In their latest newsletter, the Hutto Citizens Group (HCG), has made it clear that Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Morrison will be responsible for the outcome of the next incarnation of the landfill contract with Waste Management, Inc (WMI). Giving him Dubya’s moniker of the “decider”, they’ve let him know that his future, as a commissioner is in his hands, and they’re watching.
Using a word from the vocabulary of President George W. Bush, it’s clear that Williamson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Morrison is now the “decider” regarding what will transpire regarding the county’s landfill north of Hutto.
The reason Morrison now has that status and authority is because three other members of
commissioners court — Pct. 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman, Pct. 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long, and Pct. 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey — have stated that they look to Morrison to take the lead regarding what the county will do on the landfill contract and permit, and they also have said that they will follow his lead. And Morrison has said nothing to indicate otherwise, thereby accepting the point-man status.
Morrison has been the “decider” for quite awhile now, at least since August 28, 2007, when
commissioners voted 4-1 to table the proposed, renegotiated landfill contract between the county and Waste Management (WMI). Apparently County Judge Dan Gattis doesn’t hold the same view as Birkan, Long and Covey regarding following Morrison’s lead, inasmuch as Gattis cast the sole dissenting vote on that motion to table and, in the opinion of the Hutto Citizens Group (HCG), appears to be acting in a ham-handed manner to get a majority of commissioners to approve a new contract with WMI. Based on media reports, it appears that a draft of the renegotiated contract will be brought up for a vote in commissioners court in late September or early October.
While this is Morrison’s “territory” and the other commissioners will, more than likely, follow his lead the other commissioners deserve blame too, because this is a county issue. And Judge Gattis, Sr.’s actions need to be seriously scrutinized because of the deep connections to statewide GOP players regarding this landfill contract from the beginning. How this all plays out will have a bearing on those players willingness to involve themselves in future Gattis family undertakings.
More than likely, as long as the current make up of the court is intact, any new contract that’s concocted for the landfill will be largely, if not entirely, beneficial to WMI. Of course it will include a few minor concessions to the citizens in hopes of placating them long enough, which is extremely doubtful, so that by 2010 they’ve forgotten about it and will again vote for Ron Morrison or some other Republican.
If the proposed contract which emerges is bad for the county’s citizens, taxpayers, the City of Hutto, and residents of the Hutto area, Morrison knows that to properly represent his constituents, he must vote against it and take the lead in stopping it from being passed.
If he does, then Birkman, Long and Covey will have some serious explaining to do if they don’t follow Morrison’s lead.
On the other hand, if Morrison, as the “decider” votes for a bad contract, he also should know that Gattis’ gag scenario no longer applies, so he’ll be able to look forward to a long and intensive public discussion regarding why he voted the way he did.
That’s the kind of accountability which accompanies being a “decider“.
Ron Morrison is on notice. We’re all watching now, and what he does from here on will directly impact his future.