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FEBRUARY 2, 2018
Sun City "Grandmas"— A Force for Change
ADVOCATE WILCO JP3 RACE............................... A5 TX COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS.... A5 ADVOCATIE...................................... A9 EDITORIAL...................................... A11
CITY INSIDER THE 30 DAY GIFT.............................. B3 RANDALL'S OPENING........................ B5 JARRELL'S HEADLINER...................... B7
Seitsinger Announces Bid for Treasurer 2018 Grandmas, L-R: Linda Keratsopoulos, Babs Cape, Pam Steele, Betty Schleder, Emily LaFrance, Paula Dennis, Barbara Hallmark, Brenda Leisey
When we introduced Advocate readers
to Betty Schleder in 2014, she had just singlehandedly raised $120,000 to send a contingent of Sun City veterans on an Honor Flight. Schleder is an advocate for strong conservative values, and since 2010 she has annually rounded up a group of respected and well-liked friends in Sun City to help her spread the word about qualified candidates for office in Williamson County. "It all started with a knee injury," Schleder says. "I went to see Dr. Charles Schwertner and he asked me for advice on getting the word out in Sun City about his run for the Texas House." Schleder got busy and scheduled a Meet & Greet for all 52 neighborhoods in a two-month period. "I just came up with an idea to give a young doctor a chance to talk to people." Soon after, Dr. Marsha Farney called to see if the Grandmas could help with her Board of Education race, and the rest is history. This campaign season, Schleder is again leading a dozen of Sun City's most wellliked, informed and respected women called "The Sun City Grandmas". Rather than schedule multiple meet & greets, the Grandmas now have an even
greater reach. In the past, they did their homework, researched all the candidates and stuffed and mailed 6,200 letters to Sun City residents with their recommendations at the polls. Now, and every year since 2014, they have personally walked the neighborhoods; rain, shine or snow, to hand-deliver their slate cards. "It takes a lot to reach every door, but we try to connect with every person we can. It's hard for anyone to know for sure about all the candidates on the ballot and we feel this is a valuable public service, not just for the voters but for the candidates we truly believe in." The Grandmas even carry voter registration cards just in case. Not surprisingly, the personal touch has had a tremendous impact. It is statistically significant for any candidate to win the Sun City precincts if he or she is to win county-wide. "We are very proud of people like Judge Rick Kennon, who won by .08 percent countywide, but carried Sun City by a nearly 20 percent average. Our insights served us well—he has been our county's highest rated judge three years in a row." The Grandmas are also big advocates of lawn signs. "When people are out and
they see someone they know and respect displaying a sign, it matters. I even have people drive by my yard and take notes. If we know a race is going to be contentious we make the effort to do the homework and, literally, the footwork to get the word out." Paula Dennis is a 2018 Grandma; "I am super conservative and if I'm not willing to go out and walk, then I have no reason to gripe if the values we love in this county are not upheld." Barbara Hallmark, as well, is passionate about her party. "I want to keep things conservative and I love being part of a such a positive effort. I feel like it is my responsibility to share what I learn." Schleder is delighted to welcome new Grandmas to each campaign season. "We embrace people from all parts and interests in Sun City. It helps us reach out to and engage the diverse interests and opinions we have here. And, be on the lookout for more progress in our group as the median age grows younger and more social media-savvy. We will take on any challenges and challengers like we always have." Contact Betty at TheSurvivor@suddenlink.net or check out the slate card p. A10.
