To the Editor,

I was greatly saddened to learn that the Waxahachie City Council was considering relieving Paul of his duties as our City Manager for which he served the past eight years. As a 25 year resident of Waxahachie and business and property owner, I have been more excited about the progress the city and especially the historic downtown district have experienced in the last 2-3 years with Paul at the helm. I know Paul to be a moral, ethical and good man who loved this city and community and always strove to put the best interests of the citizens and community ahead of anything or any individual. Paul did a very good job for all Waxahachie residents and will be sorely missed by those who knew him and served with him.

What saddens me, even more, is the way Paul’s dismissal was handled. A hastily called city council meeting was convened with the agenda stating that the council would immediately be adjourned into an executive session behind closed doors. I was there at 10:30 AM with a huge turnout of other concerned citizens, business owners and taxpayers wondering why the council would so hastily call a meeting and why they would be considering letting go of a deeply revered City Manager. You see, by now, news of Paul’s possible departure had gotten out and this was why there was such a large turnout for this special convening of the council. This brings me to my main point. Why was Paul being forced out and why was it being done in such a seemingly secretive and nefarious way? These were the questions that everyone in attendance wanted asked and deserved answers and explanations. After all, that’s how a Representative form of government is supposed to function… Right? Sadly, that’s not what happened. Instead, the citizens, business & property owners and the taxpayers of this town witnessed their local city government act in a manner that was NOT representative of the people’s interests and the people’s right to transparency from their own government! It was likely arranged in this manner so the council members would be given cover behind a confidentiality agreement and now could not “legally” answer questions. How convenient.

Unfortunately, we are living in very troubling times as a Country. We hear of polarization, restlessness, and strife; we see violent protests and criminality perpetrated in the name of some cause or some perceived injustice de jour. It has shaken people’s confidence in important institutions that give stability to society. But comparatively, Texas has been spared much of this turmoil. We like to believe in limited government and a government that is accountable to “We The People.” Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you identify, we should all agree that Open and Accountable government on all levels is mandatory. If we do not demand and ensure this, then people begin to lose faith in their government because their voice is not heard… and that leads down a very dark path that is disastrous for society in general. I would have never dreamed that I would see what I witnessed today in our beloved city of Waxahachie in the Great Lone Star State. Paul didn’t deserve that. We don’t deserve that… We deserve Better.

Andrew Burch, Waxahachie