is exactly what we need. The lack of engagement has been as chronic a participant in the current circumstance as has been the particulate matter originating from the Sigma facility.
When only one in ten voters care to submit a ballot on election day, what you get is what you get. That does not mean that this is a bad thing. It just means that the majority are letting the minority dictate policy. Non-voters become victims to change and progress in almost every matter that counts. But, sometimes, quality people rise to the occasion of the challenge they face. And it is explicitly that engagement that our city should expect from elected officials.
OK, here is the point. I live on a small country road, about 2.5 miles from the nearest larger highway. At the end of our lane, at the intersection, a repair to the black-topped road surface was affected three plus years ago.
The repair was a substandard Band-Aid that lasted about 3 months. Now the road is as wrinkled and crumpled as a cheap suit. The corrugated surface makes travel, in the right lane, impossibly uncomfortable. So, in use, all traffic compromises to driving on the left side of the road for the last 250 yards of the roadway.
This compromise is now an accepted way of life for us and many of our neighbors. And it is exactly this compromise, in the face of substandards and accommodations, that can become epidemic. I am old-fashioned and naïve enough to believe that tax-payers should get what they have paid for and not allow work-arounds and make-do, to dictate our way of life.
Now, back to the City Council. The lack of efficacy from the dais is breathtaking. Councilpersons are good people doing the best job that they can. But their desire to serve the population of Winnsboro is stunted by council in absentia and a general lack of understanding what they can, and should, do to quell the rage of the lynch party I addressed last edition. It is this lack of knowledge, preparation, attention to detail, and backbone chronically exhibited by the City Council that can make even a pile of wet wood catch fire.
Being passive is not in our DNA 𑁋 just look at Davy, Col. Travis, and Jim 𑁋 they defended what was important to them back in 1836.
We, the citizens of Winnsboro, and all of our elected officials, are all Texans and should not react well to passivity. Had our ancestors adopted this policy of accommodation rather than confronting the issues, I suppose Santa Anna would have won and I would be much more fluent in another language.