San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 17th, 2008
The Cheap Politics of Obstruction Must Stop

Last week while our fellow citizens along the Texas gulf coast braved hurricane Ike, Hays County Judge Liz Sumter managed to make her own headlines by registering a formal complaint against a fellow county commissioner and myself for repairs we made to our constituents’ roads.

Judge Sumter complained that I improperly repaired 1400 feet of Little Ranches Road in Wimberley, known to locals as “Old Bumpy.” Old Bumpy is a old county road that falls within Wimberley’s city limits, so customarily any repair would be discussed with city officials.

The mayor, city manger, and I met to discuss Old Bumpy and the need for repairs. I also discussed the road conditions with area residents and emergency services.

The fact is that Old Bumpy posed a serious public safety threat to area residents. Ken Strange of the Wimberley EMS wrote the road was “impassable for EMS services.” Carol Czichos of Wimberley Fire Department wrote, “the road conditions were such that only a 300-gallon brush truck could pass Old Bumpy.”

Under the advisement of area residents and emergency services, I worked with Wimberley city officials to quickly repair Old Bumpy and improve public safety for area residents.

To Judge Sumter this must have been too responsive. Her bizarre complaint alleges that we did not turn a simple road repair into enough of a bureaucratic mess!

Thankfully the law disagrees with this overly bureaucratic approach to government and Hays County District Attorney Sherri Tibbe has already responded to Judge Sumter’s odd allegation by informing her that no investigation into this baseless claim would be opened.

One must wonder why Judge Sumter chose now, less than two months from Election Day, to publicly launch her bogus charge. On September 13, Judge Sumter told the Austin American Statesman that she felt “bound” to call for the investigation for ethical reasons.

Perhaps Judge Sumter has confused ethics with cheap politics.

In the same interview with the Statesman, Judge Sumter acknowledged the curious timing of her call for an investigation, but reassured the reporter that her actions were not politically motivated.

She conveniently neglected to mention that she was listed on a fundraiser invitation for my opponent’s campaign, himself a Sumter appointee to two county boards.

This stunt was cheap politics at its worst, plain and simple.

Let it be stated, in no uncertain terms, that Judge Sumter and her political allies of obstruction are attacking me for bringing people together and getting results for Hays County.

This kind of cheap politics turns citizens into pawns in an underhanded game of obstruction-a game where political self-interest and walls of bureaucracy stand between the people and their government.

Unfortunately, the people lose that game every time.

The issues in this election are simply too important to have it hijacked by bogus allegations.

If my opponents believe the citizens of Hays County are best served by cheap politics, obstruction, and bureaucracy, that is their prerogative.

But as your county commissioner, my priority will always be providing you with the honest and responsive local government you deserve.

For the record my fellow colleague Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe was also cleared of any wrong doing and of course she too is up for re-election and represents San Marcos.

Will Conley was elected Hays County Commissioner for Precinct 3 in 2004. Commissioner Conley can be reached at (512) 738-1079, willconley@grandecom.net

By WILL CONLEY
Hays County Commissioner
 To view the letters from the DA’s office, Wimberley EMS, and the Wimberley Fire Department, click here.

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0 thoughts on “The Cheap Politics of Obstruction Must Stop

  1. Will, you are SO right!! What is wrong with our County Judge? Why does she only seem to care about Dripping Springs and the western half of the county? Folks, look around you this election year whether Democrat or Republican. Isn’t it time that we elect people from other parts of the county and not have practically every politician come from Dripping Springs???? I say, enough! Let’s elect people from San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, ect and not just Dripping Springs!

  2. I completely agree with Will. It seems that “the judge” is more interested in her own agenda then the improvement of the county. First she fights and causes use the lose millions of dollars in state money for roads, then she cuts and destroys the proposed and much need pay improvements for law enfrocement, then she spreads her personal politics into the legal field. She is a disgrace to the citizens of Hays County and I am sorry that she was every elected. Maybe she is the one that needs to be investigated for her activities, like county money being spent for her assistant to take her dogs outside during county business hours. Did not know we needed a animal control officer for the county judges office. I know we have three more years of terror with her, but make the right choice when the time comes.

  3. Judge is very Sumter is very transparent. It is unfortunate that more people don’t realize that she has no regard for what is best for Hays County.

    She has WASTED thousands of dollars on her own pet projects and frivolous vendetta’s. I have heard she even asks her admin assistant to walk her dog daily.
    WE NEED TO GET HER OUT OF OFFICE!

  4. Sumter needs to go but this is not her time for the axe since her term is not up yet (unfortunately). This time around we need to rally behind Will and make sure he is re-elected. Sumter and her croonies need to be stopped and we sure as heck don’t need to replace Will with another one of them.

  5. That’s right Curtis. San Marcos needs to come out strong since Conley is the man who will have our interests in mind at Commissioners Court.

  6. I was at court no Tuesday of this week. The issue of the Judge taking $15,000.00 additional every year for actually listening to cases, probate, misdemeanor cases and such must be 40% of her time, is a valid complaint against a sitting official and should be investigated.

