EDITORIAL: Liberty Hill needs a motto!

CityLimitsignMaybe if Liberty Hill had a motto, the City Council could move past this herky-jerky governing style of constant political and personal payback and move on toward goodness and mercy, and live and let live.

After last week when we all witnessed another 3-2 vote to fire the new law firm and hire back the old law firm that had been fired because it used to be connected with previous councils, we’re all dizzy and no longer wondering why city government is mired in gridlock and personal animosity.

The real and present danger is that our community will become known for the infighting and questionable governing.

A motto will allow us to all raise the dialogue to a higher, more pleasant level during this suffocating heat and work to do something for the greater good.

“Sure,” says the sarcastic. “Never,” says the neutral observer who has been following the city council in recent years. But the still, small voice of buried hope and optimism says “Let’s try.”

Versions of Liberty Hill have been around since the 1840’s. Since it’s been Liberty Hill, the town has moved, been discovered, forgotten, re-discovered and finally became a real bonafide town in 1999 when it was incorporated as a defense against being overrun by Georgetown and Leander.

Somehow, the idea of a motto just never did get done by the honorable politicos down at City Hall and they’ve had all this time to get it done. So why don’t the real people of Liberty Hill lead the way and see if we can do something for our community?

A motto is a flag made out of words. A motto gives distinction to a place, demonstrates its pride, its claim to belonging. We should come together as a community and work on this with the same energy we bring to other fine causes in Liberty Hill.

For example, the real motto of our southern neighbor, Austin, is “The Live Music Capitol of the World,” not “Keep Austin Weird.” However, both mottos are pretty close. Nearby, Pfugerville has deemed itself “Between a Rock and a Weird Place” since it’s sandwiched between Round Rock and Austin. Georgetown’s motto is “Sincerely Yours,” not the popular “Keep Georgetown Normal” that seems to answer Austin’s love of weirdness. Round Rock’s motto is “Purpose, Passion, Prosperity.” We hope they bought a chicken fried steak for the person who came up with all those P’s. Wonder why they didn’t use all R’s? Like, Round Rock: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling.

The Liberty Hill Independent is announcing a contest to create a motto for our community. We are joining with area businesses to offer prizes to the top finalists. The team of judges will be made up local business owners, educators, senior citizens and one or two elected officials who promise not to fight with one another for the duration of the contest.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, loves to tell a story of when he was a young aspiring politician. He hosted a motto contest for his hometown. He made boxes and placed them all over his city for citizens to place their ideas. At the end of the contest, he went to each box only to find each one empty, except one. It had a wadded-up piece of paper that said: “Rockwall, Rockwall, sitting on a hill. A’int never amounted to nothing and it never will.”

The ghost writer was wrong. With the help of Congressman Hall and others, the tiny city by Lake Ray Hubbard exploded with growth and prosperity. Rockwall is the smallest county in Texas, but the third wealthiest in the state. Rockwall’s motto: “The New Horizon.”

Upon hearing rumors of The Independent’s contest, some folks have already submitted a few suggestions.

Wilt Cutter, longtime Shin Oak Ridge whittler, musicologist and semi-preacher called and suggested several mottos:

* Liberty Hill: “If you’ve lost your rattlesnake, it’s still here under the porch.”

* Liberty Hill: “Where your ex-wife and her new boyfriend are spending your money and doing an excellent job raising the kids.”

* Liberty Hill: “We’ve got just as many wrecks as Austin, but the ambulance is faster.”

* Liberty Hill: “More goats, less taxes.”

* Liberty Hill: “Take your U-Haul and move on down to Burnet, so we can whip your tail in football.”

Although those are obviously too long for a bumper sticker, we’ve assured Mr. Cutter that he can re-submit his suggested mottos once the contest is underway this week.

The rules of the contest are pretty simple.

1. Anyone of any age can enter and more than one entry is acceptable.

2. Submit entries to us in one of the following ways:

Send email to NEWS@LHINDEPENDENT.COM or just use the Contact Form on our website. Or, send them to us by US Mail: The Independent, PO Box 1235, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. Or, drop them by our office at 14251 W. SH 29, Suite B.

3. Contest runs from today, July 25-Sept. 6.

4. Entries posted on Facebook will not be considered as official.

5. The winner will be announced at a special event in September (more details to follow).

The Independent will announce the judges and more contest details in the days ahead. Look to our website, www.LHIndependent.com for more information, and be sure to keep track of the contest on FACEBOOK where you can  LIKE US for updates.

Readers, you have the rest of the summer to ruminate over all the funny mottos you won’t actually submit. But find that one that makes you proud, and be part of a movement to bring new meaning to community spirit.