EDITORIAL: Shouldn’t we expect more?


Liberty Hill appears to be suffering from low expectations.

Are you expected to complete legal forms accurately and honestly? Are you expected to abide by the ordinances and policies established by the City?

If you have employees, are you expected to lead them, and counsel them? Are you expected to communicate with them on problems and corrective actions?

Are you expected to treat people around you with courtesy and civility? Are you expected to be truthful in your response to questions? Are you expected to share information about the services you provide your customers?

It’s likely you answered each of those questions with a yes. These are baseline expectations. So why don’t we have those expectations for our City leadership?

Aside from a few rousing declarations on social media that “something should change”, the leadership in the City of Liberty Hill has remained free to conduct business as usual, with no pressure, few questions and certainly no demand for better from the City’s residents.

The Liberty Hill City Council would certainly demand that you be respectful, professional, honest and abide by the ordinances and policies of the City.

First it was accusations about Mayor Rick Hall’s alleged poor management and questionable behavior.

These were met with what has become the standard response of “Those came from disgruntled employees.”

But was Barbara Zwernemann a disgruntled employee in 2018 when she filed a written complaint, corroborated by a fellow employee about Hall? Has the City Council done anything but sign off on surprise terminations of employees that previously had no marks against them in their jobs?

Then it was questions about how Council member Steve McIntosh engages with members of other city boards and how he represents the City when he is away from the dais.

Hall’s response was that it was taken care of, but the others involved in the altercations have said there was no sch resolution, the issue was simply allowed to go away.

Now we learn that an appointed Council member – who has not received a single vote and will be soon in for her first full term in November without any votes – lived for more than 15 months in a business you as a citizen of Liberty Hill would not be allowed to reside in.

Kathy Canady, by her own admission falsified a loan document that said she had a residence in Burnet and said she would not live in the business she sought the loan for.

Liberty Hill is growing, and should be growing up, but from the outside looking in, it doesn’t look much like the polished leadership you would expect from a City that is becoming more professional.

Our Council members – including the Mayor – are about to enjoy paid positions. Is this what we are really willing to pay for?

Remember, this is the same Council that out of the blue inserted compensation for themselves into the budget last year and then decided to ask for the community’s support to allow them to serve three-year terms instead of two. Have they earned either of those?

Perhaps we should be embarrassed by these actions from our Council, but we should undoubtedly be embarrassed by our own acceptance of it and the window into our City’s leadership people in surrounding communities have.

These problems don’t get resolved simply because The Independent writes about them. All the newspaper can do is uncover, inform and explain, but it is up to the people this Council represents to expect more and demand it.