Hey, before I get to complainin', let me just say kudos (mostly) to the Tyler City Council for their work today. Well, they handed out a tax abatement to Trane, but that's just what city governments do now in the name of "jobs" and "economic development". Can a leopard change its spots?
But on the positive side, they stood up to Liberty Utilities that provides Water/Sewer services to some Tyler residents. Apparently Liberty is trying to fleece its customers with a rate increase for sewer disposal of over 300%! Yikes. I love how Mark Watley and Mayor Heines took the company's representative to task for only showing up to work with the city when they want a rate increase. And get this--they are going to sell a parcel of land in downtown Tyler to a developer who is going to put something like $10 million into a condominium/retail development. Contrast that with Smith County's practice over the past 10 years of buying up or holding onto downtown properties, hindering economic development!
Today's gripe will be brief. Just take a look at this trash that showed up in the Tyler Morning Telegraph today:
Link to article: Smith County to begin government outreach initiative
Ah, it's about some initiative spearheaded by Judge Moran to improve relationships between Smith County and the municipal governments within the county. Fine idea. But I'm just irritated by the article itself.
First there's the byline: "CASEY MURPHY, Special to the Tyler Morning Telegraph" No, she's not a reporter for the Telegraph. She is the public relations officer for the Smith County Commissioners Court. Her job is to make Judge Moran and the four clownishioners look good. Sure, she is identified as such at the end of the article, but I'm still irritated. I'm just irritated when stuff gets printed or broadcast as "news" when it is really just propaganda, especially if it is propaganda put out on behalf of politicians. When it gets close to election time, this kind of stuff basically amounts to free campaign advertising for the incumbents.
It's either news or it's not. If it's news, send a real reporter over to the Annex and ask a few questions about what is going on. If not, it belongs on the county's website or in the employees' newsletter.