OPINION COLUMNS

All Around Wise: Local leaders provide guidance after tragedies

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 9, 2019
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We were saddened this week to learn of another tragic death due to an accident on Farm Road 730 with the passing of Winogene Mayfield.

It was the fourth death on the roadway between Boyd and Decatur since the end of November.

Richard Greene

One that I unfortunately had to cover, and which deeply impacted me, was the wreck in early December that claimed the young lives of Makayla Stoff and Seth Evans.

In the time since that accident, I visited with Cassidy Tynsky whose daughter Payten was killed on the roadway 15 months before. Tynsky has led a petition to urge the Texas Department of Transportation to move up scheduled improvements.

In the past month, TxDOT crews have been on site starting work by grading the shoulders and eliminating the deep dropoffs that have contributed to some of the accidents.

Through the tragic events, we’ve been inspired and encouraged by local leadership stepping forward to push for action.

On top of Tynsky’s petition, local leaders have collaborated to demand change. Boyd Mayor Rodney Holmes and City Administrator Greg Arrington led the way, drafting a resolution describing the roadway as a “serious detriment to public safety.”

Since the Boyd City Council adopted the resolution, the City of Decatur and Decatur ISD have followed suit with similar resolutions. Boyd ISD will do the same Monday night to join the chorus, pushing for TxDOT to move up improvements.

Wise County commissioners also edited their transportation plan to include safety improvements to FM 730 based on the immediate needs.

The actions of the local officials point to the dramatic impact they can have, much more so than who is in Austin or Washington. This is why the general elections in May are so important. We need people that are willing to step forward and make a difference.

It should also be pointed out that while legislators are busy in Austin, we must remind them of the importance of local control on local issues.

Richard Greene is editor of the Messenger.

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