There is nobody in Texas more supportive of police and fire than I am. For over 44 years I have been involved in lifting them up, praising them across the state and letting them know how important they are to us. My wife and I never miss an opportunity to thank them for protecting us. Our biggest joy is when we offer to buy lunch for a table full of first responders at a restaurant. Our prayers frequently include a specific mention for public safety workers to be protected from harm.
But I have also been the budget director or financial planner to many cities and a couple of counties in Texas. I appreciate all local government workers. My wish is for us to be able to do everything we can to support everyone. While I think of those risking their lives, the municipal family is much broader to me. There is nobody I respect more than the water department workers who are called out at 2 am in the freezing rain to dig a hole to climb down in so they can fix a busted water line in order to service to be restored before I wake up.
Violation of Council-Manager Form of Government.
For the City Council (or candidate) to reach out for direct support and sponsorship by the Police and Fire Unions (or any city government employee group) is just flat wrong. In essence, it is saying my boss is the Chief, and his/her boss is the City Manager and his/her boss is the City Council and their bosses are the Citizens. So, to hell with the legal structure the Citizens adopted in the Charter. Let’s gang up and try to influence the last two echelons of the City’s intentionally selected form of proper governance.
It’s the most basic form political manipulation in McKinney. The common phrase is “count to four.” That means if you can get four votes, you can do or get just about anything you want in McKinney. That is why developers and real estate people are such prominent financial contributors in local races. But the most dastardly maneuvers by that particular group pale in comparison to an employee group trying to pick their boss’s boss two or three levels up.
McKinney Citizens Are Being Duped.
Here is where the Fire & Police Unions laugh all the way to the voting booth. Citizens are under the impression that there is a massive amount of support for a candidate. However, do this math:
- How many people are in these two departments?
- How many of the employees of these two departments belong to the Union?
- How many of those employees actually live in McKinney and are eligible to vote?
- How many of those voting are doing their own thinking or just following the Union leadership?
Wouldn’t it be funny if having the Police & Fire Union blatant support isn’t really generating that much political favor if the rank and file, not to mention the other city employees, quietly vote the opposite? I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’m guessing there are a small handful of actual employees making it appear has if the entire forces are championing a candidate. Politically brilliant, I suppose, but a charade.
Citizens, be suspicious of this aspect of McKinney’s Underground Government. It’s real, and the only way it is ever going to change is by new blood. 1-2-3-4.
I will continue to be a cheerleader for all employees in local government. But I will always see a red flag when an employee Union is deliberately trying to manipulate an election! LFM.