THE ADVOCATE GEORGETOWN
Conservative Military Veteran Lee Ann
Seitsinger formally announced she will seek the Republican nomination for Williamson County Treasurer in the March 6th, 2018 primary election. Seitsinger is a successful small business owner and U.S. Navy veteran with a track record of achievement, conservative fiscal policies, and dedication. “This isn’t about a career in politics. As a military veteran it’s about public service. We expect our elected officials to report for duty and show up to work every day for the taxpayers they serve. I am strongly committed to the position of Treasurer for Williamson County and will apply my See Seitsinger p. A9
Williamson County PAGE A2
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Groundbreaking Expansion at WCRAS
At right: Shelter Director Cheryl Schneider and Commissioner Valerie Covey
With a large hole already
carved out of the ground and heavy equipment waiting to get back to work, the official groundbreaking of the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter (WCRAS) took place under sunny skies Wednesday, January 24. The event not only celebrated the start of construction on a new 16,970 square-foot, two-story addition and renovations to the current facility, but also the 10-year partnership between Williamson County and the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, and Leander to operate the regional shelter. Hutto Mayor Doug Gaul
said, “It is a testament to what happens when cities and the county get together and pool resources.” Fellow shelter partners echoed that sentiment. Leander Mayor Pro-Tem Jeff Seiler, Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan, and Daron Butler, director of business services from Cedar Park and WCRAS board president, each spoke about how beneficial it has been to be part of this collaboration. The expansion area will feature a new adoption center, a public lobby, administration offices, new canine and feline adoption kennels, a new entrance off Wilco Way and parking area for
the adoption center, and an exercise yard for dogs. Renovations to the existing facility include a new surgery area and surgical prep rooms, repairs to the A/C and plumbing in 35 existing canine kennels, a feline isolation area, and a laundry area with cleanup station. “We were crowded when we moved in, but with Cheryl’s leadership and her amazing staff they have made the best use of the space for more than 10 years,” remarked Williamson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey, who has been the County’s representative on the shelter board since
it opened in 2007. “This expansion will allow the shelter staff and volunteers to continue to maintain its no-kill status and find forever homes for the animals of Williamson County.” The expansion project will double the current capacity for cats and add 65 dog kennels. However, Cheryl Schneider, WCRAS director of Animal Services, predicts that the shelter will soon be at capacity after the shelter expansion opens, so she will still be reaching out to her volunteers, donors, and the community to help keep the open admission shelter’s
“no-kill” designation. “Our community is awesome. When we put out a call for help, they answer the call every time,” stated Schneider. “In one month, we had over 300 cats and kittens in the shelter, which was 100 over capacity. We were unable to adequately care for all of them, so we put out a call for people to adopt a cat for $1, and people came from everywhere to help. We ran out of adoptable cats!” The expansion project was designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects with construction by Vaughn Construction for a guar-
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anteed maximum price of $9,499,295. The project is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2019. In order to save time and money, the canine portion of the shelter will be moved to the County’s show barn in San Gabriel Park in late spring 2018. The temporary location will be staffed and will provide dog adoptions at that location. The WCRAS is the only shelter solely devoted to the lost and abandoned animals of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander, and Williamson County. The shelter is at 1855 S. E. Inner Loop, Georgetown, Texas.
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FEBRUARY 2, 2018 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE
Politics PAGE A5
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PCT 3 DEANNA LEWIS
What are your first/immediate priorities when you take office. Meeting with each staff member within JP3 to explore their roles. I am interested in hearing what each staff member feels is working well and what areas can be improved upon. My career and life experience have taught me processes need to be continually reviewed and improved upon to ensure continued success. It is my belief Judge Gravell has instilled a culture of growth and development with the operations of JP3. It is my sincere desire and goal to continue that culture as we move forward in January of 2019. Another priority would be to reach out to our county, community and faith based organizations to see where we can work together for the betterment of our county. Seeking opportunities for these important conversations will make me a better person, a better Judge and a better servant to the citizens of Williamson County. Describe the experience in leadership and management you believe will help you direct the JP3 office. My passion and drive to accomplish goals at work and in my personal life will help direct me to lead JP3 office. Over the years, have led Girl Scouts, coached youth sports, and served on the boards for the Texas Association of School Resource Officers and Williamson County Deputies Association and the Sheriff’s Honor Guard.
Leadership and service to community are an integral part of me which my father instilled in me as a Texas DPS Trooper. Dad taught me from an early age leadership is combination of being the person who does the right thing and leads by example. He also taught me “being the boss” does not make you a leader. People want to follow natural leaders who have a heart and passion for service. I will bring these qualities to the office of JP3. The JP3 court is the likeliest place for most citizens to come before a judge. Tell us your thoughts on being relatable to people who come to your court. Having a courtroom atmosphere that is welcoming, while remaining balanced and fair are important qualities to me. Important decisions are made from the bench. Those decisions need to be made with careful thought and without bias. I am a people person. My life and career experience have taught me sometimes good people make mistakes. Often folks want to feel like they are simply being heard, regardless of their social, economic, racial, educational or other backgrounds. Sometimes, even when they know they were in the wrong, they simply want to be heard. I believe in talking with people, not at people. People make mistakes or due to circumstances end up in front of the bench. They need to be heard and rulings need to be made within the confines of the law exercised with grace. As a Peace Officer you often interact with the public on their “worst day”. I have over two decades of “worst days” as preparation for the challenges of being your next Justice of the Peace. I have experienced challenges in my life directly and indirectly that have also prepared me to relate to people that come before the bench. In a political arena, our lives are open for review. I have worked since I was 15, been married to the military and dealt with deployments, divorced, a single parent, remarried, worked too many hours just to make ends meet. I volunteer and help where I can, and often times do not say no often enough. I can relate to a lot of people’s life circumstances.
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Describe the experience in leadership and management you believe will help you direct the JP3 office. I have experience in budget, personal management, policy development, strategic planning, and major project & incident management. As a member of the Executive Command Staff for Georgetown Police Department, I help to prepare and manage our over $15,000,000 annual police budget. I command half of the entire Georgetown Police Department, which is 58 people, both sworn and civilian. Currently, I oversee the Criminal Investigations Division, the Deployment Team, Property & Evidence, Crime Scene, Victim's Services, Communications, Records, Animal Services, the Community Engagement Division, and the School Resource Officers.
