Former Grayson County Commissioner Johnny Waldrip took one more oath in the commissioners courtroom Tuesday. Waldrip, who served as commissioner for Precinct 1 from 2001 to 2012, will now serve as a member of the Texas Silver- Haired Legislature.
Though Waldrip didn't say much during Tuesday's meeting, on Monday he said he just felt it was time for him to return to public service. Joe Henderson, who serves as deputy pro tem of TSL, teased that they had to wait a while to ask Waldrip to serve because his hair lacked any silver.
Henderson and Waldrip serve as part of the Texoma chapter of the TSL. Henderson introduced William Carey of Bonham, who also serves the Texoma chapter that covers Fannin, Grayson and Cooke counties. Ken Atterbury of Whitesboro and Rob Tyler of Gainesville round out that group.
“With the addition of Johnny as the fifth representative, that makes Texoma very powerful,” Henderson said. “It puts us on a scale with Houston, Dallas and San Antonio as far as having representation.”
He said the next session will be a training session in October during which new members like Waldrip will learn what the TSL does. Henderson explained the group works together to propose legislation that is then passed on to the Texas Legislature. That legislation mostly deals with ways to make life better for senior citizens. Henderson said many people define the term senior citizens differently, but for the TSL, it is defined as 60 years and older.
“One of the resolutions that was adopted this year that seniors were very much in favor of but younger people were against was the cellphone/texting issue,” Henderson said of the recent ban on texting while driving.
He added that the group typically develops from 70 to 90 issues that they want to put forward for the legislature to consider but that they really push for their top 10 issues. So, he said, getting into that top 10 is a really big deal and makes for a lot of lively debate.
Grayson County Commissioner Bart Lawrence said if the goal was for the group to be heard more, then adding Waldrip to the team was sure to get that done.