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Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THATT ".'The im#ortance .of.these grants to the organiza- tions tba00 are recezvzng them 0000eater tffan ever." - Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson on the allocation of community services grants despite a tight budget year. Hays Free Press October 6, 2010 + EDITORIAL COMMENT I I I II III IIII III III A businessman as governor?. Yes t's time to end the chaotic and frequently embarrassing reign of Rick Perry. A career politician who has capitalized on an over- abundant supply of audacity, guile, and lots of luck, he now holds the Texas record for length of occupancy of the governor's chair. An undistinguished former Democratic state representative who opportunistically switched horses to become a Republican agriculture commissioner and lieutenant governor, Perry inherited the governorship when George Bush resigned in 2000 to successfully seek the presi- dency. Then he won the top spot on his own in 2002 by a comfortable margin, downing the flawed candidacy of Democratic banker Tony Sanchez. Four years later he was the beneficiary of events that any politician lusts for but seldom experiences. Prognosticators were convinced, correctly as it tumed out, that he was vulnerable in his quest for a second elected term. Fortunately for Perry, no one important took him on in the Republican primary. State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, who had already switched from Democrat to Republican, swerved again and filed as an Independent, as did entertainer-politico gadfly Kinky Friedman. With little known Congressman Chris Bell as the Democratic nominee, Perry stumbled into another term with only 39 percent of the vote. His winning vote total was more than 900,000 less than he had received four years earlier. It was the lowest gubernatorial winning statewide vote total in 20 years. Although his handlers claim that Governor Perry is a power- ful political juggernaut, his last general election contest proves overwise. Happenstance has made him the longest serving governor, but it is high time Texas vot- ers cleaned house. Oops, we forgot, we can't clean house. It's gone! The Governor's mansion once occupied by the Texas political giant Sam Houston, burned to the ground on Perry's watch while he was off on one of many foreign jaunts, traveling on the hard pressed taxpayer's dollar. The Guy isn't exactly living on poverty row while slow moving reconstruction is underway. Unlike his fellow Republican Mike Huckaby, the Arkansas governor and later presidential candidate who experienced a similar mansion loss while in office, he isn't living in a trailer house during reconstruction. Instead, he and his family happily reside in an expensive $9,000 a month abode in a ritzy part of Austin. It gets worse. Our current governor's long tenure means he has appointed every one of nigh on to a thousand state boards and com- missions. It's a lucrative sideline enterprise for Governor Perry. Magically almost, millions of dollars in "contributions" have been raised for his re-election campaign from scores of these same appointees. His total take from these sources, according to verified analysis, is $17.1 million. It's a sophisticated method of funding politi- cal campaigns that is sleazy at its worst and just plain cronyism at its best. Most fortunately for those who have rightfully had it with a governor who flaunts and abuses the power of the political pulpit he occupies, there are several alternatives to re-electing the pride of Spanish toll-road promoters. The most electable, by far, is BillWhite, a highly successful businessman who was an extremely popular mayor Houston for six years. He is the Democratic nominee and has a mod- erate political philosophy- a throwback to past Democratic governors like Dolph Briscoe and Mark White (no relation). Whites personal background is that of a busi- nessman. He has met private business payrolls and has life experiences that resemble those of most Texans who have held real jobs and spent most of their lives in dealing with the vagaries of economic ups and downs. The Governor, on the other hand is a career politician who has been feeding at the govern- mental trough for more than 20 years. Almost his entire life has been enmeshed with the unreal world of special interests, self-serving politicians and lobbyists seeking special favors for their clients. We should and can do better. Texas is in for a budget shortfall of more than $21 billion. Yeah, billion. We face a tough two year budget cycle and some difficult times. There is absolutely no evidence that Rick Perry has any cogent answers to the problems we face. BillWhite, to his credit, offers no easy solu- tions. However, his background is rock solid and he is by far the best man to lead our state in this time of economic crisis. We strongly recommend avote for BillWhite for governor of Texas. CORRECTIONS The article "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search," published in the Sept. 29 print edition and later on the internet, should have said the Kyle City Council voted 4-3, not 5-2, to interview the top 14 candidates for the city manager position. Councilmember Russ Huebner joined Brad Pickett and Jaime San- chez in voting against the motion. eee The article Resi- dents resist zoning of future Kyle