Friday, March 6, 2009

Well Represented In Austin

I was in Austin this week with a group of local and regional officials who care a great deal about this area.
The group, members of the Rolling Plains Community Partnership, which included several people from Childress, discussed rural issues with a variety of individuals and agency representatives.
It is an opportunity which can lead to additional opportunities.
For instance, a few years ago when the group was visiting with officials from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the connection was made which led to the Childress ATV Park, which is under construction.
This year, a bill was introduced which would end the Office of Rural Community Affairs (ORCA). By virtue of local residents being in the right place at the right time, the bill is likely dead on arrival due to the immediate attention given to it by individuals within the group and our elected officials Rep. Warren Chisum and Sen. Robert Duncan.
Childress and area towns have benefitted greatly from ORCA programs as the organization is rural Texas’ largest supporter.
The trip also allows local individuals a chance to show off the way we do things up here.
For example, Childress Regional Medical Center Administrator John Henderson is very proficient on why that facility is as successful as it is. It is impressive to hear him speak on the topic of rural health in that arena.
Likewise, it is interesting to see how state officials react to the fact that the Childress Independent School District is on the cutting edge of technology in Texas. In fact, we lead the way in that regard and Superintendent John Wilson and Assistant Superintendent Toby Tucker were in high demand to address the topic.
I listened in on a conversation between Sen. Robert Duncan and City Manager Bryan Tucker and came away thinking how fortunate Childress is to have an asset like Bryan here.
Many residents take for granted the fact we have people here attempting to help the area. That’s okay, I don’t think any member of the group minds in the least.
The bottom line is we’re lucky to be in a position to be listened to and blessed to have caring individuals sacrifice their time and energy to ensure Childress is around for awhile.

Copyright Christopher Blackburn 2008

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