Saturday, February 18, 2012

McNamara “not opposed” to civil service system

Significance of “We the People” explained

Members of the Waco Police Association and the McLennan County Sheriff's Officers' Association got the ear of Parnell McNamara in a break-through meeting last week.

They emphasize they have Constitutional justifications to back the reasons for their desires for a civil service commission.

Marshal McNamara heard them out, then he said he is not opposed to their goals.

That is why they back retired U.S. Deputy Marshal McNamara against Chief Deputy Randy Plemons, and they aren't shy about their reasons.

Like all working men and women, they want something.

What do they want?

They desire a Civil Service Commission that will provide some assurance of a level playing field in the competition for positions and promotions, a competition that is based on merit and qualification, and not favoritism.

They see a Constitutional basis for obtaining their goals.

That is highly significant because each and every one of the corrections and peace officers involved are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Texas against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

One begins to get the feeling that these men behind the badge mean business.

Serious business.

It is often written that the British Constitution, uncodified and largely a collection of laws and traditions, is little more than a mask for the arbitrary power of the landed aristocracy and the financial oligarchy.

So be it in the U.K., but this is Texas, and no place but Texas.

The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas state quite plainly in their preambles that all power derives from the consent of the people – that is, those who are to be governed - and from they alone. No special powers are derived from God for any subset of the people such as a royal or noble class. All are equal in the eyes of the law, and it's a concept that is contained in the enumerated and codified Articles and Sections of both documents.

Though the preambles carry no force of law because they do not restrict the government from doing anything, nor require anyone to comply with any specific injunction, the codified and enumerated powers and duties that flow from these recitals are very specific.

Some key provisions of the Texas Constitution's Bill of Rights make it clear that when working men and women find themselves hemmed in by a corporate government, a semi-private, for-profit outfit, they have the perfect right to go out and try to make a change to a system more to their liking.

Marshal McNamara told them he is opposed to all that. He said that he thinks it is wrong to profit from another person's demise.

Obviously, the old boys who drafted the Texas Constitution had been down that road before.

Some of them had been hauled off to Mexico to serve time for unspecified offenses against unknown impresarios, and they weren't having anything less than a system governed by the people, and not by private companies or a special class of individuals empowered by any other set of rules than those they had to live with.

So, according to union organizers from the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas (CLEAT) an the McLennan County Sheriff's Officers' Association (MCSOA), if corrections officers and certified peace officers choose to petition for the formation of a civil service commission, they may do so with impunity because they enjoy the protection of the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas.

Take another look at Section 20 of the Texas Bill of Rights.

SEC. 20. No citizen shall be outlawed; nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the same.

There is some cause for alarm in the fact that the present arrangement with CEC, Inc., to operate two jails in the McLennan County system includes previous experience with a corporation that has housed prisoners of the District of Columbia held by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in the Johnson County lockup at Cleburne, Texas. Those inmates are a long way from home.

The very truth is plain as the nose on your face. Employees of McLennan County already have the benefit of a civil service commission, in any case.

The thing is, it's not codified into the county's ordinances, and it's not enforced, but the McLennan County policy manual enumerates all twelve of the criteria laid out in the Texas Local Government Code for the formation and operation of County Civil Service Commissions.

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