Library," published in the Sept. 29 edition and later on the internet, should have referred to neighborhood op- position to a Center Street doughnut shop's variance requests, not a rezoning request. Schools and reform BC has devoted this week to education in the United States, bringing in experts as well as the general public to talk about the issue. One conclusion that can be drawn, in my opinion, is that we have let public education alone for too long. Yes, we have dealt with it in bits and pieces. But nothing has been done that lasts long or meaningfully. There was the No Child Left Be- hind program developed under the Bush administration and now the Race to the Top under the Obama administration. Those are only the most recent. But I can think of no president in my lifetime that hasn't had some program concerning education. They have come and gone and education has gone back to the way it was. The 21st century reforms, however, have put a new wrinklein the paradigm. School and teacher effectiveness now are based on testing. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that testing is getting in the way of education. What's the problem? First, too much of the reform in education has come from the outside and top down. How many of the decision makers have been in the classroom in the past 15 or 20 years? How many of the reform advocates have actually been in a classroom of young people? I know.., very few. Secondly, most of the advocates of reform are speaking only to the school. There is the evaluation L the problem will not solve it. En'FJlS FROM Reform must start with a discus- sion of what we mean by "educa- tion." Are we training or are we educating? If we are training to take a test or for a job, why are we spending the money? One needs to look only at the length of the school year to understand that of students by incessant testing. There is no mention that most of the reform measures imply that education is only the responsibility of the people in the school house. What role does the community have in the education of children? Is the community involved with education or only in the extra-cur- ricular programs? Compare the at- tendance at your local high school football program with attendance at the same high school on back to school night. A.third element I see in this process is the acceptance of the idea that education is the most important part of any community. If the community does not see its school system as the most impor- tant use of its tax dollars, there will be no long lasting reform. No longer can the citizens merely pay taxes and then talk about reform in the schools in any meaningful way. There must be involvement, from talking to the youth on the street to being in the school as a partici- pant. That involvement will be in the capacity of both a learner and teacher, lust throwing money at our education programs are still based on jobs.We used to start after Labor Day or mid-September and release mid-May and certainly no later than Memorial Day. Why? Kids were needed on the farms to plant and harvest. We threw in bells so that the students would get used to punctuality for the assem- bly line in manufacturing. We had the Carnegie Unit of 55 minutes because somebody decided that was how long it took to do science. We need to educate for lifelong learning. That means we have to teach reading, not just in the classroom, but in the home. Per- haps reading should not be just for pleasure but how to read a techni- cal joumal. There needs to be time for thinking and creating without a machine. There is more to life than math and science. If we are going to reform educa- tion, it doesn't start with the class- room; it begins with us. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we will have true reform. jdlinden@satx.rr.com f, On turning 50 t 15, the common consensus tween my famil teachers d the kind folks at the First Baptist Church, was that, at the rate I was going, it was unlikely I would ever see adulthood (at least not without those pesky metal bars obscuring my view). That was 1975 and I was 10-feet-tall and bullet- proof and there was no need to tell me anything. I already knew it all, and one thing was for certain: you could never go too fast, laugh too hard or be too tan. When I wasn't slathering on the baby oil, hying my skin to a pre-melanoma crisp at the beach, I was a wispy poet manically raging against social injustice and heart- less boyfriends and stifling parents. I would raft long into the night, lis- telling to the only people who got me: NeilYoung and Joni Mitchell. Two years later I got eye-opening lessons in reality, diversity and poverty as I headed off to college. Suddenly I was just another face in the crowd and I realized that there was a whole big world north of Dal- las, and it wasn't just Canada. And, surprisingly, not everybody used "flxin' to" as a verb. Thus I learned a lesson in diversity with a healthy dose of humility. Then came my lesson in eco-" nomics. I tended bar and tele- phone solicited, ran a head shop, tutored and graded papers and worked as a mental health worker on a psych ward, and realized that my mother was accurate when she said that money does not grow on trees. It was an odd realization to discover that my parents actually grew wiser the older I got. In my twenties, I'm sure I figured that I would be in a totally differ- ent place at 50 than I am