Vacated by exiting Judge Mark Riley
BY CHRISTINA DERR
Parker and Wise counties have a new representative to the Regional Transportation Council: Parker County Pct. 1 Commissioner George Conley.
The appointment, which came during the May 29 meeting of the Parker County Commissioners Court, wasn’t made without much discussion.
The role has to date been filled by current Parker County Judge Mark Riley with Conley serving as alternate when Riley’s county duties precluded him from attending the required meetings of the council.
Riley, whose two-year RTC term ends in June, failed in his bid for reelection and was defeated by current Hudson Oaks Mayor Pat Deen who will take the county judge’s office in January 2019.
Riley said the representative was required to be a county official – judge or commissioner – from either county and that Wise County Judge J.D. Clark had expressed interest.
Conley said he agreed with the selection of Clark, adding that representation should be shared with the other county, and moved for the appointment. However, the motion died for lack of a second.
Riley stated that because of the ongoing transportation projects locally, he felt the representation should continue to come from Parker County.
After Conley’s failed motion, Pct. 3 Commissioner Larry Walden asked Conley if he would be willing to fill the role.
Conley said that he had no objection but felt that the court “wouldn’t select me to be there” – referring to tension that has existed on the court in recent months stemming from Riley and other commissioners voting down Conley’s choice for a constable appointment in his precinct as well as Conley’s endorsement of Deen during the primary election.
Conley added that the North Central Texas Council of Governments – the body that oversees the council – prefers that representation be shared by the two counties.
Walden said he understood that, but felt it was of greater benefit to Parker County to hold on to the position.
He also stated he thought that doing what was best for the county should supersede any “political differences,” and moved to appoint Conley.
The motion was approved unanimously.
Upon his appointment, Conley thanked the other commissioners for their confidence.
The selection of an alternate is up to Conley.
However, as of June 5, Conley said he has not made a decision about who he’ll choose.