Fight Club (Williamson County Edition)

There’s a ridiculous little fight brewing up in WilCo that should come to head Tuesday evening. On one side, we have Georgetown Councilmember Pat Berryman and on the other we have Georgetown’s Mayor, George Garver. Normally, in a fight between two Republicans, I’d prefer to sit back and just watch the bloodsport from a distance that would guarantee no blood on my shoes. However, in this case I can’t do that because

1) I have a bunch of friends in Georgetown
2) Berryman is really acting as a stand in

It’s number 2 that really irritates me because Pat is really just a sockpuppet of teabagger WilCo Commissioner Cynthia Long, the same one who has taken money over the years from the developers who’ve been trying to get something going near 183/620. The fight began a few years ago with a simple request to have a bridge over 35 in north Georgetown (the Lakeway Bridge) rebuilt with money available to CAMPO through ARRA (the so-called Federal stimulus bill). This particular bridge is, I can tell you, a terrible piece of public infrastructure on which there has been at least 6 fatal accidents. Mayor Garver put the bridge on the agenda and Cynthia Long, who was serving as Vice Chair of CAMPO in 2009 made a few strategic moves and got that particular bridge project pulled even though it was shovel ready.

In the intervening two years, there have been an additional 28 accidents on that bridge. That’s more than one per month, if you have problems working out that sort of thing.

Flash forward to the CAMPO meeting on May 9th. Mayor Garver got his vote on the Lakeway Bridge (it passed) which caused problems for Long’s puppet Berryman who was supporting Garver’s opponent since Garver would get the credit he’d earned for finally getting the money to rebuild the bridge. Also at the meeting, there was a vote related to the Centers concept which Long opposed because for some reason she thought it would mean less money for WilCo (it won’t but even a factsheet produced by CAMPO staff couldn’t help her understand). Garver, who understood the issue, voted for it. Which sent Long into a whole new orbit of crazy and Garver’s opponent then sent out at least one nutter, black helicopter-esque email which somehow managed to link the Centers plan with some weirdo UN thing. The people of Georgetown saw through it and shortly thereafter re-elected Garver by around 70%.

Score one for the good guys.

Which bring us to now… Berryman is working hard to get the Georgetown City Council to remove Garver from CAMPO. If that happens, and Berryman is appointed in his place, that could lead to a massive amount of bad blood within CAMPO and block voting, which will inevitably present Williamson County with the fuzzy end of the proverbial lollypop as the other areas will align with Travis County and shut WilCo out completely, massively hurting the developers who need better infrastructure.

Let’s hope the Georgetown City Council can say no to the power mad axis of Long and Berryman.

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