today. Actuali in my early twenties, I was relatively certain that by the time I hit the 50 mile marker I'd surely he in Depends living in some place called Pleasant V'dlage' gumming applesauce. But, for perspective, back then even 30-year-old men were geezers as far as I was con- cerned. Life's funny like that. As I reached my thirties those big age gaps grew smaller and smaller and suddenly it was nothing to have friends and lovers 10 years older or younger than us. In my forties, the gap fell away and I realized that alot of folks in their fifties and sixties were actually hipper than some of these tightly wound thirty-somethings. And this fall, as I've approached my 50th birthday it's been amusing to see the varying responses when folks heard that I was heading into the second half of my cen- tury. Sometimes there would be a collective gasp (as if they could not believe that I was turning 50 or, maybe it was that they couldn't believe I was just now turning 50). Sometimes they emitted that quick whistling sound when someone draws in a sharp breath, and then they cringed, hoping I had enjoyed my youth because it was all a downhill skid from here. Some reassured me that I was still a whippersnapper (I looked it up. It's a real word but not quite as benign as I had always thought.) and not to worry about a thing, considering the alternative. I guess, at 50, I would have figured that I'd be more serious, and more finished (in botksenses othe word). By now it seems that I should have my life's work com- pleted and behind me and for the next 50 years I could kick back and read all the books I've been stock- piling and maybe pick up the game of Pinochle. Maybe even travel without a backpack strapped to my shoulders.Yeah, right. I surely don't feel 10-feet-tall and bullet-proof anymore (sporting my reading glasses at the chiropractor) and over and over I've :been taught that the cops certainly feel like you can go too fast. And as fiat as that tan theory goes, the roadmaps around my eyes lead me to a vastly different contusion these days. But luckily, through it all, I can honestly say that at 50, my life is good and full and I have never been happier. And one thing that hasn't changed: I still believe that you can never laugh too hard. brenda@haysfreepress.com COMMENTS FROM THE INTERNET "In hard economic times, [the Kyle City Council] finds $250,000 to buy out the city manager who built this town out of dust, but then have no money for parks, roads or more police officers. Welcome to Boss Hogg ward politics. And they say Louisiana politi- cians are crooked." -- Kyle Watchdog on "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search" at haysfrsepress.com "A committee is created to ad- vise the council, they have the option of completely disregard- ing what a committee says. The city council is the final au- thority, not the committe 9. The argument here is about where the 'corruption' (for lack of a better word) is located, on the committee or on the council." -- Mike Fulton on "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search" at haysfrsepress.com MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com NEWS ROOM Editor Brad Rollins brad@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Sean Kimmons Kay Richter ,, , ,.,, School !leporter Jim Cullen ..... Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Brenda Stewart Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Cau) Columnists Bob Barton Bartea Haile Phil Jones Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Darryl Jamail Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paperhaysfreepress.oom Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore Production Mgr David White r Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press Contact Us: HaysFreaPrees,com news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6357 www.hayMreepress.com RlR]R[T]1]H[]uMHMIrrn|riIrTr]arr l =,:|=vn,l,nm,,,=,,, ' ' , Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THATT ".'The im#ortance .of.these grants to the organiza- tions tba00 are recezvzng them 0000eater tffan ever." - Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson on the allocation of community services grants despite a tight budget year. Hays Free Press October 6, 2010 + EDITORIAL COMMENT I I I II III IIII III III A businessman as governor?. Yes t's time to end the chaotic and frequently embarrassing reign of Rick Perry. A career politician who has capitalized on an over- abundant supply of audacity, guile, and lots of luck, he now holds the Texas record for length of occupancy of the governor's chair. An undistinguished former Democratic state representative who opportunistically switched horses to become a Republican agriculture commissioner and lieutenant governor, Perry inherited the governorship when George Bush resigned in 2000 to successfully seek the presi- dency. Then he won the top spot on his own in 2002 by a comfortable margin, downing the flawed candidacy of Democratic banker Tony Sanchez. Four years later he was the beneficiary of events that any politician lusts for but seldom experiences. Prognosticators were convinced, correctly as it tumed out, that he was vulnerable in his quest for a second elected term. Fortunately for Perry, no one important took him on in the Republican primary. State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, who had already switched from