What are your first/immediate priorities when you take office. I am coming into an award-winning office, so I do not want to start arbitrarily making changes. I will take some time to analyze the budget, understand the current processes, and get to know each employee. I want to conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of sorts to get a good understanding of what the employees perceive to be the strengths of the office, any potential weaknesses, opportunities to become even better, or any threats we need to address. Secondly, I would like to explore the possibility of a volunteer program for the JP3 office. In my experience, it's an opportunity to increase customer service to our citizens without financially impacting the county.
The JP3 court is the likeliest place for most citizens to come before a judge. Tell us your thoughts on being relatable to people who come to your court. The Justice of the Peace Court has been referred to as the people's court. It has been called this because trials can be "pro se", meaning they are not required to have an attorney represent. I want to create an environment that puts everyone at ease, while still maintaining the courtroom decorum. Court is not an everyday activity for most, so I will display compassion to the defendant while explaining the process in order for he/she to better understand the court procedure. I want people to walk away feeling like they were treated with respect and received a fair & impartial hearing.
TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS Appellate Atty, Jennifer Freel on Ballot for Place 6 There are three places on the ballot for the Texas Third Court of Criminal Appeals. This court hears appeals from 24 counties in Central Texas. If a litigant is unhappy with a trial court's decision, that person can bring the dispute to the appellate court for a second look. Our highest courts—Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals—can choose which cases to decide. The intermediate appellate courts, like the Third Court, are often the final chance a party has for getting the right decision. Of the four Republican candidates for Place 6, Jennifer Freel is the only board-certified appellate attorney with jury trial, criminal and civil law experience. Her background includes working as a federal prosecutor and appellate judge clerk, and she represented business entities at one of the largest law firms in the nation. Freel is also a native Texan and has a background that belies a cowboy code mentality. She fearlessly took on Mexican drug cartels, pedophiles and Ponzi-schemers. She has received positive recommendations from judges and fellow attorneys and teaches advanced legal writing at the UT School of Law. "Simply put, my legal practice has been focused on appeals. If elected to serve on the Third Court, my job
will be to write opinions. I worked for nine years as a federal prosecutor and over the past five years, I defended convictions in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Because of the wealth of this appellate experience, I am ready to be an appellate judge." Freel is a mother of three and says she wants Texas to be as strong as it is now when her children are grown. "I have met so many great people and I'm proud to be from this part of the state. Primary voters are so engaged and interested in the process; it's great to meet people who care so much about government." Freel began her career in journalism but while covering the trial of a corrupt government official, she realized she wanted to be a prosecutor, stand in the front of the room, and be a servant to the public. "I have always loved public speaking and arguing in front of a jury is the real thing." Freel's career has come full circle and she has a great deal of experience on both sides of the table, giving her the kind of perspective necessary to judge."I have the experience and the character to be Judge. I look forward to meeting more voters in the next five weeks and serving the good people of Central Texas." Visit JenniferFreel.com for more.
Georgetown PAGE A6
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
MAYOR DALE ROSS New fire stations and medic unit planned
The Georgetown Fire/Medical Department continues to plan for new facilities, equipment, and staff in order to maintain exceptional emergency response services in our growing city. In this column I’d like to share some highlights about these plans as reported by Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan to the City Council at the end of last year. It should come as no surprise, since we are one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, to learn that there has been a 56 percent increase in call activity and demand for service since 2013. This increase is a key reason why the City is investing in new stations, equipment, and staffing, as well as making operational changes, to meet new emergency response demands.
Fire Station 6
Construction should begin this spring on Georgetown’s sixth fire station.
Fire Station 6 will be located on Williams Drive at FM 3405. The new station will help to shorten response times in the northwest sector of the city’s emergency response area. Williamson County Emergency Services District 8 is funding the cost of Fire Station 6 and Georgetown will staff and operate the station. Fire Station 6 will help to provide fire and medical response across the entire service area like other Georgetown fire stations. When Fire Station 6 opens next year, an engine company currently at Fire Station 5 will move to Fire Station 6. Station 5 will continue to be staffed with a truck company and a medic company.
Fire Station 7
Plans for a seventh fire station are underway. The city is working to acquire property near the intersection of SH 29 and Inner Loop Road for the station. Fire Station 7 will serve the eastern areas of the city’s emergency service area. The design of Fire Station 7 is in progress and construction should begin later this year. The station is expected to open by the end
of 2019. Future fire station sites under consideration include a location on Westinghouse Road at FM 1460 and another location on SH 29 west of DB Wood road. The Westinghouse Road site could be a station jointly built and operated by the City of Georgetown and the City of Round Rock, potentially serving fast-growth areas in both cities.
occurred 4 percent of the time. By 2017, concurrent medical calls increased to 30 percent of the time. In January, the City Council approved funding for a fifth ambulance unit that could be deployed later this year. This medical response vehicle along with the paramedics to staff it will help address increasing demand across the city.
