I’d like to address something that deals with the big story of the week: the investigation into County Commissioner Terry Ross.
Even before Tuesday’s seizure of a “playhouse,” as it is referred to in the investigator’s affidavit, rumors had been circulating around the county as to what has been going on.
We’re not in the business of printing rumors. We don’t post something saying “unconfirmed” or information based solely from a third party. That’s why we spent most of Tuesday afternoon trying to track down the affidavit of Texas Ranger James Hicks. The document revealed many of the important details in the case.
We fully understand that there is more than one side to a story. That’s why we made repeated efforts over the past three days to contact Ross and his attorney, Barry Green.
We are aware that a statement regarding the case has been posted on a website, however we believe in confirming information with our sources before we print them. Green has not sent us a copy of that statement. He has not sent us an email saying a statement has been posted. He has not confirmed that he is the author of that statement.
Ross did not respond to the first call made Tuesday but did answer his phone Thursday. He refused to comment and said he would ask Green to call us. Messages were also left at Green’s office, but as of press time, he has not paid us the courtesy of a call to confirm the statement or answer follow-up questions that the statement clearly begs.
We believe communication is a two-way street. It’s why you’ll find letters to the editor and even online story comments on this page.
Our goal is to bring all the confirmed facts surrounding this case to light. Since it involves an elected county official, we believe it is our duty as a professional journalism institution.
We would encourage the same type of professionalism from all those involved.
We will eventually have a primary election this year.
When it will be is still anybody’s guess.
Monday was the deadline to get a map approved that would have preserved a possible April 3 primary date.
Now that is out the window.
There is still a slim chance that a primary might happen April 17, but that is only if maps can be put in place by Feb. 20, which is a little more than a week away.
Things get really sticky after that. Early voting for the May 12 city and school elections would start April 30. In counties like Wise, where electronic voting machines are used, you can’t have two elections going on at the same time.
So then you are looking at late May or early June as the next available time frame for a primary election date. But the problem there is both the state Republican and Democratic conventions are also set for early June.
There has been talk of a split primary to allow one vote in the presidential race and another for the other races. But that will also double the costs to counties who are already working under tight budgets, so the question becomes, “Who’s going to pay for it?”
In the meantime, Wise County Elections Administrator Lannie Noble and his staff must continue to watch, wait and field phone calls from people wondering why they haven’t received their voter registration card yet. Those cards can’t be created until the new maps are finished.
WALK FOR HEART HEALTH
We published our Heart Health special section in a heart health-themed issue of the Messenger recently, but we forgot to mention Walk Across Texas, a program sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
The program encourages making walking a part of your daily routine. Teams are even being formed to see who can walk the farthest “across Texas” by keeping up with the number of miles walked.
Information about the program was featured in the Wednesday, Feb. 8, issue of All Around Wise. If you missed it, you can find the column on our website at www.WCMessenger.com/wisenotes.
It’s another good way to keep those hearts strong.