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The Bastrop Independent Experiment

When we asked the Commissioner’s Court to appoint independent minded Democrat and longtime community volunteer, Pati Jacobs, as Interim County Judge (the position vacated by Ronnie McDonald), the court composed of two Democrats and two Republicans, instead circled the wagons.  They unanimously appointed Jim Wither (no offense to Mr. Wither who served as County Auditor 1984-2002), who, so far as we can tell, has never run for public office.  Why would they do that — and spend less than 2 minutes explaining themselves?  Welcome to the good ol’ boys and gals of Bastrop, y’all.

This is precisely why Shelley Cartier is running for County Judge and Phil Cook is running for Commissioner Precinct 3 (against John Klaus, a Democrat, who made the motion) as independents (no party affiliation).

Bastrop has a major challenge facing residents after the fires that destroyed a significant portion of the tax base.  Will the Commissioners start cutting jobs?  If they do, where will they start?  Will they take a pay cut themselves, before laying off those at the bottom of the totem pole?  What will they do to raise the funds they need to run the county?  Will the appraisal district treat residents fairly and not expect us to pick up the tab for a natural disaster?  There are lots of questions that cannot be easily answered.  We are going to need a Commissioner’s Court that will work WITH citizens, not behind closed doors in the protectionist fashion we just witnessed.

It’s time for Bastropians, of all persuasions, to work together and get involved — this isn’t us against them folks.  It’s about we, the people, working together to solve the problems.  Our officials must be held accountable or we should replace them with those who will listen and participated WITH citizens.

There’s more to discuss and we will at the next meeting on Monday, April 30th at 6:30 pm at the Bastrop Public Library at 1101 Church Street.

If you want to help.  Contact us by phone or email at 535-0989 or at, and we’ll send you a petition you can sign and ask your friends and neighbors to sign.  Shelley needs 500 signatures and Phil needs 206.  We want to file by the primary on May 29th, though we have until June 29th.


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