EMS medic unit
There are good numbers to report on fire/medical response times for the department. Different measurements can be used for response times. If we look at the time of dispatch to the time of arrival, the response time has been reduced by an average of 36 seconds since 2012 from
Population growth has an impact on our emergency services. One way to track increased demand is to measure concurrent demand. Concurrent demand is when EMS staff responds to multiple calls at the same time. In 2013, concurrent medical calls
5:53 to 5:17. If we look at the call-to-door response time, which includes 911 call taking, dispatch, turnout time, response, and arrival, the average has been reduced 34 seconds since 2012 from 6:56 to 6:22. Either way it is measured, the department is getting to emergencies more quickly in order to begin critical care and render aid. Single-unit responses have increased from 15 percent of calls in 2016 to 30 percent of calls in 2017. A single-unit response means that one ambulance or fire truck responds to a call. The increase in single units responding is due to the deployment of medic units and the deployment of advanced life-saving equip-
ment on fire trucks. Overall, Chief Sullivan reported to council that fire-based EMS has resulted in an improved ability to handle concurrent calls or peak demand, improved call-to-door response time, improved reliability, and a decreased general fund costs for staffing additional units. Plans for new stations, equipment, and staff, as well as improved response times are reasons to feel good about emergency services in our city. Despite the fast growth we have been experiencing, our Georgetown Fire/Medical Department is planning and innovating to maintain excellent emergency services on which we can rely.
Georgetown PAGE A7
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Bob Rainey Farms is Georgetown's Coolest New Working Space Tucked into the quiet, just across from the new Randall's grocery, is Bob Rainey Farms—a new multi-use property that will soon have something to offer just about everyone in town. Owner Mike Rainey already operates a CrossFit gym and offers co-op working space for independent business, but he has plans for much more. Rainey grew up on farmland in North Carolina and came to Texas via the Army. Although this West Point graduate has a passion for technical contracting, he also loves teaching and coaching. When the CrossFit program he created outgrew his garage, so did his vision for creating a professional space for himself and others to come together to help each other by sharing resources. He and his wife purchased four acres off Williams Drive, covered with trees and a lush green view. He has completed construction on two buildings so far and, weather permitting, he will have mixed
use office space and an official ribbon cut by mid-Spring. The current building has offices, wi-fi, a conference room, kitchen and restrooms. "Plenty of people like me telecommute and sometimes need a step up from Starbucks; a quiet space dedicated to working, with a conference table or a couch for a presentation. I knew I needed a space like this and we wanted it to have the rustic and comfortable feel of Texas, too." Rainey Farms' brand, designed by Elizabeth Burnham, is corrugated metal and rustic wood and is another homage to Rainey's family, but it blends intentionally with the feel of Georgetown because their purpose is to provide a service to the community. "We want to keep the small feel of
Georgetown but give people the ability to do things beyond, perhaps an art show, a contract negotiation or a farmer market." Future plans include an event center and permanent office space. He also wants it to be a place where families can come and enjoy their time together. "We want to be the space for play, food trucks, weddings or a Super Bowl party, that is close in but not next to a road. We really just wanted to build a 'happy place' and the leasing and memberships will keep the lights on. It's really about having a relationship with people and doing business with friends. I love the harmony of it." Rainey says he was inspired by his postgrad time as a teacher at West Point. "Our
Celebrate with your Valentine all week!
Candidate filing for City Council May 2018 Election
The filing period for candidates who wish to run for a seat on the Georgetown City Council began Jan. 17. The places for Districts 1 and 5 will be on the ballot this spring. Anna Eby is the current council member for District 1 and Ty Gipson is the council member for District 5. Eby has announced she will run for re-election; Gipson will not seek re-election. The filing period ends Feb. 16. A packet for prospective candidates is available at City Hall at 113 E. Eighth St. 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri. To see maps of council districts, go to maps. georgetown.org/council-district-maps. Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. A candidate for city council must be 21 years of age and a citizen and qualified voter of the state of Texas and the City of Georgetown. Candidates for council district seats must be a resident of the council district the member would be representing for a period of twelve months as of the last legal date for filing. The last day to register to vote in the May election is April 5. Early in-person voting is April 23 through May 1. In the Early Voting period, voters may cast ballots at any Early Voting location in Williamson County. On Election Day on May 5, voters may cast ballots at any vote center location in Williamson County. Polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections. For details about the city election, contact Shelley Nowling, city secretary for the City of Georgetown, at Shelley.Nowling@georgetown. org or (512) 930-3652.
bookshelves were always shoulder-height so we could see each other and it fostered great collaboration. I found when I was in a room with others I could do more than if I was by myself. I also put a common table in our building here to keep the interaction going." Rainey also credits his wife, who is a solid partner in business as much as she was his rock when he was away from home. "I couldn’t do it without Lisa. I could have walked off a lot of cliffs without her bringing me back but I never felt the pull of worry when deployed and have a great partnership." Rainey's co-op, 6517 N Lakewoods Dr, will be limited to 20 members per month to start and he is confident that they won't be full every day, so the offices will always be comfortable, amenity-rich and spacious enough to keep all his clients happy. Construction is continuing and they plan to keep the community up to date on social media (Facebook/BobRaineyFarms).
