HomeEditorialPublisher’s Corner • On Leadership

Publisher’s Corner • On Leadership

by Mike Payne

Williamson County is a great place to live. We are lucky, not only to live in Texas, but in a piece of it that is known for its safety, engagement, and prosperity. 

One of the reasons that is true is that we have, to my knowledge and in recent decades, had some truly remarkable leadership. But what I want to say is whether or not you agree with the way our Commissioners run our county, you can’t deny their leadership—and there is a distinction. 

Leadership is not all about the decisions anyone makes, or the votes taken. What I’m talking about is the class and compassion our leaders show in the face of blatant mistreatment they suffer, on a regular basis, at the hands of the citizens they care so much about and work hard for every day. 

I recognize free speech is a great thing and our leaders—being human—are not perfect and they make mistakes. But for a citizen commentary, delivered by a person who calls himself “Pastor” and wearing a cowl, to include accusations that our County Judge gave the county “the finger” when he liked a social media post, and leveling a suggestion that he is somehow being paid off to ignore a problem is teetering on slander. How likely is his comment to be taken out of context and have someone out there believing our County Judge is capable of something so unethical? 

Not ten minutes later, our Judge had half the room in tears extolling the virtues and values of our first responders. He doesn’t hardly take a breath between people telling him he’s not worthy and pouring out his own heart for others. 

Another speaker felt it necessary to extrapolate Commander Deaton’s behavior, however bad, into an endemic “culture of abuse” and criticized the court for enabling it. I wonder if the hundreds of dedicated employees at the Sheriff’s office enjoy being called abusive by a person they have sworn their lives to protect? 

The same woman also demanded a host of outside consultants and trainers be hired to make sure the department doesn’t continue this supposed “culture” of terrible things. What she didn’t say was how the county is supposed to pay for all that. I suppose she will also complain when the Commissioners spend money to pay that bill. Wait, maybe the deputies are finding plenty of time to behave badly between the more-than-3000 calls they make on a weekly basis to keep us safe? 

It didn’t stop there. How many people in this county are going to continue to ignorantly insist that the court, and Judge Gravell need to fire Sheriff Chody? The court Can. Not. Fire. Elected. Officials. 

People, that’s what elections are for. If you don’t like Sheriff Chody, and you think you can do better, run against him or find someone who will and leave Commissioners to get back to the job of running this safe and prosperous County. 

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