by Mike Payne
When considering who should become the next Williamson County Judge, it shouldn’t even be a close call; there is only one candidate in this race who is uniquely qualified to hold that position. When the bona fides are carefully examined, that person is Judge Bill Gravell. In this election, there is no comparison in leadership qualities. Judge Gravell was appointed by Judge Nathan Hecht, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, to the Texas Judicial Council, a position that by definition requires unimpeachable integrity. Gravell was subsequently nominated by the Chief Justice for, and then awarded, 2017 Judge of The Year in Texas.
As Justice of the Peace, Mr. Gravell immediately set about transforming his court, widely recognized among the busiest in the state, into the most efficient and fiscally conservative court in Texas. Since then, accolades and awards have abounded; under Gravell’s leadership, the JP3 Court was awarded “Collection Improvement Program of the Year in Texas in 2013”; in 2015 it received Tyler Technologies national “Public Sector Excellence Award,” as well as becoming the first court in Texas to receive the national “Innovation in Business Process in America” commendation.
Gravell is a lifelong Republican and Williamson County native. If there is an event Williamson County, you will find Bill Gravell there. He has tirelessly made himself available morning, noon, and night to engage with residents of Williamson County, adding value to myriad organizations and good causes which result in an enhanced quality of life for all who live here.
From a business perspective, he oversees a budget in the millions and a staff of approximately 18 people; and like any exceptional leader, realizes that he is only as good as the people around him. Judge Gravell’s ability to conduct business at levels consistent with running the county has been exhibited repeatedly by the innovation and leadership in his JP3 court.
Experience as a candidate and a judge has given Judge Gravell a high threshold for the slings and arrows of politics, while teaching him to welcome constructive criticism. His faith is exhibited both in his daily life and at work, and to everyone who enters his courtroom. Many who have interacted with his court have publicly commented that, while Judge Gravell recognizes justice is the ultimate goal, he never misses an opportunity to show compassion and care for those who appear before his bench.
As his opponent has stated, Bill Gravell does, indeed, have a strong and close working relationship with the most significant county leaders including the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and the County Attorney − relationships that are required to execute good governance. He also has relationships with hundreds of other offices, local and state, and understands their missions, how they operate, and how to work with them. In short, he will be ready to govern from day one.
Can Williamson County afford to put training wheels on the County Judge position for someone with no knowledge of the big picture of the bureaucracy, its functions, and how to navigate it? His opponent voted two years in a row to raise taxes for what he calls, “the importance of fire and police protection,” yet did nothing to revise the budget of Round Rock to offset those tax increases on local residents. Given Mr. Leffingwell’s purported affinity for first responders, it seems reasonable to ask why he has not received even a single endorsement from any of the numerous professional organizations that represent these public safety organizations.
And, while Leffingwell calls himself a mediator, based on the wake of destruction his campaign has left regarding the Sheriff, the District Attorney, and the County Attorney by demeaning them with the term “courthouse cronies”, how would he ever be able to foster a spirit of trust again?
Finally, let’s look at one of Mr. Leffingwell’s biggest support groups, the Dell PAC. You may already be aware of their reputation for supporting the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joaquin Castro, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, just to name a few. So, it seems if we want the opinions of this group, who are obviously closely aligned with Mr. Leffingwell to influence how we live here in Williamson County, then your vote choice is obviously cast. As for the AdvocateNewsTX.com, we don’t believe the residents of Williamson County want Democratic left-wing liberals whispering in the ear of our leaders. We already deal with the ultra-liberal, socialist-leaning government in the city of Austin where Mr. Leffingwell grew up while his father was the Democratic Mayor.
AdvocateNewsTX.com wholeheartedly supports Judge Bill Gravell, and as evidenced, is the only person qualified to lead Williamson County through this period of explosive growth. Vote for Bill Gravell for Williamson County Judge on March 6, 2018.