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Georgetown PAGE A8
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 ď‚Ť THE ADVOCATE
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF GEORGETOWN
Battle of the Badges The Boys & Girls Club of Georgetown held their annual "Dancing with the Stars" fundraiser January 21 at the Georgetown Community Center. This year's theme was "Battle of the Badges." Expertly trained by Arthur Murray owners/ instructors Elena Lewis and Carols Hernandez, the "badge" competition featured members of Georgetown Fire and Police who trained for months and went head to head with traditional favorites like the Lindy Hop, the Hustle and a very caliente tango number. Couples were judged by Mayor Dale Ross, Fire
Chief John Sullivan and Lt. Bert Witcher (below). Judges were very generous to the competitors and the dance portion ended in a tie. Firefighters Priscilla Coffman and Jason Jeffery (at right), Police Captain Roland Waits and Officer Delta Jolly each danced two numbers then broke the judges' tie with a notat-all-planned lip sync battle. Each first responder performed with Lewis and Hernandez who agree that all their hard work was well worth it for the dancers and for the kids in the Boys & Girls Club.
Based on crowd response, the police team was the final champion for their "It's Raining Men" performance due, certainly, in part to their back up dancers in blue. The Boys & Girls Club offers after-school activities and athletic designed for character development and good citizenship; maintaining academic success and healthy lifestyles. They also strive to help kids develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for planning, decision-making and service to the community. To support in Georgetown, visit BGCgeorgetown.org or 512-868-3900 to volunteer.
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Time to Get Over it, Again I went to our ISD showcase
of programs last week and while it was impressive and fun, it also solidified something I've been thinking about and, let's face it, annoyed by for some time. The issue is this. I have a young child and there is little free time that he is not looking at some kind of screen. Not because he has no other interests or because I am an absent mother, but because it is the whole world to him. He can travel the globe and into outer space on it so it's a literal allegory of the world in his hands. And if one more person gives me the stinkeye about brain damage or obesity I'm going to scream. Walking among students—and grownups—and doing a quick count of the phones, tablets and monitors for everything from elementary spelling to in-school broadcast news programs, I realize, despite the complaints about screen time and lack of physical activity and blue light on the brain—I'm sorry people—the world is going tablet. Deal with it.
Progress has always been tough to accept, but the mobile generation is not the end of the world; it's just another paradigm shift and we will adapt and overcome whatever problems come with it. We always have. Remember when your great-great grandparents were afraid of cars because 15 MPH was too fast and scared the horses? Your great-grandparents hated light bulbs because they thought all the "electricity waves" would kill them? Our grandparents didn't like rock-n-roll because it was the devil's music? Where would popular culture be without Elvis, the Big Bopper and Ray Charles? Three movie studios, including Disney, rejected Star Wars on paper. And Lord knows my parents hated MTV. Today, there are more than one million apps for my iPads and we use it for work, play, information, news, shopping, budget management, gaming and loads of entertainment. I'd be willing to bet I don't know 20 people who still have a land line telephone. I got my first cell phone while traveling and wanted to make sure I could get in touch wherever I was in the country. My first plan was 15 minutes a month and cost me a fortune. I would love to see my face if I could go back and tell
my 1996 self that I would someday be watching Game of Thrones on a Hawaii beach on a 5-inch screen that I also use to check my bank balance and call mom for $100 a month. How many of you have stopped watching network TV or gotten rid of your cable and dish because you can stream everything you want for $13.99 a month without commercials? Have you seen the library on Netflix alone? As soon as humans invent something new, someone finds a reason to say it's bad. Pretty soon after that, another human invents something to mitigate the problem. Humans are good at solving problems. My iPad already has a night time setting that warms up the screen colors at night and cuts down on the blue flash that is giving me brain damage or keeping me from a good night's sleep. Let's just say that invention begets invention and we always manage to figure things out. Perhaps 100 years from now when homes and cars are completely composed of LEDs and pixels, we will be unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time and will evolve back to having second sleeps. Google it... a few hundred years ago everyone woke up in the wee hours for a while to read or sew or have grownup time. Then slept again until
ASK THE CHIEF about as original as a donut joke. Just say hello and we can talk about our days instead.
