OPINION: Tough Texas mayor is sick and tired

OPINION: Tough Texas mayor is sick and tired

Tim Boyd, the mayor until recently of Colorado City, Texas, has made himself an overnight sensation with a now-deleted Facebook rant to his 4,000 or so former constituents during a protracted cold spell during which they were out of power for days.

“Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute!! No one owes you are [sic] your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim it’s your choice! … I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout.”

So there! 

For the record, Mr. Boyd will no longer have to be sick and tired, because he resigned as chief executive of the town, which is about 70 miles west of Abilene, after that post kicked up a fuss.

But the problem is statewide. On Tuesday morning, you see, 4 million Texans woke up without electricity, for which Mr. Boyd blamed “a socialist government.” 

Also for the record, Texas relies largely on natural gas for its electric power, according to The Texas Times, but the natural gas infrastructure was unprepared for this cold snap. In other words, this crisis had nothing to do with the “Green New Deal,” as falsely claimed by Gov. Greg Abbott on Fox TV, and by other right-wing fanatics, because nowhere has the Green New Deal been passed or applied to date. Certainly not in Texas.

Anyway, something like a quarter of all the electricity generated in Texas comes from wind, and most of the rest is from fossil fuels. There were failures in both systems last week.

And yet, in Tucker Carlson’s words, “The Green New Deal has come, believe it or not, to the state of Texas. How’s it working out so far?”

For his part, Mr. Boyd called his townsfolk “weak,” saying “only the strong will survive and the weak will parish [sic].”

Take that!

Imagine: Just because the temperature had been in the teens and 20s for days, and just because 20-something Texans had died, some of the still-living wanted a handout! The nerve! 

It seems that what set Boyd off was residents inquiring on a community Facebook group whether the town was going to open one or more warming centers. No wonder he snapped. 

Now, I don’t know to what extent municipalities in Texas “owe” their residents anything, but I would point out to Mr. Boyd that they do pay taxes, and that some municipalities make great efforts to help their residents during disasters such as hurricanes and floods — even in Texas. And that these people also pay the electric company for services that, at least in states other than Texas, are considered essential, leading to public complaints when an outage, even if unavoidable, lasts longer than seems reasonable.

Just last year there was quite a kerfuffle in Connecticut because Eversource had performed poorly after a couple of storms. Maybe we New England snowflakes could use a few more tough guys like Mr. Boyd.

(Trivia time: The official slogan of Texas is not “Don’t Mess With Texas,” but rather, “Friendship,” allegedly chosen because the name Texas or Tejas is supposedly the Spanish pronunciation of a Native American word reportedly meaning “friends” or “allies.” That’s from the Texas State Historical Association.) 

Now, isn’t that interesting?

Reach Glenn Richter at grichter@record-journal.com.

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