Perhaps it’s ironic that one of history’s greatest satirists offered a stone-cold dose of conventional wisdom.
“With great power comes great responsibility” was something French enlightenment writer Voltaire famously idealized long ago.
But when local leaders – whether council members, mayors or commissioners – opt not to follow that nugget of wisdom, all hell breaks loose.
Which leads us to Wimberley and the disaster that’s permeated its city government.
Specifically, the actions of power-mad Mayor Susan Jaggers who’s seemingly hell-bent on turning local democracy into an autocracy.
The narrative behind Jaggers’ election last May is seemingly ripped from our current 24-hour news cycle.
A person with no real political experience runs on an opposition platform and wins. What could go wrong?
Just about everything, it seems.
Over the course of a year or so, Jaggers has seemingly tried to become Queen of the city. It’s become such a problem in recent weeks that her peers on the Wimberley city council dais stripped powers from the mayoral role and made it more of a ceremonial title.
That hasn’t stopped Jaggers from using the mayor’s seat as a weapon at times, trying to use its weight to get her way. Cercei Lannister from Game of Thrones sends her regards.
The most recent issue, Jaggers attempting to obtain taxpayer dollars for reimbursement of a $900 desktop computer she bought that wasn’t authorized by city staff to begin with, compounds and magnifies a tumultuous tenure that just isn’t getting any smoother.
It’s disturbing when an elected official proclaims themselves as the “CEO” of the city, which Jaggers has (erroneously) said in the past. It’s equally more disturbing when the official doesn’t see the need to recuse themselves from discussions that involve a clear conflict of interest, which happened Thursday.
It’s downright frightening when the official then oversteps her bounds and tries to take over financial responsibility of a town, even though that has never been in the job description.
At this time, it’s our opinion that Susan Jaggers is ill-suited to lead the city of Wimberley, much less any other elected position, solely based on the premise of using her powers irresponsibly.
Her demeanor and approach is unbecoming of an elected official and is more like a schoolyard bully trying to shake down the meek and weak-willed.
Jaggers has shown time and again she is unwilling to understand the intricacies of her position and the gravity of the words and actions she says and takes. Instead, what comes out is an incredibly flawed view of how government should operate.
Perhaps the tragedy is how this reflects on the citizenry at-large.
The role of mayor is to represent the city’s neighbors, business leaders, friends and family. But more importantly, the mayor is supposed to be a part of a team of people, a council, who come together to decide on the well-being of their city.
Great power means equally great responsibility, especially at the local level of government. We need officials who are adept at wielding their powers justly.
That isn’t happening in the Wimberley valley. Perhaps it’s time to change that.