The New Williamson County Commissioners Court - Updated

Posted in Williamson County at 10:18 am by wcnews

Before the new court could be sworn in we had to get the bad old out, Farewell to ‘heck of a fella’. That hecka of a fella is Frankie “Feather My Nest” Limmer, I doubt the folks at The Lookout would agree. They’ll be dealing with Limmer’s waste for years to come.

Well with the old out it was time to swear in the new, Gattis, Long sworn in as Williamson County officials - Morrison and Covey were too it’s just that the the HCN doesn’t concern itself with the rest of the county. From this article it seems the new courts main goal is…wait for it…MOBILITY. No not mobilizing all the people of the county that don’t want the TTC coming through and destroying some of the best farmland in the state. Spending all that cash voters apporoved for new roads. That kind of mobility:

Newly elected county officials were sworn into office on Monday and both Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long and County Judge Dan Gattis have their priorities set on reaching transportation and economic development goals.

As Williamson County continues its metamorphosis from a rural area to an urban county, Gattis and Long expressed similar goals for addressing mobility and economic development, both of which they believe go hand-in-hand.

“I feel like mobility is definitely a key to economic success and economic growth in the county,” Gattis said. “Fortunately for us the citizens saw fit to pass the bonds. We will work hard to spend those dollars the best we can.

Excellent. There might not be all that much the court can do about the TTC but if they’re not in favor of it they should do all they can. Here’s an AAS article from early December on what’s proposed.

The most interesting part of the new court is that it’s now a majority female court. Here’s an Op-ed from Lisa Birkman (Precinct 1 Commissioner) on that topic and the outgoing and incoming court.

But what the recent editions of the Williamson County Commissioners Court are remembered for is controversy, and lots of it. The AusChron gives us the hightlights, or maybe lowlights would be better:

Distinguishing himself as the realist in the group, Morrison said he became “scared” when it occurred to him Commissioners Court is now a majority of freshmen with one sophomore (referring to Lisa Birkman, Precinct 1). Morrison should take heart; it takes time and experience to engender the expanse of controversy in which the county has found itself in the last couple of years: a sexual-harassment settlement against outgoing Commissioner Greg Boatright; a contentious sweetheart water-plant deal orchestrated by outgoing Commissioner Frankie Limmer; a civil rights lawsuit against outgoing Judge John Doerfler and Judges Brooks, Higginbotham, and Wright; a lawsuit against Sheriff James Wilson by former lieutenants Barry Simmons and Ralph Fisher that looks like it’s destined for trial next month; and a lawsuit by Precinct 1 Constable Gary Griffin against the entire court for violating the Texas Constitution now before Austin’s 3rd Court of Appeals. The new female majority now sitting on Commissioners Court is indeed historic – Valerie Covey was elected in November to replace the late Tom McDaniel, commissioner Precinct 3, and, with Birkman and Long, now forms WilCo’s new femme-triumvirate. But whether the “good ol’ boy network,” for which WilCo is notorious, will simply cede power to a “good ol’ girl network” that acts in concert, rather than according to individual conscience, remains to be seen.

The challenge of this court, no matter the gender make-up, will be to be more “grown-up” court than those that came before. No more of the small-town shenanigans and hopefully less hanky-panky. Will it be a Frankie Limmer, as Lisa Birkman called it, “handshake deal” court still showing the growing pains of moving from a rural county to an urban and suburban one? Or will this court be one that helps make that transition? Only time will tell.

[UPDATE]: Reader email entitled “pedantic note” corrects my error:

Commissioner Covey was sworn in shortly after the election, since Hays was appointed. That doesn’t explain why HCN didn’t mention Morrison, of course.

Thank you, I stand corrected.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Hutto Citizens Group Points Out Hypocrisy of Williamson County Elected Officials said,

    July 2, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    […] Lisa Birkman: After her swearing-in ceremony in 2004, Precinct 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman was quoted by the EyeOnWilliamson.com website (That’s .org, but at least they’re reading EOW) as […]

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