by Mike Payne
If you’ve ever wondered how we decide what to write about on this page, let me fill you in. Often, this commentary stems directly from issues that cause our phone to ring, people to send letters, or even approach us in public with a “story” to share.
Quite honestly, I’ve rarely seen a local issue stir up ire to the same extent the Leffingwell for County Judge campaign has with its recent public claim of “courthouse cronyism,” a suggestion that those who support Judge Bill Gravell are nothing more than close friends or companions rather than duly elected and respected officials, educated voters or dedicated conservative Republicans.
Let me preface this by saying that I have friends who support Frank Leffingwell and, frankly, prior to this, I have not heard a negative word about Mr. Leffingwell’s character.
At the same time, before anyone accuses me of being “prejudiced”, my friends on both sides know where I stand.
Having said that, I think everyone can agree—no matter the outcome on March 6th—on March 7th we’re all still going to be neighbors in Williamson County.
If asked, we’d say that Williamson County is a shining example of true Christianity. And if it is, then shouldn’t we be heeding the admonition of Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I don’t know any other way to say this, and it might make our Sheriff blush, but how in the world could anyone not recognize that Robert Chody is to the position of Sheriff what President Reagan described as a “shining city upon a hill”? Chody is representative of the top .00001 percent of public servants in the country. He is constantly serving, giving, and investing—professionally and personally—resources and time, for the people of Williamson County; far over and above what is expected or required.
Consider District Attorney Shawn Dick, and I’d say the results are in the proverbial pudding. His family is replete with successful and just lawyers and public officials, and he has done so well with the “true” administration of justice that you hardly ever hear a word out of that office. Why? Because they are focused on and busy delivering justice for residents. If you want self-aggrandizing, grandstanding, self-centered dealings out of the DA’s office, you have the wrong man.
County Attorney Dee Hobbs also comes from a family legacy of law and order, and he administers justice without fanfare. His office operates with unimpeachable professionalism, and if there was anything remotely untoward going on, we’d be among the first to hear about it through the grapevine. No blips on that radar screen.
Liking or not liking Judge Bill Gravell for public office is a personal prerogative, but I can say most assuredly that the word on the street is that impugning the reputation of others without merit won’t soon be forgotten by Williamson County voters.
One of the great lessons my father imparted to me when I was a young man was, “Sometimes the people who don’t like you says more about you than the people who do.” In this case, his admonition speaks volumes.