Galveston County was treated to politics Cheryl Johnson-style in a fascinating article by John Wayne Ferguson that included “claims of lies and vendettas” regarding the “hotly contested race” for tax assessor-collector (“Claims of lies, vendettas mark tax assessor race,” The Daily News, Jan. 26). Bananas, right? Yet, here we are.
Fact, incumbent Cheryl Johnson has already had 16 years to do the things that she claims to need another four to accomplish. Fact, Jackie Peden is probably the most qualified person to ever run for Galveston County tax assessor-collector.
When Cheryl Johnson tells you with a straight face that she looked for someone to groom to take over as Galveston County tax assessor-collector but she couldn’t find anyone, it tells you three things about her: 1. She believes the tax assessor-collector office belongs to her and her alone; 2. She doesn’t believe there’s a single soul in Galveston County that could replace her; and 3. She doesn’t trust Galveston County Republican primary voters with something as pedestrian as an election.
For all of the people that 64-year-old Cheryl Johnson attempted to groom and then precluded from taking over for her, she didn’t say Jackie Peden wasn’t qualified or incapable of performing with the utmost in excellence as Galveston County’s tax assessor-collector.
The temporary restraining order that resulted from the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against Johnson prevents her from removing voters from the rolls, but it doesn’t prevent her from removing illegal voters, i.e., the temporary restraining order doesn’t prevent a duly elected officeholder from carrying out lawful duties of the office.
Lest the restraining order be unanimously overturned by the Texas Supreme Court. The ACLU probably can’t believe their good luck so far in dealing with Johnson, and I’m sure they appreciate Johnson’s lack of effort in cleaning up the voter rolls over the last 16 years.
While it seems the formerly pro term limits Johnson was being defensive and blaming anyone but herself, it doesn’t seem like a good strategy for a red county officeholder to bemoan Galveston County not spending even more money on her office. I still remember when Johnson threw a public fit when she realized a county-wide hiring freeze also included her office.
Johnson’s disruptive management style is only outdone by her contentiousness within the county government. When it comes to defending her record, it’s immediately clear that Johnson isn’t comfortable letting it stand on its merit. Understandable. So, who will Johnson find to replace herself in another four years? Seriously? You didn’t buy that excuse any more than anyone else who read it, did you?
On the other hand, Peden is a solid professional, has a tremendous work ethic, and maintains a charming and inviting personality. Thus far, Peden’s only mistake was in believing that a campaign against Johnson could be run on the issues alone. If only that were the case.
Vote Jackie Peden.