From The Publisher: Community is complex

Published 3:09 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

By Bobby Tingle


Economics is the allocation of scarce resources.

Every community has needs and wants which are infinite.

Every community has resources, which are finite.

Every community has to figure out how best allocate their finite resources to gain the most benefit.

It is a complex question for a community.  Determining the best approach involves dialogue and compromise.

The editorial page of the Wednesday, September 12 edition of The Orange Leader presented readers with two viewpoints regarding our community.

West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District (WOCCISD) Superintendent Dr. Rickie Harris pointed out the recent Texas Education Agency (TEA) school ratings and performance scores.

As so many others in this community, WOCCISD is still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey.

The assessment they received from TEA reflects the challenges they still face.

Harris noted the trend is positive.  He quickly followed with acknowledgment that there is still much work ahead.

Business consultant J. David Derosier offered his viewpoint as well.

Derosier focused on performance results posted by TEA.

He and Harris seem to agree, there is much work to be done.

Derosier concludes by raising a question about priorities.

Should schools focus on extracurricular activities or academics?
Derosier brings up two other points.

One is the impact of schools on economic development.  When site selectors look for a place to locate their business they look at a community.

Schools are an integral component of their analysis.

The other is the bond issue on the November 6 ballot, which if passed would provide additional buildings, an upgrade to athletic fields, infrastructure repairs, upgrades to security and academic programs.

A bond issue is a funding tool.

Ultimately it is a tax, which will be paid by taxpayers in the WOCCISD school district

Derosier struck a nerve I believe with his printed thoughts.

Orange could be at a competitive disadvantage on the economic development front if school performance is a high priority to those considering a place to locate their business and taxpayers are reluctant to increase their tax burden.

Not long ago, taxpayers rejected a hospital district at least in part because they did not want to pay more taxes.

In the same edition of The Orange Leader was Editor Dawn Burleigh’s report of the latest Orange County Commissioners Court.

Commissioners approved funding for the coming year for the Orange County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC).

For the most part, the court favored funding OCEDC.

County Judge Dean Crooks spoke out regarding alternative uses for the resources.

Crooks, according to the report, admits the validity of allocating resources to economic development.

But he also recognizes there are other needs and wants competing for those dollars.

Harris was right to point out the positive trends along with the remaining challenges.

Derosier was right to question the priorities of WOCCISD given their current performance results.

Crooks is right to point out the vast array of needs within the county competing for tax dollars.

These three men are members of this community, with personal perspectives and priorities.

You can agree or disagree with any or all.

But the reality is they are all members of this community seeking solutions to a complex question.

How do we get from where we are to where we aspire to be?

The issues facing our community are complex.

I believe Harris, Derosier, and Crooks have a common goal.

In their own way, they want to move Orange County forward.

We can all support that goal.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader.  You can reach him at