Spotlight On….LISTON CRIM!!!

Liston Crim is the next candidate running for Bastrop County Commissioner Precinct 4 that I am focusing on!  If you have lived in Bastrop County for a while, then I am sure that you have heard the Crim name.  The Crim family is very well-known in Elgin, and I was lucky enough to grow up around them because my childhood best friend was Liston’s niece.  Liston was originally running on the Republican ticket, but has recently switched to run on the Democratic ticket.  I am sure you have seen his bright yellow signs around town!

Liston is married to Joniel Crim.  He has a son, Aaron, who works as a Bastrop County Sheriff’s Deputy.  He has two daughters, Lana and Jamie, who are attending Austin Community College.  He has another daughter, Dayna, who is attending Tarleton State University and his youngest daughter, Caitlyn, is a sophomore at Elgin High School.  Liston has lived in Precinct 4 of Bastrop County for nearly 50 years with his parents, brothers, sisters and their families, all residing in the Elgin area.

1.  What makes you the person for the job?  (County Commissioner, PCT 4)

I have spent nearly 30 years serving the citizens of Elgin, Austin, and Bastrop County.  Among other roles, I have served as:

-Currently, Elgin’s Fire Chief and an Austin Fire Fighter

-Two Term City Council Member

-Commissioner for ESD 1 (Emergency Services District)

-Elgin Fire Marshall

-Member of Bastrop County Judge Advisory Board

-Emergency Management Coordinator for both the City of Elgin and Bastrop County

-Chairperson for the Public Safety Advisory Board

-Member of the Lower Colorado River Floodplain Coalition

-Member of the Homeland Security Task Force

I have assisted in the management of an Elgin City Budget.  I am currently responsible for a nearly $350,000.00 budget for the Elgin Fire Department, while overseeing a fleet of emergency vehicles and nearly 50 firefighters/first responders.

I have also been involved over the years in many civic organizations, some of which include:  Hog Eye Staff, Little League Baseball Association President and Umpire, Elgin Art Walk Project, Envision Central Texas.

I take the job of a public servant very seriously and believe that like any other profession, you owe it to the customer, or in this case, the taxpayers, to hire, appoint or elect the most qualified person for the job.  I believe I am that candidate and would be grateful for the opportunity to continue to put my experience to work for this community.

2.  What do you think is the biggest issue in Elgin right now and how can you help resolve it?

Over the last few years, we have experienced a significant level of residential growth in this area, but have had very little commercial growth at the same time.  This has and will continue to have a negative impact on the cities and county in terms of their ability to accommodate the greater demand for services while awaiting the commercial tax base to help fund it.  As an elected official, we must strive to be better informed, continuously involved and willing to make the right decisions based on how a particular development would impact the community overall.  Not all growth is necessarily good growth.

We are going to have to be a more aggressive competitor in the commercial market, knowing what that involves, and working toward that goal.  I believe a county commissioner has the opportunity to play the role of an advocate for the entire community, helping bring business owners to the table with our local city and county staff.  A commissioner can and should assist in the promotion of a business friendly environment, representing a community and it’s government working together to insure a win for both parties.

3.  With so much focus on Bastrop and the lost revenue from the wildfires, how can the citizens of Elgin be sure that you will fairly represent OUR town’s needs?

The impact that the wildfires had on this community will be felt this year, next year and years down the road.  We will lose a significant amount of our tax base due to the destruction of personal property.  Some say that we will likely see as much as a 12% reduction in overall income for the next couple of years as a result.

What we won’t immediately realize is the effect that the fire had on things such as tourism (6,000 acres of parkland, 15 million dollars’ worth of loblolly pines destroyed), agriculture, infrastructure, etc.

There are many things we can do instead of raising taxes to help minimize the impact of this loss.  A couple of examples:  We have numerous properties within the city and county that have been off the tax roll, in some cases many years, because there were delinquent taxes owed or just simply abandoned.  Working with our tax attorneys and getting these properties back on the tax roll and into the hands of new owners should be a priority.

Also, we should examine every department in the county to find out if the opportunity exists to avoid duplication of services or the possibility to consolidate services and save tax dollars.  I am currently investigating the possibility of the consolidation of emergency dispatching services that I believe could save thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands, by putting our entire emergency dispatching under one roof.

I believe a commissioner should make it a priority to routinely explore options such as these, making sure we continuously provide the most efficient, cost-effective government we can; not just when we are recovering from a disaster or when times are difficult.


EHS Stu-Co hosts “Elgin’s Got Talent”

I just got home from the talent show and WOW, we have some very talented kids attending our high school ya’ll!!!  I was very impressed with the kids.  It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of your peers and perform.  The audience was huge with kids, parents, siblings, grandparents and friends!  The student council had a concession stand where they were serving lots of yummy food including popcorn and cupcakes!

There were several entries into the show and without making this too long, I will try to do a little synopsis of what everyone did.

Gulian Francis did a cool magic trick which included him tearing up a kleenex and then saying a little something something and all of a sudden it was whole again!  Noah and Jonah Hubbard on guitars, along with their dad, Alan, on the drums, performed some music that was awesome (and yes, I am biased because Alan is the pastor at my church)!  Anissa McVea sang “And I am telling You”, by Jennifer Hudson and I literally got the chills.  Collin Sheehan played the Super Mario Brothers theme song on a Euphonium.  Angelica Marroquin played “Flightless Bird” on the piano.  Darwynne Thomas got the crowd rockin when he played the “The downfall of us all” on an electric car.  Courtney Minnis sang “Run This Town” by Lucy Hale with words and got a standing ovation from the crowd!  The Los Chemecocos which consist of Eric Tello, Luis Loredo, Jose Lara, and I know there was another young man but I don’t know his name, did a Cumbia Dance that was incredible and fun.  They were in costume and everything.  Karina Saucedo sang a couple of songs, one of which was “Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy while a young man played the guitar.  Nick Kanak played the guitar and sang several songs.  Mary Wnek sang “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars as Logan Young played the guitar and I was very moved by this performance.  I thought Mary did a great job and you could feel the bond between her and Logan.  Hunter Flores played “Clair de Lune” and “Waltz” by Chopin on the piano and WOW….he had NO paper music at all and it was just amazing, how well he played.  Racheal Smith, Holly Madewell, Keyla Santana, and Colton McDaniel sang “Just the Way you Are by Bruno Mars, as a group.  Rocko Delacruz sang “Til I hear you sing once more” by Love Never Dies.  Matthew Madewell sang several songs while playing the guitar.  Tatianna Munford and Alisa Fields sang two songs and had dancers in the background.  Shiya Madden blew the crowd away with her soulful voice as she sang “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.  The Small Town Heroes ended the show with two songs, one of which was “All the Small Things” by Blink 182.

All of the kids did so good.  I was so surprised at all of the musical talent that they had.  It is pretty great to be able to play an instrument, and to be able to sing too, what I wouldn’t give for those talents!  I know you are waiting to hear the winners, she here we go….in 3rd place was Miss Shiya Madden, in 2nd place was Los Chemecocos, and in 1st place was Hunter Flores.  Congratulations to these kids.  They were wonderful and thanks to everyone who came out to support the Elgin High School Student Council!!!

I took pictures that I will try to attach later on.

 


Todays daily blog….

Hey yall….I will not post a daily blog today but I am going to try and get to the talent show tonight at the high school and get a story there and some pictures of our town’s kids showing us their talents and I will also try to do my spotlight story on commissioner candidate Liston Crim, so stay tuned….

 

By the way, the Talent Show is at 6 if yall are interested!  $3 and it goes to their prom funds!!!


It’s Wet Wednesday…how are you?!?!

Whew…what a day it has been!  I hope everyone is staying dry and more importantly, SAFE.  I know there was a lot of scary stuff going on this morning, but I haven’t heard of anything bad, so I am guessing everyone was smart enough to stay at home.  I know my best friend was trapped in her house out on Old Sayers Road.  There is still a slight chance of rain tonight, so if it starts back up, be careful because it is hard to tell what is going on when it is dark out!

NEWS

Okay, the blood center in the Austin area is in desperate need of blood donations.  They need over 200 donations a day to meet the community’s need-to fill the 37 hospitals and also use for emergency services, so if you are able to donate blood, you can go to KVUE.com and look at the top stories and it will give you a list of places to go.  I am going to see if maybe enough people would be interested in the community to donate, would they come to Elgin.  I am on blood thinners, so I am unable to donate, but I hope a lot of other people would be willing to do so.  It does not hurt at all.  I get my blood taken all the time, so I will see what I can do!

The same Navy Seal team that killed Osama Bin Laden, rescued two hostages in Somalia yesterday, which is great news.  One of the hostages was an American aid worker, Jessica Buchanan.

WEATHER

It is 55 degrees right now and cloudy and yucky out!  Tonight will get down to 49 with a 30% chance of rain.  Tomorrow’s high is 58 with a 10% chance of rain.

ENTERTAINMENT

It looks like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who once said that they would not marry until everyone (gay people) could marry, may be going back on their word.  Brad reportedly said that it is meaning more and more to their children that they get married so that may be in the future.

Ashton Kutcher has been seen partying in Brazil with a bunch of supermodels while Demi is seeking treatment for exhaustion, and TMZ reported prescription drug use.  I am sorry, but this is really making me dislike Ashton!!!

ELGIN NEWS

Well, after the excitement of school being delayed this morning, I don’t think I can top that!  I started my spotlight on our candidates for County Commissioner last night.  The first one was of Ron Jay and I hope you all had a chance to read it and learn a little more about him.  I will do Liston Crim next, probably tomorrow.  I want to give you a glimpse of each of the candidates and hopefully make you WANT to go vote, because it is so important!!!

It is January 25…we are almost through the first month of 2012…it sure is flying by.  Tomorrow has soooo much going on!!!

I first want to tell yall about the Talent Show that the Elgin High School Student Council is putting on.  I am going to go and get some pictures and enjoy the talent.  It is amazing what our kids are capable of and I know they would love to have a huge audience and know that the community cares!  It is in the EHS Library at 6 p.m.  It costs $3 to get in and they are going to divide the profits equally and give each class money towards their prom.  Please support our kids.  I know this isn’t athletics, but to a lot of kids, this is just as important.  I hope to see you there!

All of the elementaries will be doing the STAAR benchmark tests again.

The Middle School girls and boys have basketball games.

-Middle School Boys vs. Decker (A team only) at EMS at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

-Middle School Girls @ Decker (A team only) at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

The High School Soccer teams are in tournaments again.

-Girls JV Soccer tournament @ Smithson Valley

-Boys JV Soccer tournament @ Akins

Neidig Elementary will have tutorials after school.

The Combined Community Action, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting at the CCA Admin building in Giddings at 6:30 p.m.-the CCA serves Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, and Lee Counties and serves low income and senior families with programs to help them maintain self sufficiency.

 


BREAKING NEWS-SCHOOL DELAYED TWO HOURS

Due to flooding, school is now delayed two hours.


SPOTLIGHT ON……RON JAY (Candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 4)

As most of you know, for the past sixteen years, the late Lee Dildy served as the County Commissioner of Bastrop County, Precinct 4.  Lee Dildy passed away on May 13, 2011 and his wife, Vivian Dildy, has filled his spot on the commissioner’s court since then.  Now the time is drawing near that we must elect a new County Commissioner.  I am going to do a spotlight series of stories and tell you about each of the candidates.  The first candidate that we will talk about is Ron Jay.

Ron Jay is just one of the candidates running for County Commissioner for Precinct 4. This is Ron’s third time to run for County Commissioner and he is on the republican ticket.  I sent each of the candidates a list of three questions.  I sent them each the SAME three questions.  After I tell you about each candidate, I will give you their replies to the questions.  I am starting with Ron because he got back to me the fastest, so it only makes sense right?  Just so everyone knows, I am not endorsing any of the candidates.  I will go vote and I think that it is important that everyone go vote, but I am trying to do this as a journalist, and in that case I will not endorse any of the candidates.

Ron is married to Zellena Jay and has four stepchildren and eight grandchildren.  One of them, Sebastion, is in the third grade in Elgin.  Ron has lived in Bastrop County since 1986.  He has been a self-employed contractor for over 40 years.  He makes his living as a contract painter, but he also does something else that I found interesting.  Ron is an actor!

Ron graduated from Panhandle High School, spent two years at Amarillo College and served in the Army Reserve.  He turned down two scholarships to play college football and one to the Texas State Teachers College, for acting, and instead went to the Pasadena Playhouse of Theater Arts.  He has been an extra, a featured extra, had small parts, been a production assistant, a stunt stand-in, and a photo double for Joe Don Baker.  He has worked in over ten movies and about twenty television shows and made for tv movies.

Ron is on the board of The Elgin Chamber of Commerce.  As I mentioned before, this is his third time running for County Commissioner; he ran for county judge once, and has run for the Elgin School Board five times.  He has a lot of passion for our community and for politics and believes that he can make a difference if elected for County Commissioner Precinct 4.

Now, on to the questions.  Remember, I asked each candidate the exact same three questions.  I will put the question and then put the candidate’s response.

1.  What makes you the person for the job?  (County Commissioner, PCT 4)

A County Commissioner must have the ability to understand the needs and problems of the citizens of Bastrop County, be a good listener, and have the ability to consider the reaction of each action administered.  It is a full-time job, not part-time.  I am THE person who will serve the Elgin Community, all of Precinct 4, and vote with the Commissioner’s Court to provide the best service possible.  When I am elected, I will give all of my attention to the position and this will be my only responsibility.  I am conservative and have run for this office two times before.  I have been an Elginite for 26 years and I am devoted to serving my community.  I am a board member of the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, was a member of The Elgin Noons Lions Club and Elgin Rotary Club.  For four years, I was the coordinator of the Western Days Parade and have volunteered at Hogeye Festival and other Elgin activities.  I am steadfast and will put Precinct 4 as the first consideration in every vote.  I am bold and will stand by my decisions.