Georgetown Police Dept Assistant Chief Cory Tchida
Is there anything people do just because they are in the presence of police officers that drives police officers nuts? This one for me is more about what people say rather than what they do. I realize people are just trying to be funny but when they see an officer and say “I didn’t do it” or “He did it”, it gets tiresome. It is
Do I have to answer the door at my home if a police officer knocks on it? Depends on how hard the police officer is knocking! But in all seriousness, the general answer is no. If the situation is serious enough where we can’t take no for an answer, we are going to give abundant announcement that not answering is not an option. With respect to the FBI "mindhunters", is there a place for profiling behavior in every day police work? I don’t really have a great answer for this one. Outside of TV I don’t know the level of work put into generating a profile. I imagine it is quite a bit, and a profile
dawn. We've only been sleeping all night since jobs became shifty and we began segmenting life. But now, we work all kinds of ways, are in contact 24/7 so there's no universal need for 9-5 work.
The point is, embrace the change that may actually be a better version of the past. Don't be too impatient for things to be perfect the minute they make the scene. Enjoy your phone or tablet or 80-inch television. Who
SEITSINGER, CONT. FROM A1 conservative practices to the office I seek to serve. As your elected public servant, I will answer directly to you, the taxpayers of Williamson County, providing strict oversight and accountability for our county’s funds. That is why I am running for Treasurer,” Seitsinger said. Seitsinger is the owner of Tula Properties, a real estate company based in Williamson County. As a successful business owner, she has managed millions of dollars in real estate contracts and has a proven track record in financial management, experience in strategic planning, budget development, expense oversight, marketing, and team training. Prior to her successful career in real estate, Lee Ann proudly served our country in the U.S. Navy at various military installations and on overseas deployments. Seitsinger served as an Interior Communications Electronics Engineer, earned two good conduct awards, various service-related medals and was honorably discharged at the rank of E5.
might be helpful to solve certain crimes. But, based on the specialized expertise and time required, it might not have a great ROI to create the profile for a minor offense. Have you ever pulled over a school bus? What would be a good reason for doing so? We have pulled over school buses, but it is rare. Most school bus drivers are very cognizant of their precious cargo. The most typical offense would be speeding or the school bus driver is using an unauthorized electronic communication device while driving. Send your questions about law enforcement or the Georgetown Police Department to "Ask the Chief" at info@fpgtx. com
among us wants to go back to rotary phones stuck on a wall, or having to spend the whole day wondering which horse was the last to win the Triple Crown because there was no Google? Whatever problems we have with modern technology will inevitably be adapted and overcome and there will be something new for use to complain about shortly indeed. Heck, I'm not even that old and I already think things like Snapchat are stupid. Further, I already know and accept that I may be swiping right to vote for President in the 2036 election, so I'm trying to get over it early.
Seitsinger also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising Management from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska where she graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. She and her husband, Doug, are the devoted parents of one son and have proudly called Williamson County home since 2004. Seitsinger concluded, “My pledge to the citizens of Williamson County is that I will go to work every day looking for ways to increase government transparency, eliminate wasteful spending and provide strict oversight of our county’s funds. I took an oath to protect and defend our nation and proudly served our country for over a decade. I now report for duty to serve the people of Williamson County and will faithfully execute the duties of the Treasurer’s Office. I humbly ask for your support and vote in the March 6th, 2016 Republican Primary election.” To find out more visit Facebook.com/ laseitsinger
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Opinion PAGE A10
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
TERRY WILSON: SIT-REP Last week I received an
email from a constituent asking me about the censuring of Speaker Straus by the Republican Party of Texas Executive Committee. I’ve been asked about the issue many times, but this letter was different. Rather than focusing on the past, and what kind of action needs to be taken to punish people, or saying that those who felt wronged are not justified in their feelings, he had a different concern in mind, one that has been on my mind for the last few months as well. He was concerned that we are tearing ourselves apart. I think he hit on the defining challenge of our era, not just as Texans, but as Americans; we are fundamentally misunderstanding who our true enemies are and the threats they pose. Every era brings new challenges to our national security. The Industrial Age brought machine guns and tanks, the nuclear age brought us weapons that could level cities, and the space age showed us the need to move forward or be left behind. The Information Age arrived 20 years ago, and we are just now facing its true threats. Back in the fall, congress held hearings about how, during the last election cycle, social media sites were inundated with posts from Russian groups attempting to influence American voters. These posts weren’t trying to elect one candidate, or promote one ideology. They came from all perspectives, from the far right and the far left, targeting racial divisions and ideological divisions, all with only one goal in mind; make them hate each other.
