San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 17th, 2008
Hays County channel: ‘The cheap politics of obstruction must stop’

EDITOR’s NOTE: District Attorney Sherri Tibbe took less than three working days to clear Commissioners Will Conley and Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe of accusations leveled by County Judge Elizabeth Sumter concerning the paving of two county roads. Read the letters here and here [pdf].


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,


» Letter from District Attorney Sherri Tibbe dismissing allegations [pdf] Email Email | Print Print


3 thoughts on “Hays County channel: ‘The cheap politics of obstruction must stop’

  1. It seems the tactics of oppression are the bread and butter of the Elizabeth Sumter regime. False accusations, false investigations, false arrests are their stock in trade. Judge Sumter got into office with the false accusations that Judge Powers was corrupt up to his gills. Once in office Judge Sumter could find no evidence of corruption. If she could she would have waved the evidence around like the “red badge of courage!”

    The truth and facts concerning the current majority of commissioners led by Judge Sumter evidence the worst of human nature. They are at war against fullfilling the needs of the county especially the needs of the I35 corridor.

    Judge Sumter has her attack dogs taking names and planning repraisals such as false allegations, false investigations, false arrests. San Marcos and Kyle better wake up and support commissioners Will Conly, Jeff Barton and elect someone who will support their business like approach to the needs of the county before we have to find out why. The real agenda of Elizabeth Sumter and her cronnies is to gentrify the county keeping out business, development, middle and low income families. They want to introduce rules and regulations that will permit only their kind of gentrified elite snobs to live in homes the county. The elderly, middle income and poor will be forced into apartment living or housing projects.

    See for details of the illegal actions of Elizabeth Sumters Regime.

  2. 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 cronies need to be stopped and we sure as heck don’t need to replace Will with another one of them. We all need to be sure to get out and vote for Will in the upcoming election before Sumter gets another vote on the Commissioner’s Court. Heck, just look at how much of our tax money she just wasted by tying up Ms. Tibbe’s time to look into this crap. For God’s sake, Will fixed a BADLY decayed road. Sumter needs to get over it and do her own job.

  3. The allegation made against Judge Sumter for not being a practicing judge, but however still receiving $15,000.00 a year additional for providing such services should be investigated.

    If Judge Sumter does not do more then 40% of judicial work that means listening to actual cases, then she is not entitle to the extra money, is a valid complaint brought up by several citizens at Tuesdays meeting.

    If the citizens complaint is valid and she only performed 5% of these case last year she should return the money or be prosecuted. This is outright theft of taxpayer money.

    The Judges group, Charles Odell, Carolyn Logan, Ray Kotoski and others are prepared to practice the art of vendetta politics, and cause trouble for anyone that does not agree with their position.

    The Judge no longer gets along with pct 1.2, and three commissioners, and has become no more then a joke in County Politics.

    It’s time to prepare to support a truly honest person in the next election.

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