Elected officials aren’t supposed to get special treatment.
If anything, the people who create the rules we live by are generally held to a higher standard. They are expected to follow the ordinances, guidelines, rules and laws they create.
When they don’t, you need to know about it – especially if that violation includes an effort to use the power and influence of their office to avoid punishment.
That’s the situation an El Campo police officer found himself in last Saturday night, trying to enforce the law and being recommended to look the other way, because the violation involved a city councilwoman.
It took a lot of guts for that young officer to stand firm and do his job.
The public should be proud of him.
And Councilwoman Anisa Longoria Vasquez?
She should be ashamed.
There’s a duty, a responsibility, that comes with that short oath she took, pledging her efforts to the city and its citizens.
“I, (Anisa Longoria Vasquez), do solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge the duties of Councilmember of the CITY OF EL CAMPO, Wharton County, Texas, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State; and I do further solemnly swear that I have not directly or indirectly paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, nor promised to contribute any money or valuable thing, or promised any public office or employment as reward for such office.”
That’s the oath each El Campo City Council member takes before they assume office.
You’ll notice it doesn’t say anything about getting a pass when it comes to any portion of the law.
Nor should it.
It’s a matter of honor, and honor starts with looking in the mirror and judging the person staring back at you.
Assorted social media posts have said “it’s no big deal.” After all, it was a refusal to turn off loud music in a backyard party after repeated requests which lead to her arrest.
Others posts claimed she couldn’t turn down the music because of her race, somehow insultingly insinuating that only certain ethnicities are capable of following city ordinances.
Still more commend her efforts, because ... well ... they don’t seem too clear on that.
We are the El Campo Leader-News. Our job is to inform the public, and part of that responsibility includes being a community watchdog.
Why? Councilwoman Vasquez just provided a fine example.