At some point we started looking at our fellow Texans, and our fellow Americans, as the enemy. When you view someone as an enemy it is easy to dismiss them and their individual stories, backgrounds, and priorities and make them into a caricature. They stop being an individual person you can talk to, reason with, and understand, and become part of a collective “them” that must be destroyed. Our true enemies have realized that our largest vulnerability as a nation isn’t our military strength, our economy, or our level of technological advancement, it is in the level of divisiveness within our society. What better way to destroy a nation than to help them do it to themselves? Everything about the Russian social media misinformation campaign was about telling us that our fellow Americans are our biggest threat. They want you to think that you can’t trust anyone who disagrees with you on an issue. They want you to think that you are fighting a war that you must win at all costs. But this isn’t a war. This is a family. Anyone who has fought with their spouse on an issue, certain they were right, knows what it can mean to “win” the fight, but ultimately realize that something bigger was lost along the way. You realize that, after the argument, you still have to live together, you still have to build a future together, and that, ultimately, someone will have to set aside their pride, reach across to the other and try to understand. The things that build a strong family are the same things that build a strong
community, a strong party, a strong state, and a strong nation. Real strength doesn’t come from constantly overpowering someone else, it comes from being able to understand them, work with them, and ultimately build something lasting with them that no outside force can break apart. During the height of the Cold War, despite how much they may have fought it out on policy, President Reagan would still sit down with Democrat Speaker Tip O’Neil, have a beer, and come together as part of the American family. That was the America that brought down the Soviet Union. That was true strength; the willingness to overcome hatred, bitterness, and anger, choosing instead to communicate and unify. Speaker Straus and his administration in the House of Representatives are in the past. Regardless of how any of us feel about what was done, we are still left with the same choice to make. We can seize this opportunity to break apart old alliances, come together, and work towards our common goals, or we can let the divisions of the past control our future. As I begin the search for whom I will support as the Speaker of the House for the 86th Legislative session, this will be one of the chief attributes I will look for in a leader. In the next article, I will layout the rest of the criteria I will be using, and the questions I will be asking, to help me make that decision. I welcome your feedback and will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter to help me best represent you in this important choice.
The Last Word PAGE A11
FEBRUARY 2, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
To Vote or Not To Vote by Mike Payne
was recently chatting online with a group of people from where I used to live. We moved to Texas from a county that is much like Williamson County. The group was discussing elections when someone commented, “It really doesn’t matter who we vote for,” implying that those in power were going to govern however they wanted without regard for the preferences and well-being of their constituents. That seems to be the position of a substantial percentage of voters who are six degrees removed from those they are electing (meaning they don’t know the candidates personally). I reminded him that politicians are people too, with belief systems that guide the choices they make. Yes, it’s true that some seek office for the wrong reasons, but many others do the right things for their constituents. One thing is for certain− if you don’t show up to vote for the person who is most closely aligned with your
LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR AN AIR QUALITY STANDARD PERMIT FOR PERMANENT ROCK AND CONCRETE CRUSHERS PROPOSED AIR QUALITY REGISTRATION NUMBER 149551 APPLICATION. Superior Crushed Stone, L.C. 1405 East Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas 78741-1137 has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for an Air Quality Standard Permit, Registration Number 149551, which would authorize construction of a permanent rock crusher. The facility is proposed to be located at 1255 County Rd 344, Jarrell, Williamson County, TX 76537. This link to an electronic map of the site or facility's general location is provided as a public courtesy and not part of the application or notice. For exact location, refer to application. http://www.tceq.texas.gov/ assets/public/hb610 /index.html ?lat=30.85472&lng=-97.62972&zoom=13&type=r. This application was submitted to the TCEQ Dec 7, 2017. The executive director determined the application
positions, then by not voting, you have, if fact, cast a vote for the candidate you definitely do not support. So, you see, the argument that “it doesn’t matter who you vote for”, or if you vote, couldn’t be further from the truth. It is an indisputable fact that “you get the government you elect.” It really is that simple. There is no better example of this than the December 2017 City Council election in Round Rock. In what is arguably considered the most important election in the history
of Round Rock, out of over 61,000 registered voters, 5.1%, or only 3,270 voters showed up at the polls in an election that will forever change the landscape of the city. After decades of conservative fiscal government management, this election ushered in a “social justice” Austin-style of government to the city of Round Rock, Texas. “Liberal creep” has definitely arrived. Round Rock is about to learn how difficult it will be to hang on to what’s in your wallet, the fabric of your communities, and even the moral compass of the city. was technically complete Jan 5, 2018. PUBLIC COMMENT. Written public comments about this application may be submitted at any time during the public comment period. You may submit public comments either in writing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Office of the Chief Clerk, MC-105, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, or electronically at www.tceq.texas.gov/about/comments.html. If you choose to communicate with the TCEQ electronically, please be aware that your email address, like your physical mailing address, will become part of the agency's public record. The deadline to submit public comments is 30 days after newspaper notice is published. RESPONSE TO COMMENTS. A written response to all relevant comments will be prepared by the executive director after the comment period closes. The response, along with the executive director's decision on the application, will be mailed to everyone who submitted public comments and requested to be added to the mailing list. The response to comments will be posted in the permit file for viewing. The executive director shall approve
In this election, 58,000 voters sat it out. We must seek to learn why they’re completely out of the process. Bill Vaughn, noted columnist and author once penned, “A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for Democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in…elections.” The Bible is even more clear. “To him that knows to do good and does not, it is sin.” Don’t yell at me. I didn’t say it, God did! Sure, all politicians aren’t candidates for Saint-hood. But then neither is your multi-level marketing brother-in-law, and still, you invite him over to your house on the Fourth of July. You don’t just outright pretend he doesn’t exist. And he probably has far less influence on your life than your elected officials. Doesn’t it make sense to at least take time to find out who’s running, what their positions are, and how they align with your beliefs? Then take the half hour it takes to exercise the most fundamental right of this Republic we call America. You can consider yourself a hero. After all, you get the government you elect… meaning what happens to you as a citizen, and the very future of your children and grandchildren, is a result of how you pull the lever in the voting booth. Go. Vote. Every. Time.
