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Yes, I’m still here.
Been missing from this spot in your paper for a while, but not to worry — I’m still alive and kicking.
However, I’ve noted that I’m not the only one to pull a disappearing act in our little town.
I’ve spent the last few weeks spending countless hours (OK, I probably could count them, but I’d rather not) along with a bunch of your elected officials going through the Navarro County budget.
I’m not going to comment on the budget itself — at least, not today.
But I am going to comment on this.
Where were you?
The ones who are constantly complaining about county roads?
The ones who jump on Facebook everytime you have a beef about a pothole or trash or bridges or fire protection or public safety?
You weren’t at the Navarro County Courthouse finding out what decisions were/are being made in the budget process — the process that essentially decides how your tax dollars are spent.
There was — as I recall, and I believe quite correctly — one member of the “public” that was in attendance at any of the budget workshops held by Navarro County — and I was at all but one of them.
I’m sure Bobbie Nichols won’t mind me mentioning her name — she was the only member of the public that I saw in attendance at the Navarro County budget workshops this year.
What does that mean?
You know, I don’t really know.
But as someone who is generally on the receiving end of gripes and complaints about our local governments, it strikes me as awfully odd there wouldn’t be some kind of representation during the process.
To be sure, the workshops are not necessarily an “open house” for all to come and chime in on the proceedings (although it has been done!).
But it is a process, an open one, and one that represents .6270 cents per $100 valuation of your tax dollars at work.
The commissioners have discussed having their regular meetings in the basement conference room to free up the County Courtroom for the use of the Court-At-Law.
Based on turnout of the public for the governmental process, they could just as well use someone’s SUV.
Meanwhile, down the street at the Corsicana Government Center ...
Kudos to city staffers who literally “hit the ground swimming” Thursday at city hall, when an overnight flood rendered much of the building unusuable by employees and the public.
By 9 a.m. Thursday when I visited the scene, the city had already set up an emergency phone bank in the relatively dry conference room to field phone calls from the public, and a plan of action to take care of such things as water bills and pavilion reservations and building permits.
Mayor Chuck was even in the swing of things, demonstrating how the carpet could be used as a “slip ‘n slide” as I stopped by. But he was there to help as help was needed. Not sure if anyone found him a mop, though ...
But to the city folks it was indeed a “job well done” getting things together so quickly.
You know the old saying — “The show must go on!”
And so it did, and a fine job by all concerned.
Bob Belcher is Managing Editor of the Corsicana Daily Sun. His column appears on Sundays. He may be reached by email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org