GUEST COMMENTARY by MAYOR MIKE GONZALEZ
When I was first elected mayor, I received some great advice that has always stayed with me. It was, “always remember that while you may have been elected by some of your citizens, once elected your job is to represent the best interests of all your citizens.”
I think about this as I try to understand why Hays County Judge Liz Sumter seems to repeatedly dismiss, or even undermine, the mobility issues facing our citizens in the eastern portion of Hays County. I thought of this advice again after reading last week’s misleading and politically motivated statements made by Judge Sumter regarding a recent Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) meeting.
Last week, Hays County was successful in securing slightly more than $9 million in federal funding from CAMPO for three road projects in our county. Williamson, Travis and Hays Counties submitted more than $158 million in projects to compete for only $29 million in CAMPO federal funds. Despite Hays County only having three board members on the 20 member CAMPO Board, we were able to secure over 31 percent of the total available funding for our county. I thank my fellow CAMPO board members for thinking regionally and supporting our projects here in Hays County .
As we all know, Hays County, one of the fastest growing counties in Texas, continues to experience significant mobility challenges that have not been addressed or funded.
Unfortunately, rather than working to build on our CAMPO funding success and working together to provide comprehensive safety and mobility solutions for Hays County families, our county judge decided to kick-off a re-election campaign by spreading misinformation and attacking fellow community leaders in a petty attempt to claim full credit for securing the $9 million in funding.
Sumter’s attacks are that much more disappointing because when Hays County needed it most, our Judge chose not to provide true countywide leadership. As county judge, Sumter did not engage local citizens on the Interstate-35 and FM 1626 corridors regarding their mobility needs, did not actively work to build support from other CAMPO board members and entirely missed the critical workshop prior to the meeting where board members advocated for projects.
Yes, the $9 million in federal funding was a success for our county; but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to make our roads safer for Hays County families. Choosing to engage in misleading political attacks will only ensure that the much needed safety improvements to our roads are greatly delayed, or not achieved altogether. Our citizens deserve better. They deserve us working together to serve their needs.
MIKE GONZALEZ is the mayor of Kyle.Email | Print