Democrat to Republican, swerved again and filed as an Independent, as did entertainer-politico gadfly Kinky Friedman. With little known Congressman Chris Bell as the Democratic nominee, Perry stumbled into another term with only 39 percent of the vote. His winning vote total was more than 900,000 less than he had received four years earlier. It was the lowest gubernatorial winning statewide vote total in 20 years. Although his handlers claim that Governor Perry is a power- ful political juggernaut, his last general election contest proves overwise. Happenstance has made him the longest serving governor, but it is high time Texas vot- ers cleaned house. Oops, we forgot, we can't clean house. It's gone! The Governor's mansion once occupied by the Texas political giant Sam Houston, burned to the ground on Perry's watch while he was off on one of many foreign jaunts, traveling on the hard pressed taxpayer's dollar. The Guy isn't exactly living on poverty row while slow moving reconstruction is underway. Unlike his fellow Republican Mike Huckaby, the Arkansas governor and later presidential candidate who experienced a similar mansion loss while in office, he isn't living in a trailer house during reconstruction. Instead, he and his family happily reside in an expensive $9,000 a month abode in a ritzy part of Austin. It gets worse. Our current governor's long tenure means he has appointed every one of nigh on to a thousand state boards and com- missions. It's a lucrative sideline enterprise for Governor Perry. Magically almost, millions of dollars in "contributions" have been raised for his re-election campaign from scores of these same appointees. His total take from these sources, according to verified analysis, is $17.1 million. It's a sophisticated method of funding politi- cal campaigns that is sleazy at its worst and just plain cronyism at its best. Most fortunately for those who have rightfully had it with a governor who flaunts and abuses the power of the political pulpit he occupies, there are several alternatives to re-electing the pride of Spanish toll-road promoters. The most electable, by far, is BillWhite, a highly successful businessman who was an extremely popular mayor Houston for six years. He is the Democratic nominee and has a mod- erate political philosophy- a throwback to past Democratic governors like Dolph Briscoe and Mark White (no relation). Whites personal background is that of a busi- nessman. He has met private business payrolls and has life experiences that resemble those of most Texans who have held real jobs and spent most of their lives in dealing with the vagaries of economic ups and downs. The Governor, on the other hand is a career politician who has been feeding at the govern- mental trough for more than 20 years. Almost his entire life has been enmeshed with the unreal world of special interests, self-serving politicians and lobbyists seeking special favors for their clients. We should and can do better. Texas is in for a budget shortfall of more than $21 billion. Yeah, billion. We face a tough two year budget cycle and some difficult times. There is absolutely no evidence that Rick Perry has any cogent answers to the problems we face. BillWhite, to his credit, offers no easy solu- tions. However, his background is rock solid and he is by far the best man to lead our state in this time of economic crisis. We strongly recommend avote for BillWhite for governor of Texas. CORRECTIONS The article "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search," published in the Sept. 29 print edition and later on the internet, should have said the Kyle City Council voted 4-3, not 5-2, to interview the top 14 candidates for the city manager position. Councilmember Russ Huebner joined Brad Pickett and Jaime San- chez in voting against the motion. eee The article Resi- dents resist zoning of future Kyle Library," published in the Sept. 29 edition and later on the internet, should have referred to neighborhood op- position to a Center Street doughnut shop's variance requests, not a rezoning request. Schools and reform BC has devoted this week to education in the United States, bringing in experts as well as the general public to talk about the issue. One conclusion that can be drawn, in my opinion, is that we have let public education alone for too long. Yes, we have dealt with it in bits and pieces. But nothing has been done that lasts long or meaningfully. There was the No Child Left Be- hind program developed under the Bush administration and now the Race to the Top under the Obama administration. Those are only the most recent. But I can think of no president in my lifetime that hasn't had some program concerning education. They have come and gone and education has gone back to the way it was. The 21st century reforms, however, have put a new wrinklein the paradigm. School and teacher effectiveness now are based on testing. