His first day on the job, new David Barkemeyer exchanged public assurances with ‘s four commissioners that partisan politics would have no place in governing the county.
And, in fact, the Judge was fairly gracious about former county judge‘ accomplishments during his three terms on the job. But, apparently, being gracious to a vanquished foe is one thing; having that foe pop up on the county’s payroll is quite another.
A couple of days after leaving office, Summers landed a gig in the Rockdale office of the Milam County Tax Assessor/Collector. He’ll be sellingregistrations and taking tax payments, a job that pays about $21,000 a year.
By all accounts, the Summers’ hiring did not set well with the new county judge. Nor did it set well with those Tea Party Republicans who helped to elect him.
If I understand the story correctly, Judge Barkemeyer threatened dire consequences if Kolette Morgan, our tax accessor/collector, didn’t rescind the hiring decision. Since she wouldn’t toe his line, he also blustered something about working to defeat her at the next election if she didn’t switch parties.
Actually, I’ve heard that, during his orientation visits with all the county’s department heads, Barkemeyer has been muttering imprecations regarding the fate of elected Democrats who don’t switch parties. Now. The way I hear it, he’s not so much encouraging folks to switch as he’s making threats to those who don’t.
Let me get this straight … there’s no room for partisan politics in governing Milam County — unless you cross the county judge or fail to renounce your affiliation with the Democratic Party, in which case, the gloves come off and
you’ll put Party interests will be put above governance. Is that about it?
Whatever you think about Frank, the decision to hire him is within Kolette’s sole discretion. She held fast, of course, and that’s what prompted Barkemeyer’s thunderous “no” vote Monday granting Summers’ deputization to collect money on the county’s behalf.
Make no mistake. This incident brings into focus that Tea Party Republicans in Milam County are trying to bully our elected Democrats into switching parties and, despite assurances to the contrary, fully intend to
let play partisan, hardball politics with those who won’t play by their rules.