    It was brought up that she spent only 5% of her time last year listening to cases. This is an absolute theft of taxpayer money.

    We as citizens have a responsibility to look into this and validated, or not validate this claim.

    Along with closing her office on Fridays early or sometimes not open at all, also so that she can have garage sales, and having dogs running lose in her office, this Judge has become nothing more then a joke, and I certainly wish their was an impeachment proceeding that could be brought against her. She has made a mockery of good government in Hays County.

    Her cronies, Charles Odell, Carlon Logan, Ray Katoski, and others, such as Kelpher, have an agenda of anti growth, and vendetta politics if you don’t agree with them they will cause you grief and trouble within the county anyway they can.

    Have we in Hays County sold out to the lunatic fringe to make important decisions for the future of this County.

    This Judge no longer gets along with PCT 1,2, and 3 commissioners, what does this tell you about this individual. Is she really what Hays count needs, I think not.

    It’s time for the citizens of this county to sit up and take notice, and prepare of the election that will take place in two years, to find a person that will represent this county in a professional and honest way.

  7. Ruben,

    Can you validate that she takes 15k and that she needs to spend 40% of her time to be eligible for court cases. You might be onto something that could be pursued !!!!

  8. As a someone who has tried to be a loyal Democrat over the years I cannot believe that our local Democratic Party has stooped to this level. I wondered why the attendance at this year’s LBJ Birthday Party was so anemic that is was an embarrassment. I can no longer support this part of the Democratic party that stoops to these tradionally Republican practices. This reminds me of what was done to Former San Marcos Mayor David Chiu by the anti annexation folks years ago. It is wrong, it is unethical and it must stop now. This gutterballing is worthy of Karl Rove. I didn’t realize that Ms Sumpter had been taking lessons from the Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove School of campaign ethics. I am glad that Sherri had the guts to do what’s right and clear Conley.

    My votes go to the man and from what I have gathered Conely has done much to help his constituents while all Klepfer has done is manage to establish the City of Wimberley in a such a way that many of the older and less advantageous subdivisions were not part of the city and remained a burden for the County to deal with ( and now he wants to deal with them)and he also managed to mismanage the garbage contract so that the citizens of Wimberley lost and very few gained.

    In contrast Conely actually understands roads, green spaces, conservation and the need for bonds. Conely can actually cross a party line and work for the benefit of the County as a whole and actually has a vision that is clear. All in all I cannot support either Sumpter nor Klepfer anymore. The tactics and more importantly the record demands that we keep Conely and that we replace Sumpter with someone who understands government and leadership.

  9. David,
    You are right about the County Judge and Klepfer, but please don’t lump all Democrats into that group! Look at the Democratic candidates from here in San Marcos and you will find good ones including the incumbant County Commissioner Debbie! And remember, the Republicans have a sheriff from Sumpter’s backyard in Dripping Springs too!
    Let’s look closly at the ballot and vote for either party where progressive’s from San Marcos, Kyle, and Buda are on the ballot this year and not let “the west” dominate county government anymore!

  10. Mark,

    Don’t bring the sheriff into this, for the record Sheriff Bridges has done great things for the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. He lowered spending and pushed hard for the benefits of the officers until he was cut down by judge sumter. If you are refering to the other person running for sheriff don’t get me started and don’t lump Sheriff Bridges into anything with Judge Sumter they are night and day from each other. Bridges cares about the people and Sumter cares about herself.

  11. I heard from “Nick” that Sumpter wanted to ‘outsource’ the jobs at the Health Dept.( 401 Broadway). Not sure what that means, but he said he resigned rather than 29 employees lose their jobs.

  12. “Outsourcing?”

    That sounds like a Republican method of dealing with problems …. I guess I missed that story.

  13. How embarrassing. Really.
    This mess is ugly, but not as ugly as the way the Court has misappropriated our Parks Bond monies. And the parks bond debacle is on the entire Court, not just one person or party.
    I’m running for County Judge next year. I need a job, and as Sarah Palin has demonstrated, anyone can do it!

  14. You have my vote Ms. North! I don’t know if you are serious or not but you have put a smile on my face this morning. After last night with Bush scaring the hell out of me and telling me our local banks might fail, and Palin saying we are headed for the next Great Depression, I appreciate your humor.

  15. Folks for the record I am referring to the Sumpter Klepfer part of the local Democratic Party. Anna has done a great job of trying to keep the party from falling apart. I am PROUD of Debbie and the job that she has done. There are many good Demorcats out there and they will get my vote.

  16. Yes, David you are so right! Anna has done a great job as has Debbie who deserves to be re-elected! But Sumpter and Klepfer simply don’t care about San Marcos, Kyle, Buda or anything that is progressive. Dump them both!

  17. Bill Huddleston is the guy running on an revenge trip for getting demoted as a detective for not doing his job. Then retiring instead of being a deputy because he was to good for that. Thats the guy I want to be sheriff.

  18. Bill Huddleston did not leave because he was “too good” or demoted. Bill Huddleston left because he was smart enough to abandone a sinking ship. Can’t wait until he comes back and gets the Sheriff’s Office back on track.

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