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that testing is getting in the way of education. What's the problem? First, too much of the reform in education has come from the outside and top down. How many of the decision makers have been in the classroom in the past 15 or 20 years? How many of the reform advocates have actually been in a classroom of young people? I know.., very few. Secondly, most of the advocates of reform are speaking only to the school. There is the evaluation L the problem will not solve it. En'FJlS FROM Reform must start with a discus- sion of what we mean by "educa- tion." Are we training or are we educating? If we are training to take a test or for a job, why are we spending the money? One needs to look only at the length of the school year to understand that of students by incessant testing. There is no mention that most of the reform measures imply that education is only the responsibility of the people in the school house. What role does the community have in the education of children? Is the community involved with education or only in the extra-cur- ricular programs? Compare the at- tendance at your local high school football program with attendance at the same high school on back to school night. A.third element I see in this process is the acceptance of the idea that education is the most important part of any community. If the community does not see its school system as the most impor- tant use of its tax dollars, there will be no long lasting reform. No longer can the citizens merely pay taxes and then talk about reform in the schools in any meaningful way. There must be involvement, from talking to the youth on the street to being in the school as a partici- pant. That involvement will be in the capacity of both a learner and teacher, lust throwing money at our education programs are still based on jobs.We used to start after Labor Day or mid-September and release mid-May and certainly no later than Memorial Day. Why? Kids were needed on the farms to plant and harvest. We threw in bells so that the students would get used to punctuality for the assem- bly line in manufacturing. We had the Carnegie Unit of 55 minutes because somebody decided that was how long it took to do science. We need to educate for lifelong learning. That means we have to teach reading, not just in the classroom, but in the home. Per- haps reading should not be just for pleasure but how to read a techni- cal joumal. There needs to be time for thinking and creating without a machine. There is more to life than math and science. If we are going to reform educa- tion, it doesn't start with the class- room; it begins with us. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we will have true reform. jdlinden@satx.rr.com f, On turning 50 t 15, the common consensus tween my famil teachers d the kind folks at the First Baptist Church, was that, at the rate I was going, it was unlikely I would ever see adulthood (at least not without those pesky metal bars obscuring my view). That was 1975 and I was 10-feet-tall and bullet- proof and there was no need to tell me anything. I already knew it all, and one thing was for certain: you could never go too fast, laugh too hard or be too tan. When I wasn't slathering on the baby oil, hying my skin to a pre-melanoma crisp at the beach, I was a wispy poet manically raging against social injustice and heart- less boyfriends and stifling parents. I would raft long into the night, lis- telling to the only people who got me: NeilYoung and Joni Mitchell. Two years later I got eye-opening lessons in reality, diversity and poverty as I headed off to college. Suddenly I was just another face in the crowd and I realized that there was a whole big world north of Dal- las, and it wasn't just Canada. And, surprisingly, not everybody used "flxin' to" as a verb. Thus I learned a lesson in diversity with a healthy dose of humility. Then came my lesson in eco-" nomics. I tended bar and tele- phone solicited, ran a head shop, tutored and graded papers and worked as a mental health worker on a psych ward, and realized that my mother was accurate when she said that money does not grow on trees. It was an odd realization to discover that my parents actually grew wiser the older I got. In my twenties, I'm sure I figured that I would be in a totally differ- ent place at 50 than I am today. Actuali in my early twenties, I was relatively certain that by the time I hit the 50 mile marker I'd surely he in Depends living in some place called Pleasant V'dlage' gumming applesauce. But, for perspective, back then even 30-year-old men were geezers as far as I was con- cerned. Life's funny like that. As I reached my thirties those big age gaps grew smaller and smaller and suddenly it was nothing to have friends and lovers 10 years older or younger than us. In my forties, the gap fell away and I realized that alot of folks in their fifties and sixties were actually hipper than some of these tightly wound thirty-somethings. And this fall, as I've approached my 50th birthday it's been amusing to see the varying responses when folks heard that I was heading into the second half of my cen- tury. Sometimes there would be a collective gasp (as if they could not believe that I was turning 50 or, maybe it was that they couldn't believe I was just now turning 50). Sometimes they emitted that quick whistling sound when someone draws in a sharp breath, and then they cringed, hoping I had enjoyed my youth because it was all a downhill skid from here. Some reassured me that I was still a whippersnapper (I looked it up. It's a real word but not quite as benign as I had always thought.) and not to worry about a thing, considering the alternative. I guess, at 50, I would have figured that I'd be more serious, and more finished (in botksenses othe word). By now it seems that I should have my life's work com- pleted