LETTERS: Lesson in civility; Good things in Mission

An OWLS’ lesson in civility

When the OWLS were formed over 30 years ago, the objective of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System was to insure that the system was fair and honest. They civilly attended court trials, commissioners courts, city commissions, school boards and regional boards. If treatment was unfair, they spoke out and even testified in legislative committees in Austin.

Some members were appointed to serve on boards, even elected to a school board. But somewhere along their journey the civility began to fade. The county judge even chastised member OWLS in public during commissioners court. But he invited other members to lunch and a frank civil discussion of the issue. The founders strived to return to civility, but some members sensed they had a corrupt power and loved to exercise it.

Three OWLS live in Mission and regularly attended school boards and city councils. One of them was a founder and was thinking of retiring. One of the other two OWLS attended the two weekslong trial on voter fraud in the Mission mayoral election runoff. The trial judge voided the runoff election.

The two remaining Mission OWLS attended the last Monday’s Mission City Council meeting. Their intent was to continue to monitor the Mission City Council, ensure the law was followed and that fairness prevailed. Without any consultation with the resident OWLS, a non-Mission resident, wearing an OWL shirt, attended and during citizen’s forum, demanded the mayor resign.

If this rogue OWL knew the law and had consulted the resident OWLS, this unnecessary “in your face” action would not have happened. That was never an OWLS founders mode of operation without knowing the law and the facts of a situation. As long as the loser of the court suit appeals the ruling, nothing changes. Having attended Mission City Council meetings for years, we have confidence that the city attorney and the rest of the city council will do what’s legal and with the welfare of the Mission citizens uppermost in their minds. Perhaps the other OWLS need to review their actions.

Jim Barnes, Mission

Good things happen in Mission

I want readers to know we have a family that has demonstrated a dedication to helping others, the family of Leonel Silva Sr.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, a pickup crashed into my bicycle on Business 83. In minutes Leonel Silva Jr. was at my side. An off-duty member of the La Joya volunteer fire department, he examined me for the seriousness of my injuries and called 9-1-1. When the ambulance left he took my bicycle home and explained why to my wife. He received a commendation from the city council of La Joya for his professionalism and willingness to act when seeing a need.

On Oct. 3, 2018, I experienced a tire blowout on Bentsen Palm Drive. It was 90 degrees. I decided to change a tire for the first time in 50 years. Exhausted and not able to get the tire removed, I was lucky that a van pulled over to help.

A man, his wife and an employee got out of the van. The men took over tire changing and the wife talked to me. Within minutes I realized they were the parents of Leonel Silva Jr. The van belonged to Silva Painting. Leonel Sr. not only changed the tire, but returned to the site of his current painting job, brought back an air compressor, and inflated the spare tire.

I was amazed by the seemingly coincidental two rescues by the Silva family, two years apart, but that is what this family is all about. I consider myself lucky and honored to live in the same area as the Silva’s. Their generosity and selflessness are a great example and I thank them. I am sharing this because we should remember good things happen more often than we think.

Doug McPhaden, Mission

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