Despite county's woes,
not all the news is bad
In today's 24-hour news cycle and social media world, it is easy to forget that our local government affects our daily lives much more than the national government does. I have been attending many Washington County government meetings in recent years and especially in recent months. It is frustrating to see the lack of care or interest many of our elected officials have for our neighbors.
In the current administration, the Crisis Stabilization Unit was born and then needlessly dismantled; the juvenile detention center has become dysfunctional; the environmental affairs office has all but disappeared; culture wars have seeped into the Quorum Court; the highest-paid employees have been given substantial raises while the lowest-paid employees wait their turn and hope for whatever's left; the sheriff is attempting to expand the jail using nearly half of our covid relief funds with no plan on how to maintain it; we're ignoring independent recommendations for how to avoid needing a bigger jail; a county legislator is attempting to revamp a private neighborhood's sewer system using your money; only a fraction of rental assistance has been distributed to those who need it; and all this while the leadership is continuously avoiding public conversations on how to best recover from this pandemic. Unsurprisingly, the ring leader of much of the above has just announced his intentions to run for county judge.
But it's not all bad news. There are many community members who continue to speak up for all of our rights at these meetings. There are organizations who are putting pressure on these leaders to listen to you about how you think they can best invest our money. On Wednesday night, I attended the first of several community cookouts in which we were invited to vote for what we thought were the best ways to invest in our future. Some officials attended, but not as many as you would hope and not the ones who are barring the public from engaging with them.
Let's get more affordable housing. Let's house the unhoused and provide them with the proper tools to help them stay housed. Let's keep kids from going hungry. Let's strengthen the mental health of our kids who are growing up in this difficult time. Let's invest in creating a positive future for all. Now is the time to reimagine what our community looks like going forward beyond covid. Business as usual is not working for many of us. Washington County is a great place to live, but it's not great for everybody all the time. Let's change our corner of the world together!
Make your voice heard. Remind these officials that, now more than ever, we truly are all in this together. Find out more at yourcovidrelief.com.
Rent assistance struggles
having impact on voter
After seeing the number of Washington County residents helped -- or I should say, not helped -- with rent assistance, I find it would be very hard to vote for County Judge Wood in his upcoming run for lieutenant governor.
He, as top administer of county programs, has done a very poor job helping those residents who are in need of help.