and behind me and for the next 50 years I could kick back and read all the books I've been stock- piling and maybe pick up the game of Pinochle. Maybe even travel without a backpack strapped to my shoulders.Yeah, right. I surely don't feel 10-feet-tall and bullet-proof anymore (sporting my reading glasses at the chiropractor) and over and over I've :been taught that the cops certainly feel like you can go too fast. And as fiat as that tan theory goes, the roadmaps around my eyes lead me to a vastly different contusion these days. But luckily, through it all, I can honestly say that at 50, my life is good and full and I have never been happier. And one thing that hasn't changed: I still believe that you can never laugh too hard. brenda@haysfreepress.com COMMENTS FROM THE INTERNET "In hard economic times, [the Kyle City Council] finds $250,000 to buy out the city manager who built this town out of dust, but then have no money for parks, roads or more police officers. Welcome to Boss Hogg ward politics. And they say Louisiana politi- cians are crooked." -- Kyle Watchdog on "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search" at haysfrsepress.com "A committee is created to ad- vise the council, they have the option of completely disregard- ing what a committee says. The city council is the final au- thority, not the committe 9. The argument here is about where the 'corruption' (for lack of a better word) is located, on the committee or on the council." -- Mike Fulton on "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search" at haysfrsepress.com MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com NEWS ROOM Editor Brad Rollins brad@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Sean Kimmons Kay Richter ,, , ,.,, School !leporter Jim Cullen ..... Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Brenda Stewart Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Cau) Columnists Bob Barton Bartea Haile Phil Jones Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Darryl Jamail Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paperhaysfreepress.oom Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore Production Mgr David White r Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press Contact Us: HaysFreaPrees,com news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6357 www.hayMreepress.com Rl]]l]R[T]1]H[]uMHMIrrn|riIrTr]arr l =,:|=vn,l,nm,,,=,,, ' ' , Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT?. "The importance of these grants to the oryaniza- #ions tba are receiving tbm is greater tan ever." - Kyle Mayor DJcy Johmlon on the city's allocation of community services grants desphe a tight budget year, Hays Free press October 6, 2010 EDITORIAL COMMENT A businessman as Yes t's tium to end file chaotic and frequently Ipolincian who has capitalized on an over- embarrassing reign of Rick Perry. A career abundant supply of audacity guile, and lots of luck, he now holds the Texas record for length of occupancy of the governor's chair. An undistinguisbed former Democratic state representative who opportunistically switched horses to become a Republican agdcnltum conlmissioner and lieutenant governor, Perry inherited the governorship when George Bush resigned in 2000 to successfully seek the presl- denc Then he won the top spot on his own in 2002 by a comfortable margin, downing the flawed candidacy of Democratic banker Tony Sanchez. Four years later he was the beneficiary of events that any politician lusts for but seldom experiences. Prognosticators were convinced, correctly as it turned oUL that he was vulnerable in ins quest for a second elected term. Fortunately for Perry, no one important took him on in the Republican primar State Comptroller Carnie Keeton Ryfander, who had already switched from Democrat to Rapubflcan, swerved again and filed as an Independent, as did entertaRier-pogtico gadfly Kmky Friedman. With little known Congressman Chris Bell as the Democratic nominee, Perry stumbled into another term with only 39 percent of the vote. His winning vote total was more than 900,000 less than he had received four years earlier. It was the lowest gubematohal winning storewide vote totalin 20 years, Although ins handlers claim that Governor pelryls a power- ful political juggernaut, his last general election contest proves ovetwise. Happenstance has made him the longest serving governor, but it is high time Texas vot- ers cleaned house. Oops, we forgot, we can't clean house. It's gone! The Governor's tnansion once occupied by the Texas political giant Sam Houston, burned to the ground on Perry's watch while he was off on one of many foreign jaunts, traveling on the hard pressed taapeyefs dollar. The Gov isn't exactly living on poverty row while slow moving reconstmcdon is underway. Unlike his fellow Republican Mike Huckaby. the Arkansas governor and later presidential candidate who experienced a similar mansion loss wiafle in filfice, he isn't living in a trailer house during reconstruction, instead, he and ins family happily reside in an expensive $9,000 a monRiabede in a ritzy part of Austin. It gets worse. Our current governor's long tenure means he has appointed every one of nigh on to a thousand state boards and com- mixsions. It's a lucrative sideline enterprise for Governor Forty. Magically almost, millions of dollars in "contributions" have been raised for his re-election campaign