Its been a while since the Johnson County Emergency Services District has been on my news radar, but nothing is forever so today had me back in Commissions Court to address Judge Harmon and the commissioners with my concern.
On today's agenda was the re-appointment of Jack Watson to the ESD board. Jack was appointed by Precinct 4 Commissioner, Don Beeson and now serves as President of the ESD Board. In short I asked that his appoint be tabled until the court could effectively evaluate his performance and give Commissioner Beeson additional time to speak with other qualified candidates. After January 1st Commissioner Beeson will gain a lot of new constituents and at least one of them would make a great ESD board member. There was no legal reason that the re-appointment had to be done today, but Commissioner Beeson was not interested in looking any further in the end.
In my words to the court I pointed out that they make a lot appointments to a lot of different commissions and organizations. Of all of them none is more important than the ESD appointments because no other appointed group in the county has millions of tax dollars at their disposal to decide how to spend and none other can manipulate the system to decide how, when and who will respond to an emergency when called upon. You'd think the closest available fire department would be called upon for a fire, but you'd be surprised. I digress.
Jack Watson has followed in former ESD Director Joey Reed's footsteps quite nicely in moving towards a county fire department. Lots of expense is still to come and we're already down two volunteer departments this year now where the ESD has stepped in or soon will. Jack is an experienced fire fighter and a nice guy. I just disagree with reinventing the wheel and growing government the way the ESD is headed. Surprisingly, a majority of the court members spoke today at least somewhat in agreement with me. I was very pleased to hear Judge Harmon actually say he is concerned. Alas it was business as usual by the members though when the unanimous vote of approval came down. I was previously frustrated with getting the members to agree with me or at least admit to agreeing. Now I have a new frustration with a majority of them in agreement and still not able to bring themselves to vote against one of their own. Professional courtesy may be fine for the historical commission, but it has no place here. Those that agree with me are either not being truthful to me or not being truthful to themselves when they vote. I'm not new to politics anymore, I know the game. It takes heart to lay it on the line. I think some of them have it in them, but need to learn to use it.