by Mike Payne
It has well been observed for centuries that when new leadership emerges, noticeable change inevitably follows. As noted in John Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection, “A new broom sweeps clean.” Accordingly, the recent election of County Judge Bill Gravell should usher in a new paradigm for Williamson County. Before you go and get in a lather about “change for change sake”, it’s reasonable to point out that a review of his record as Justice of the Peace indicates that won’t be the case under his leadership. The changes he implemented in his JP court not only changed the way his office conducted business, but many of his concepts and programs were applauded and awarded by state and national leadership, and were adopted by other courts in Texas and throughout the country.
You will find that this judge understands that everyone who deals with the county is, in fact, a customer. He also has a keen sense of the importance of serving that customer with the highest level of service— every day—every time! To do less is simply not returning to taxpayers what they bargained for. If your best argument is, “This is how we’ve always done it!”, remember citizens elected Judge Bill Gravell to lead us in the 21st century, and to do that requires superior technology, resources, and personal commitment at every level of government.
I would warn those who serve our citizens in Williamson County not to be too attached to the status quo. This county is among the fastest growing in the United States. With that growth, business follows. When business comes, more people come. When more people come, the need for mobility becomes ever apparent. (I will note that the previous Judge and Courts have done an exemplary job preventing the gridlock that our neighbors to the south endure.) Now really is the time to think out of the box. If another county can perform in a certain period of time, then why can’t we do it better and faster? As renowned leadership speaker and author Mark Sanborn explained, “…success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business.” Judge Gravell understands this.
Finally, that wisest of sages, Socrates, best summarized the future of Williamson County under the leadership of County Judge Bill Gravell; “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” I, for one, am looking forward to it!