or deny the application not later than 30 days after the end of the public comment period, considering all comments received within the comment period, and base this decision on whether the application meets the requirements of the standard permit. CENTRAL/REGIONAL OFFICE. The application will be available for viewing and copying at the TCEQ Central Office and the TCEQ Austin Regional Office, located at 12100 Park 35 Cir Bldg A Rm 179, Austin, Texas 78753-1808, during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning the first day of publication of this notice. INFORMATION. For more information about this permit application or the permitting process, please call the Public Education Program toll free at 1-800-687-4040. Si desea información en Español, puede llamar al 1-800-687-4040. Further information may also be obtained from Superior Crushed Stone, L.C., 1405 East Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas 78741-1137, or by calling Ms. Monique Wells, Environmental Consultant, CIC Environmental LLC at (512) 292-4314. Notice Issuance Date: Jan 9, 2018.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Political candidates who use smear tactics against their opponent often have little substance of their own to offer their constituents— only mindless rhetoric. Belittling opponents and their supporters should be a clarion statement to voters that the candidate lacks moral fiber. The tactic only works if voters get caught up in the verbiage of a campaign and ignore its glaring lack of substance. Recent example in point, a Round Rock candidate running for a high and honorable office has insulted duly elected and highly acclaimed county officials with fake news and insults against their character and background as well as those “cronies” who support them. How will scurrilous tactics gain a candidate any honor or credence in an office that demands exceeding amounts of both? If elected, what effect will this behavior have on his working relationship with those whom he has besmirched? It is incumbent upon voters to look beyond the
rhetoric; rather, look for the character of a candidate. If the candidate currently holds a political office, as in the Judge Gravell versus Councilman Leffingwell race, compare their accomplishments and benefits to the county-at-large. Has Judge Gravell’s court improved in his five years of around-the-clock service? His full-time job? Yes, astronomically—winning National, State and local awards. Ask anyone in the county. As City Councilman, Leffingwell consistently votes on tax increases and an occasional budget, which is wholly prepared by the city manager. Has his part-time job improved the City of Round Rock? Ask his constituents. Sun City residents are being contacted by phone and the caller touts Leffingwell's superior qualifications for the County Judgeship based on two almost laughable qualifications. The first, that he’s an attorney. Second, experience running a business—
with only two employees and minuscule budget. I want to remind my fellow residents that no prior Wilco County Judge has ever been an attorney and yet they excelled with honor without that stigma. Having a law degree certainly doesn’t guarantee success or enhance careers in politics: (hint) Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jana Duty, etc. In stark contrast to Leffingwell’s business experience, Judge Gravell oversees 17 employees with a $1.4 million dollar budget. Compare and contrast the candidates and the cream will rise to the top. You should expect and demand more from your Republican candidates’ behavior. Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican candidate” is a sound doctrine and integrates seamlessly with the ‘cowboy code of ethics’. God bless America, and God bless Texas. Tony Trumps, Sun City
Not Just Who, but Why I travel the length and breadth of this county for work and community events and, all over, people ask me who will get my vote for County Judge. I never tell them Who without telling them Why. I’m voting for the man who not only cares about Williamson County but also my city—and theirs—and the individual components and attributes each has that, together, make the sum of the parts greater than the whole; Judge Bill Gravell. Over the past five years, Judge Gravell has visited, supported or contributed to every city, every zip code and at least half the schools and churches.
He knows us here in Liberty Hill but also the people of Taylor, Thrall, Hutto, Bartlett and Leander. He is just as likely to be playing donkey basketball in Florence as he is to be praying at a fire station in Hutto or a fancy gala in Round Rock. Bill Gravell sees that every community has its strength and brings something positive to the game. I have found him to be a true listener and someone who strives for excellence. He doesn't settle for anything just because "it's the way we've always done it." And he wants to leave his mark on this County because we will all be better for it. Lauren M., Liberty Hill
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FEBRUARY 2, 2018 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE