Kathy Cruz: Granbury may grow stronger from council shake-ups

November 10, 2012


Granbury may grow stronger from council shake-ups

Gary Couch and Mitch Tyra were on their best behavior Tuesday night. Too bad some voters weren’t.

Apparently, some poll workers had to deal with boors spouting their political opinions while standing in line to vote.

Gary unseated Mitch from the Place 3 position on the Granbury City Council. Three years ago, Mitch had unseated Jeanell Morris.

At American Tall Hall Tuesday night, Mitch graciously conceded the race, and Gary, in turn, complimented Mitch on his service.

It has been a long, bumpy road trying to unseat the established regime that held power for years. I’m not making a judgment on whether those people needed to be unseated. I’m just saying that when elected officials are in power for a long time, people tend to start suspecting that something is afoot.

In the summer of 2009, it was rather amusing to observe Mitch’s first appearance in the council conference room. Back then, when David Southern was mayor, the council always had a pre-council meeting before the regular City Council meeting started at 6 p.m.

I was sitting in a chair against the wall, along with city staff and others. Mitch was there, sitting at the big conference table, but not in the cluster of elected officials. The plan was for Jeanell to step down from the dais during the public meeting, and for Mitch to formally take her seat on the dais.

He wanted her seat at the conference table.

I felt kind of bad for Jeanell. I don’t necessarily think that Mitch was trying to be rude, but it was like he couldn’t push her out of the way fast enough. I thought Jeanell was going to come across the table at him, and I wouldn’t have blamed her.

But what goes around, as they say, comes around, and now it is Mitch who has been knocked out of his chair. It’s been a bumpy three years, but Mitch probably does deserve some credit for creating a climate of change.

He kept beating the drum to lower that controversially-high council pay – and he finally succeeded. It will be interesting to see whether it stays there.

He also played a role in making it possible for citizens to address the council on any issue they wish. And he pushed for a change in policy that allows any one council member to place an item on the agenda.

The rule used to be that three council members had to request that something be placed on the agenda. That made some people suspect that it was a deliberate attempt to prevent some matters from being discussed publicly.

I have a feeling that Mitch split his pants earlier this year when he refused to expand the Opera House, even in the face of hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by several groups and generous donors working together. He wasn’t the only council member who refused, and I’m not judging whether he voted correctly. I’m just saying it angered an awful lot of people.

So now, the lesson for the new guy is that what goes around often has a way of coming around, and there’s usually someone waiting to come across the table and smack you silly.

It could be that the Granbury City Council is coming full circle and standing a little taller after three years of growing pains.

As long as no one grows too big for their britches, the city might not split its pants.

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