from scores of these same appointees. His total take from these sources, according to verified analysis, is $ l 7.1 million. It's a sopinsticated nmthod of binding politi- cal campaigns that is sleazy at its worst and just plain cmnylsm at its best. Most fortunately for those who have rightfully had it with a governor who flaunts and abuses the power of the political pulpit he occupies, there are several alternatives to re-electing the pride of Spanish toll -road promoters. The most electable, by far, is BlllWinat, a highly successful businessman who was an estremeiy popular mayor Houston for six yearn. He is the Democratic nominee and has a mod- erate political philosophy - a throwback to past Democratic governors like Dolph Briscoe and MarkWhite (no relation). Whites personal background is that of a busi- nessman. He has met private business payrolls and has life experiences that resemble those of most Texans who have held real jobs and spent most of their Eves in dealing with the vagaries of economic ups and downs. The Governor, on the other hand is a comer pogbeian who has been feeding at the govem- meutul tmngh for more than 20 years. Almost ins entire life has been enmeshed with the umeal world of special interests, self-serving politicians and lobbyists seeking special favors for their clients. We should and can do better. Texas is in for a budget shortfall of more than $21 billion.Yeah, billion. We face a tough two year budget cycle and some difficult times. There is absolutaly no evidence that Pdck Forty has any cogent answers to the problems we face. BillWhire, to his credit, offers no easy solu- tions. However, his background is rock solid and he is by far the best man to lead our state in thix time of economic crisis. We strongly recommend a vote for BfilWRite for governor of Texas. CORRECTIONS The article "Mayor, chez in voting against committee dispute the motion. prutocol for city .., manager search," published in the Sept. The article "Besi- 29 print edition and dents resist zoning of later on the internet, future Kyle Library," should have said the published in the Kyte City Councg Sept. 29 edltinn and voted 4-3, not 5-2, to later on the hiternet, interview the top 14 should have referred candidates for the city to neighborhood op- manager posRion, position to a Center Counclimember Russ Street doughnut shep's Huebner joined Brad variance requests, not Pickett and Dime San- a rezonulgrequest. Schools and reform BC has devoted this week to education in the United Nstates, bringing in experts as well as the general public to talk about the issue. One conclusion that can be drawn, in my opinion. is that we have let public education alone for too long. Yes, we have dealt with it in bits and pieces. But nothing has been done that lasts long or meaningfully. There was the No Child Left Be- hind program developed under the Bush administration and now the Race to the Top under the Obama administration. Those are only the most recent. But I can think of no president in my lifetime that hasn't had some progranl concerning education They have come and gone and education has gone back to the way it was. The 21st centu reforms, however, have put a new voakle th the paradigm. School and teacher effectiveness now are based on testing. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that testing is gettingin the wa ay of education. What's the problem? First, too much of the reform in education has come from the outside and top down. How many of the decision makers have been in the classroom in the past 15 or 20 years? How many of the reform advocates have actoally been in a classroom of young people? I know ... very few. Secondly, most of the advocates of reform are speaking only to the school. There is the evaluation of students by incessant testing. There is no mention that most of the reform measures imply that education is oMy the responsibility of the people in the school house. What role does the community have in the education of children? Is the community involved with education or only in the ex-tra-cur- ricular programs? Compare the at- tendance at your local high school football program with attendance at the same high school on back to school night. A third alemem 1 see in this process is the acceptance of the idea that education is the most important part of any eommurdty If the community does not see its school system as the most impor- tant use of its tax dollars, there wifl be no long lasting reform. No longer can the citizens merely pay taxes and then talk about reform in the schools in any meaningful way There must be involvement, from talking to the youth on the street to being Ri the schoul as a, ap altici- pant. That involvement wifl be in the capacity of both a learner and teacher, lust throwing money at the problem will not solve h. Reform must start with a discus- sion of what we mean by "educa- tion." Are we training or are we educating? If we are training to take a teat or for a job, why are we spending the money? One needs to look only at the length of the school year to understand that our education programs are still based on joha.We used to start after Labor Day or mid-September and release mid-May and certainly no later than Memorial Day. Wily? Kids were needed on the farms to plant an d harvest. We threw in bells so that the students WoUld get used to punctuality for the assem- bly llne in manufacturing. We had the Carnegie Unit of 55 minutes because somebody decided that was how long it took to do science. We need to educate for lifalong learning. That means we have to teach reading, not just in the classroom, but in the home. Per- haps reading should not be just for pleasure but how to read a tochni- cal journal. There needs to be time for thinking and creating without a machine. There is more to life than math and science. If we are going to reform educa- tion, it doesn't start with the class- room; it begins with us. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we will have true reform. jlndnO,&tr.oom On turning 50 t 15, the common consensus Ad the kind folks at the First between my family, teachers Baptist Church, was that, at the rate I was going it was unlikely l would ever see adulthood (at least not without those pesky metal bars obscuring my view). That was 1975 and I was 10-feet-tall and btdiet- proof and there was no need to tell me anything. I already knew it all, and one thing was for certain: you could never go too fast, laugh too hard or be too tan. When I wasn't slathering on the baby oft, h2hng my skul to a pre-melanoma crisp at the beach, l was a wispy poet manfaally raging gainst sociallnjustice and haart- ess boyfriends and stifling parents. I would rail long into the night, lis- teulng to the only people who got me: Nell Young and font Mitchell. Two years later I got eye-operdng lessons in reality, diversity and poverty as I headed off to college. Suddenly I was just another face in the crowd and I realized that there was a whole big world north of Dal- las, and it wasn't just Canada. And, snrprisingl not everybody used "thdn' to" as a verb. Thus I learned a lesson in diversity with a healthy dose of humBity Then came mlv lesson th eco- nomics. I tendedbar and tale- phone solicited, ran a head shop, tutored and graded papers and worked as a mental health worker on a psych ward, and realized that my mother was accurate when she said that money does not grow on trees. It was an odd realization to discover that my parents actually ew wiser file older I got. In my twenties, I'm sure I figured that I would be in a totally differ- ent place at 50 than I am today. Actually. in my early twenties, I was relatively certain that by the time I hit the 50 mile marker I'd surely be in Depends living in some place called Pleasant Village, gung applesauce. But, for perspective, back then even 3ll-yoar-did men were geezers as far as I was con- cerned. Life's funny like that. As I reached my thfrties those big age gaps grew smaller and smaller and suddenly it was nothing to have friends and lovers Ill years older or younger than us. In my forties, the gap fell awey and I realized that a lut of folks in their fleS and sixties were actually hipper than some of these tightly wound thisty-sometRings. And this fall, as I've apptoachad my 50th birthday it's been amusing to see the varying responses when folks heard that I was heading into the second half of my cen- tnr Sometimes there would be a collective ga asp (as ffthay could not believe that l was turning 50 or, maybe it was that they couldn't believe I was just now turning 5ill. Sometimes they emitted that quick whistling sound when someone thaws in a shmp breath, and then they cringed, hoping I had enjoyed my youth because it was all a downlfill skid from here. Some reassmed me that I was still a whippersnapper (l looked it up. It's a real word but not quite as benign as I had always thonght.I and not to worry about a thing, considering the altomadve. I guess, at 50, I would have figured that I'd be more serious, and more finished (in botK senses of the word). By nowit seems that I should have my life's work com- pletod and behind me and for the next 50 years I could kick back and read all the books I've been stock- piling and maybe pick up the (anle of Pinochle. Maybe even @avel without a backpack strapped to my shoulders.Yeah,,iighii t. I surely doEt feel lfl- faet-tall and bu0et-proof anymore (sporting my reading glasses at the chiropractor) and over and over I've been taught that the cops certainly feet like you can go too fast. And as far as that tan theory goes, the roadmaps around my eyes lead me to a vastly different conclusion these days. But luckily, through it all, I can honestly say that at 50, my life is good and full and I have never been happier. And one thing that hasn't changed: I still believe that you can never laugh too hard. tsxtnOhrtt#Slmm&eom COMMENTS FROM THE INTERNET "In hard economic times, [the Kyte City Council] finds $250,05O to buy out the ey manager who buifi this town out of dust, but then have no money for parks, roads or morn police officers, WelcOme to Boss Hogg ward ptfi. And they say Louisiana politi- cians are crooked." -- Kyle Watchdog o "Mayor, committee dlsputs protocol for cgty manager search" at hayatruprN.com "A committee is  to ad- vise the council, they have the option of completely disregard- ing what a committee says. The city council is the final ao- thodty, nat the commtao. The argument here is about wber the 'corruption' (for lack ata better word) is located, on the committee or on the council." -- Mike FuRon on "Mayor, committee dispute protocol for city manager search" at pre*.,s.om MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBUCA'nONS, INC. 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