Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, endorses Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Ronald Willingham for Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace to replace James Metts who, thank goodness, is leaving the position. The citizens of East Montgomery County deserve a straight shooter who is dedicated to hard work and law enforcement rather than politics, nepotism, and multiple other business interests. Willingham is a serious candidate with an excellent and lengthy law enforcement background.
Willingham has been a certified peace officer for more than 37 years. He’s been a Deputy Constable for 22 years in Precinct 4. Willingham does not have ties to the Davenport Ring. In fact, his boss, who is part of the Davenport Ring, now faces opposition from his own Constable’s Office employees who seem mostly to support their cohort Willingham over the Davenport Ring’s choice whom Constable Rowdy Hayden is dutifully backing.
Willingham is a graduate of the Harris County Sheriff’s Police Academy and holds a Master Peace Officer certification. He has spent many years working as a bailiff in the Precinct 4 Justice Court so he’s very familiar with its procedures and operations. (It’s probably fair to surmise that Willingham has spent far more time in that courtroom than has the usually absent Metts over the years.) Willingham and his wife of 42 years have two children and three grandchildren.
Willingham’s emphasis on meritorious service and qualifications in the Precinct 4 JP race is like a breath of fresh air for the good people of East Montgomery County who deserve to shake free from the “good ol’ boy system” of Metts and the Davenport Ring. Here are Willingham’s own words:
“I do not deserve your vote because we are friends, we went to school or church together, or you are a friend of a friend. When you step into the voting booth, please cast your vote for experience — I have worked and have knowledge of what it takes to be your next Justice of the Peace.”
Willingham has criticized the current JP 4 office for failing to open on Fridays. Willingham has made clear his Justice Court will be open for business five days each week and with extended hours as well to accommodate citizens who work during normal business hours. Willingham has also stressed that he’ll make the Precinct 4 JP far more accessible to the public for open communication and transparency. He’s also suggested some technological reforms that will make the court more efficient and reduce the amount of time that citizens must spend in the clerk’s office and in the courtroom.
Ronald Willingham is not running some flashy campaign, but he is addressing issues that are important to the citizens of East Montgomery County who will, hopefully, bring reform to their Precinct 4 Justice Court and break free from the corruption they’ve suffered for the past two decades.