Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pair duck Pct. 1 debate, Snell alone faces voters

(Click the picture of The Legendary lower on this page to hear an audio news report on this on the Black T-shirt News on Hog Shed Radio at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 23)

Robinson – When Kelly Snell stepped to the podium, he was alone, standing at a podium in a meeting room at the Hampton Inn, facing a hostile crowd of voters fed up with higher taxes.

His two challengers, Steve Janics and Trey Kizer, failed to show up for a debate on the issues.

The even't sponsor, Bill Foster, editor and publisher of “The Waco Citizen,” was forced to make a last-minute move from the Robinson Chamber of Commerce Building to the hotel.

Though the first-term Precinct 1 McLennan County Commissioner has vowed to seek only 3 terms, Mr. Snell was hard-pressed to make constituents understand that he and his colleagues control only the tax rate, not the appraisal of their property.

You would have thought he was a seasoned hack, a veteran of many terms, judging by the attitude of his interlocutors.

One man in the crowd said he has paid consistently at minimum of $1,000 more in taxes as a result.

Mr. Snell explained he has a three-point plan to lower valuations.

First, members of the McLennan Appraisal District Board should elected at large, by registered voters.

Secondly, members should be voted on by one man, one vote, and not on a point system apportioned by the worth of the taxable properties in their districts.

Last, members' terms should be limited to three two-year terms.

But the deficit spending on the county jail system attracted the most attention.

Though Mr. Snell bragged that he has been able to reduce McLennan County's spending by about $1.9 million a year during his term, he acknowledged that the $7,000 to $14,000 a day it's costing to house overflow prisoners in the Jack Harwell Detention Center operated by CEC, Inc., is an offset that nullifies their best efforts.

“I wasn't a commissioner when they voted that jail in, you've got to remember,” Mr. Snell reminded his questioners.

A man came forward with questions he would have asked Mr. Snell's opponents, had they been there.
For Mr. Kizer, he asked, how would his conviction for DWI square with employees of the County who would lose their jobs is convicted for the same offense. “Is this a case of do as I say, and not as I do?” he asked.

For Mr. Janics, he asked, how would his military experience help him in running a County with a budget of $137 million per year? They were not there to answer him. 

1 comment:

  1. Most of the cost saving that Mr. Snell takes credit for was actually instituted years before he took office. He played and continues to play no real part in the savings. Mr.Snell did vote on the contract for the Harwell Center and continues to vote for today. Mr. Snell is also connected back to the Plemons campaign who's spending both for the Sheriff's Office will cost the taxpayers an extra $1.8 million, and on his campaign where he has borrowed $65,000 because of his lack of support.

    On the other hand, given that Mr. Snell is known for voting down his own motions in Commissioners Court, I'm sure he being there alone still made for a spirited debate with himself.