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Two questions came to mind while watching the videos below from a recent county commissioners court meeting. The clips were posted by an alert Wimberley citizen a few days ago and they've been getting a lot of viewers. The questions were: Has Will Conley, mid way through his second term as a county commissioner, become a full blown megalomaniac? And is the commissioner from Precinct 3 now vying to become the political 'bait and switch' king of Hays County?
for Gold Plated Rim Award of 2010
Conley, unbeknown to many, is making his mark as one of the biggest public spenders in Hays County history, spreading expensive black top around, picking up private roads for county maintenance like there's no tomorrow and scoring a lot of political points in the process. We recently heard from a citizen about receiving a phone call from Conley out of the blue one day. The commissioner asked, "How'd you like your road paved?" Well Yeah. Conley likes to tell folks these are citizen petition driven projects. This one apparently was self-initiated, and seemingly without any regard to cost or need.
When the rubber meets the road at budget writing time and commissioners have to vote on next year's tax increase, caused in part by Conley's wild spending, he will most assuredly vote no. That's the switch. He's done it before, to play favor to his conservative Republican base. There's no reason to believe he won't pull the switch again during the vote next month on the county's final 2011 budget and tax rate. Conley loves to dole out the taxpayers' cash. He also seems to have a hard time mustering the courage to vote to pay for his own spending. He would rather announce that he voted no on principle and let his colleagues on the court take the heat for the tax hike.
If Conley wants the county to take over maintenance of city roads (a very expensive proposition) he should make his case reasonably and honestly during the budget process. He should cite the roads, their lengths, the short and long term maintenance costs, and the projected impact on taxpayers and the county budget. Ramming the plan through commissioners court, as is Conley's preferred approach, shows disregard for the public and disrespect for the process. He could begin by explaining his $150,000 plan to black top Flite Acres Rd in Wimberley, including a good portion that is inside the city limits, in which the city would receive a freebie. The road received a fresh coat of chip seal just two years ago. What's the rush and what's the deal here? Could it be that Conley is paving the way for a new development somewhere along a proposed new connector road between Flite Acres and FM 3237?
In watching the videos, ask yourself, who is trying to show some budgetary restraint and who is copping an attitude? Mr. Conley has a lot of explaining to do in this naked attempt at a power grab. There is so much behind the scenes chicanery afoot it can take your breath away.
(Parental discretion is advised)