Exclusive statement from former mayor Tim Boyd
Amid controversy, county residents turn out to help needy
While much of West Texas found itself dealing with record low temperatures over the last few days, Colorado City found itself unwittingly becoming an unwanted posterboy for unsympathetic city officials.
On Tuesday, former Colorado City Mayor Tim Boyd posted a statement on Facebook critical of some of the city’s citizens. Boyd, who had announced weeks ago he would not be seeking re-election as mayor, had received several phone calls critical of the city running out of water during the extreme weather conditions. Boyd became frustrated as citizens continued to barrage the city offices and elected officials with calls, posted a Facebook rant that included statements such as, “no one owes your family anything,” and “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout out,” as well as “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish.”
Boyd later posted a second message explaining his frustration and clarifying what he was trying to say in his earlier post. He apologized in that statement and told citizens he was not directing his comments to the elderly or those who were truly in need.
Former mayor Tim Boyd spoke to the Record Thursday in an exclusive interview. He wanted the people of the world to know it was not his intention to throw truly needy citizens to the elements. In the interview, Boyd stated, “I have been a Colorado City resident all my life. I was born in the old Root Memorial Hospital, now replaced by our great Mitchell County Hospital. Although there is no excuse for the words I used Tuesday, I would like to offer my apologies to those I offended. I promise 15 minutes of fame is not all it is cracked up to be.”
“If nothing else, my post brought attention to our town and drew people from all over the country to look at our community. It also brought former citizens and current residents together to help each other. I hope this continues to be the norm for our little town,” Boyd continued.
“For years, we have had very little interest in our city council or council meetings — unless something dramatic happened such as this. I was appointed to the position after the death of a very popular, long-time mayor, Jim Baum. Was it the best choice, probably not, but someone had to try and fill his shoes, and I tried for several years.”
“To the best of my memory, we have not had a contested race for council since I began serving. We have a democracy so people can vote for the best candidate, but when no one will run for office, it becomes the norm to just have the same people election after election.”
“If nothing else, I hope the citizens of Colorado City and Mitchell County will get more involved with their governing bodies, including city, school and county, Boyd concluded.
Yet, even while controversy that would land Colorado City in the media in places such as London and Sydney, Australia, the residents of Mitchell County continued to do what they always have done. They extended a friendly hand to those in need.
“Our community is not defined by one person. We have people hauling water, feeding large groups, using their resources to house people. People are taking others to doctor’s appointments and delivering food. We are a community that will take care of our own,” resident Darlene Moore said. “Did our elected officials fail us? Yes. But we keep on doing what we need to do, helping each other. After we are back up, thawed out and going again, we will worry about officials.
Colorado City City Manager David Hoover agreed, saying volunteers went above and beyond to help those in need over the last week.
“I just want to personally thank all of the good people of Colorado City and Mitchell County for the volunteer help that has been given during this highly unusual situation,” Hoover wrote. “We have had people using their own vehicles and water tanks to help folks flush their toilets. The Mitchell County group, along with the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado City Police Department, and many others delivered bottled water to anyone expressing a need. We have had councilmen and their wives delivering water and, in some cases, cooking cheeseburgers and delivering them to those in need.”
Hoover said Patrick Toombs and Joe Rivera stayed on the phone until they found two of the 480-volt, 3-phase generators that run one well field pump each. Joe and Mike Redwine braved icy roads to San Angelo to bring them back. He also said Blaine Lemons stayed at the wellfield until almost midnight to help hook them up, and that Mike Madrid and John Beckmeyer worked through the cold to get wells back in operation and repairing some that had been damaged by the cold. Hoover also noted Jerry Boyd had been out in the field with Madrid and other crewmen getting those generators ready to fire up.
“We are a small community but we have a lot of big-hearted folks who will help their neighbors, including (Mitchell County) Judge Mark Merrell and his gracious wife, who have worked with others to house folks from Loraine who were without power for several days and in danger of hypothermia and dehydration.”
Hoover said Mitchell County EMS crews helped bring Loraine residents to the Samaritan House so they could warm up and sleep. Mitchell County Hospital District also took some residents in.
“The list goes on and on,” he said. “I am thankful that I live in a community where you wave or speak to the people you meet on the street.”
Members of the Colorado City Volunteer Fire Department and Ricky Bailey have been distributing cases of free drinking water. The water was available to residents in limited amounts.
“One of the reasons I chose Texas as my permanent home is that people in Texas pull together when times get rough,” said Colorado City City Councilman Raymond Whitener. “The smaller communities step out and help people when a need arises.”
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