To the Editor,

Here we go again,

It’s easy to know when political season has arrived in rural Texas. Multi-colored signs sprout up before the first bluebonnet or buttercup has even begun to show its true beauty. Seems as though every corner and every fence has a sign to let me know how I’m supposed to vote. What the clutter doesn’t tell you is who is going to be the best choice and why they should be entrusted as my elected representative. As a former elected official, I too had my share of signage posted to get one's attention. I once used the slogan “Know Before You Go”. What I really wanted and hoped, is for individuals to do a little of their own research and look at the candidate's qualifications and their motivation for seeking office. I also know that it’s impossible to meet all of the needs of one’s entire constituency. I often tell people that in the 13 years that I served as a council-member and mayor of Midlothian, I made more enemies than friends. That’s because I always looked at an issue and made my decisions based on what I felt was best for the well-being, not only for the current city residents, but what was best for the long term success for our community. I never made a council decision based on who was before us with a proposal, but what was brought to the table that enhanced our community. I deliberated both the benefits as well as the liabilities of every decision made? I also reflected on how my decision would affect future councils and their ability to govern effectively? My decisions were made regardless of the political fallout that might occur or how it might affect my individual friendships or relationships with their businesses. I don’t look at things any differently now when I am searching for the best candidate. I want someone who is going to make decisions that serve the current and future residents and the organizations needs best. When I compare candidates, I look at many different aspects. Which candidate has the education, knowledge and experience that will benefit the organization and taxpayers? Which candidate has the ability to lead by example and is able to think for themselves and vote their conscience? Which candidate best represents my own personal values? Is there any past behavior that might disqualify one from being entrusted to represent me? Are there any conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest that prevent one from being fair and objective? Do I have personal knowledge of a candidate’s good or bad traits or habits and how might that affect their ability to serve effectively? Do they have the skillsets needed to succeed? Voters have the opportunity and the obligation to select each year, those that are going to best represent us in an elected capacity. Sometimes those decisions are easy and just as often, they are difficult and require thoughtful deliberation. When I go to the polls I am confident that my support will be given to the candidate that is best suited for, and most likely to succeed in representing me. Andrea Walton asked if I could support her in her candidacy for MISD school board. I encouraged her to run and told her that I would need to wait until the filing period was over so that I had an opportunity to compare her to any of the other candidates. I have now completed my research and concluded to support Andrea Walton. In my opinion, I feel she is the best choice to serve our students, administrators, educators and the taxpayers of the district. I want YOU to do your OWN research on ALL of the candidates and come to your own conclusions before you head to the polls. The slogan I used and its meaning is just as relevant today as it was many years ago. You need to --- Know Before You Go!

Boyce Whatley, former councilmember and Mayor of Midlothian