Monday, May 23, 2011
These comments were presented during the citizen’s comment period of the May 23th Commissioners Court session. Shortly after, Judge McDonald appointed Lee Dildy’s widow to fill the empty Precinct 4 Commissioner’s seat.
This courtroom seems really empty today . . .
I knew Lee Dildy for over a decade, not as my precinct commissioner but as a member of this Court. We met when the County was dealing with the Alcoa situation which dragged on for years. The Commissioner and I developed a friendly, working relationship during that time.
After that intense period, I was not seen much around these parts until the airport issue raised it’s nasty little head. When I got back on the horse, there were familiar faces around county government. One of them was Commissioner Dildy.
He called me about ten days before he died. It was a call that had been promised last October but not made all fall or winter. Over those months, that overdue phone call became quite an amusement that he and I shared before the Commissioners Court sessions.
We talked for a long time that afternoon . . . about an hour. We reminisced and shared personal thoughts. He said he considered me to be a friend and I assured him I felt the same. I can’t say that we cleared the air because, at least from my perspective, there was no air to clear. I did give him a message which he promised to pass on to the the other members of this Court. I hope he kept his word to do so.
When that cordial conversation ended, I felt a sense of peace and closure. In retrospect, it was a call that seemed to be putting things in order and saying goodby. I am very grateful that he finally picked up the phone and dialed my number.
The last of months of his life, the Commissioner had not been looking well so in a way, I was not all that surprised to hear the news but his final exit certainly left a mark! Undoubtedly for the rest of my years, I’ll be thinking of him whenever a Friday the 13th rolls around.
Unfortunately, the Commissioner’s sudden departure leaves many unanswered questions regarding the proposed Central Texas Airport project - questions that only he could answer. That is a great loss to those of us who will suffer the consequences if the project should ever move from pipe-dream to reality.
Oh well, there are other questions and other answers that will help us stop this project in its tracks. Then there’s the 2012 election when the people will have an opportunity to elect new representation for Precinct 4. We may have lost a key player but the game is far from over.