2.  What do you think is the biggest issue in Elgin right now and how can you help resolve it?

The City of Elgin is served well with the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager.  The County Commissioner has no vote in city affairs;  however, sometimes, mutual services are needed such as Emergency Services, County Sheriff involvement, and water supply.  When needed, I will present the issues to the Court on behalf of the City of Elgin in an effort to persuade a vote towards Elgin’s best interest.

Currently, Elgin’s biggest issue is, “Who will provide water (the City of Elgin or Aqua Water) to Austin Community College (in the building phase) and Wal-mart Super Store (in the planning stage).”  The Elgin Chamber of Commerce Board, of which I am a member, has sent a letter to Aqua Water to resolve the issue.  Negotiations are in process.

3.  With so much focus on Bastrop and the lost revenue from the wildfires, how can the citizens of Elgin be sure that you will fairly represent OUR town’s needs?

There has been a great loss of tax revenue because of the wildfire that destroyed homes in Bastrop County, as well as the City of Bastrop.  Some income is being recovered from The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), when volunteers record the services they are providing and reimbursement for monies being spent for clean-up, etc.  The loss is great.  As Commissioner, I will have an open door policy.  Anyone who has ideas to share or issues to discuss, will be welcome in my office, on the telephone, through email, or I will meet with groups to get feed-back before I vote on topics that could affect Elgin, before I make a decision.


Another opportunity for all of my Elgin Angels….

I have another challenge for everyone.  Thankfully, this time it is not a sad occasion, but an occasion to come together for all of the kids in Elgin.  Elgin Little League is a very popular association and one that has been around for a long time.  I loved playing little league as a kid and I love the chance to see my son play.  I don’t really remember, but I think when we were kids, we had to sell candy bars for our fundraiser.  Let’s face it, between all of the junk the schools have us trying to sell to raise money, do we really want to sell more junk for Little League?  I know I don’t, and neither did Elgin Little League President, Kenny King.  He had a wonderful idea that has turned into such a big event and I seriously can’t contain my excitement.  This event, this FUNDRAISER, is being held on February 25, 2012 at the Elgin SPJST Stardust Ballroom on Highway 95.  It will begin at 6 p.m. with awards being given out to the all-star teams that were successful last season.  Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and will be provided by Meyers Elgin Smokehouse, yum.  Then a dance will begin at 8 p.m. with Elgin’s own Country Star, Mark Winston Kirk, and DJ Fame to follow.  There will also be a silent auction going on from 6-10 p.m., as well as a raffle.  The dance will last until midnight.  This is a family friendly event, obviously, since it is all about raising money for the youth of our community.  Okay, are you ready for this????  The cost of the tickets are only $15 EACH!!!!  I was blown away by this price.  I thought they would at least be going for $25.  I mean, it is an entire evening of fun, with food AND entertainment and only $15!?!?!  I asked Kenny though and he said that he would rather sell all of the tickets for a cheaper price than to have them cost more and not sell the tickets, so with that being said, let’s sell these tickets yall!!!!  This is a way to raise money for Elgin Little League by going out and having a good time, so it is a win/win situation.

I have tickets available.  I am giving some to my mom to sell at the High School.  I gave some to Gina Nunez to sell at the middle school.  There are some available at the ELL Boardroom when you go sign your kids up for spring ball.  I would rather  you come buy them from me, because I just love being able to sell more than everyone else, lol.  Just kidding, but really, if you send me a message and let me know how many you want, you can come by my house, or I can come to you.  Just let me know.

We did sooooo well with the Kendra Monk Fundraiser.  I still think we should go into some book of records or something for raising $10,000 for the Monk Family in ONE DAY!!!!  Now, with that being said, I have no doubt that we wll be sold out of these Little League fundraiser tickets in no time.  So help me out and get your orders in now.  Children under 2 are free, otherwise, all tickets are $15 each.

Kenny told me that there is a lot of discussion about what all is needed at the Little League complex.  My vote is for a paved parking lot and sidewalks (due to me being in a wheelchair).  Kenny mentioned to me that he thinks each of the fields need their own sound system so that the kids can be announced when they are up for bat, which is a great idea.  He is welcoming any and all suggestions that you or someone you know, may have.

Thank you in advance for all of your hard work and cooperation on getting these tickets sold.  On February 25th, we will all have a wonderful night of fun together!  I, for one, cannot wait!!!

Email me at clinder1980@gmail.com or text me at 512-229-8395 or send me a message on facebook.  Thanks yall!!!

 


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