The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 11, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 13, 2008 Page: 2 of 32
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THURSDAY 1 3 MARCH 2DDB
THE CANADIAN RECORD
PD Box 8E8, Canadian, TX 7E0I4
Phone: 8DB.323.B4BI or 5321
BEN EZZELL Publisher/Editor
NANCY EZZELL Publisher
LAURIE EZZELL BRDWN Editor
MARY SMITHEE Business Manager
ADVERTISING Holly Henderson
Cathy Ricketts, Julia Schafer
SPDRTS Jason Turner
Laurie Brown, Cathy Ricketts,
Laurie Brown, Cathy Ricketts
CBNTRIBUTBRS: Mary Jane McKinney,
Bob Rngers, Ruth Beasley, Jenny Klein
Periodicals pnstage paid at the Past
Office in Canadian (Hemphill Cnunty),
TX. Published weekly in Canadian by
Nancy M. Ezzell
POSTMASTER: Send address changes
tn The Canadian Recnrd, PB Bnx BBB,
Bnline Subscriptions S42/Annually
and the Ezzell Family
2DD7 Gish Award
IN CBMMUNITY JBURNALISM
From benchwarmers to captains
By Linda Tarr-Whelan
Sometimes progress is measored by
half-court movements. When I was in
school, girls played basketball by differ-
ent rules than the boys. We played on a half-
court and could only dribble three times be-
fore passing the ball. Girls were regarded as
too fragile to run the distance. Now, tell that
to the women in the WNBA.
It's good to measure positive change, like
women's full court professional basketball.
Recognizing these changes is what we cele-
brate in March as Women's History Month.
But I'm done with simply celebrating where
we've been. Instead, it's time to look at March
as more a celebration of our future: let's call it
"Women Making History Month."
Old stereotypes still stand in our way.
Even today, only two-thirds of adults in this
country think a woman could be president,
according to a CNN/Opinion Research sur-
vey. Meanwhile, state legislatures— the
farm teams for future leaders—have only
one-quarter representation by women, a piti-
ful ratio that has remained unchanged for a
decade. The U.S. ranks 69th in the world for
women's legislative representation with only
16 percent women in Congress.
We're missing a lot and it doesn't have to be
this way. The leaders of some countries have
realized that it really does matter who makes
the decisions. They see what our leaders have
not yet recognized: having more women at the
top is good business and smart politics. For ex-
ample, in Norway, women make up 36 percent
of the members on corporate boards, while in
the U.S. progress seems stalled at not quite
15 percent. How did Norway do it? In 2003,
Norway passed a tough law that requires all
public companies to ensure that their boards
are 40 percent women. By 2007,85 percent of
their public companies met the mark.
Smart leaders in Norway and other coun-
tries that focus on tapping the talents of wom-
en realize that the talent base of the future
is at least half women. In an increasingly
competitive world, no business or nation that
fails to tap that talent is likely to succeed. We
need to play catch-up and focus on women's
advancement as a key part of our competi-
tiveness. The World Economic Forum ranks
women's advancement by country, the U.S.
has now fallen to 31st.
What an irony, then, that in the U.S., the
talent pipeline is filled with women. By 2010,
women are expected to hold 60 percent of the
nation's wealth. Since 1996, a higher propor-
tion of women than men have graduated from
college, and the trend-line is only expected to
accelerate. But we'll continue to waste a lot of
that talent unless we transform our outmoded
model of "only men need apply" leadership.
One way to tap our wellspr ing of female tal-
ent is to have a critical mass of women in deci-
sion-making positions. They bring new ideas
and networks to reach the new talent; that of-
fers the promise of no more excuses about a
lack of "qualified women." When women deci-
sion-makers join the ranks of men in similar
positions, the bottom-line results improve for
shareholders and stakeholders.
More women at the table and in the corner
offices helps to shape the future; a modern-
ized policy agenda emerges to address lag-
ging issues like the wage gap and supports for
working families. One major payoff to society
is the stronger families that result from a cul-
tural shift to a definition of personal success
that encompasses earning, caring and care-
taking. Ultimately, more women joining the
ranks of decision-makers will make us more
competitive as we leave the past behind and
utilize the creativity, energy and skill of more
of our citizens.
How do we move into a better future? De-
cision-makers must ensure that there are
women in every pool of candidates for every
position from supervisor to CEO. Political
parties and public officials must develop goals
and timetables to get more women into politi-
cal office; 101 other countr ies in the world al-
ready do it. Women who have made it need to
unapologetieally wedge the door open for oth-
past and future
Last week's republican primary offered voters a no-lose
proposition in the choices for Precinct 3 Commissioner. On the
rare occasion that two qualified candidates vie for the same
elected office, it is a shame that one must lose.
In this case, it was County Commissioner John Ramp who saw
his hopes of a fifth and final term in public office dashed. It can-
not be easy, after having served this County for so many years,
for John to hang up his hat and walk away. But when he does next
January, he should do so with the certain knowledge that he has
served his community well.
John has seen this county through boom and bust, and has had
the vision and courage to help chart a progressive course through
both. In doing so, he has worked hard to protect and preserve both
our rich history and our valuable natural resources.
John was a founding member of the Economic Development
Council, which was created over a decade ago to help guide this
community's growth and economic diversification. Under his con-
siderable influence, the Canadian/Hemphill County EDC chose
the road less traveled on the mine-filled path that leads to rural
economic development. He opted for the long haul instead of the
Many communities which took advantage of this state's eco-
nomic development sales tax poured those dollars into recruiting
new businesses by offering them tax abatement and other finan-
cial incentives to relocate. Many saw those resources squandered
on pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams or hucksters hoping for a hefty
handout on their way to somewhere else.
This EDC chose instead to grow from within, encouraging the
businesses that had already made this their home to expand and
diversify. It chose to protect our county's native beauty and natu-
ral resources by encouraging the development of nature tourism-
related businesses and the restoration and preservation of our
As an EDC member and County Commissioner, John staunch-
ly supported investments in projects like the historic Canadian
River Wagon Bridge restoration project, the Main Streetscape
improvements and construction of a Visitors' Center, the develop-
ment of an RV Park, dance pavilion, duck ponds and recreation
complex, and extensive improvements to the rodeo arena.
During John's tenure, the City and County learned to get along,
too. The turf wars and petty jealousies of the past were gradually
set aside, and Canadian and Hemphill County entered a new era
of agreement, in which both entities wisely dedicated their com-
bined resources to projects that were planned and executed to-
gether with a vision for the future.
As he leaves office, John can look back and see the seeds he has
planted in a number of projects that have begun, but are not yet
complete: the restoration and remodeling of the Hemphill County
Library, renovation of the aging and overcrowded County Court-
house and construction of an annex for County offices that have
outgrown that beautiful building's walls, and improvements to the
municipal airport that will further enhance this community's now
well-established claim as a destination point for travelers.
No elected official can serve as long as John Ramp without at-
tracting his fair share of critics—and John is no different. But
John Ramp has never ducked a fight, never avoided making what
might be an unpopular decision if he believes it is right, and never
been cowed by those who disagree with him, regardless of who
they are or what kind of heat they bring to the battle. Those with
good memories know the kind of progress this county has made
over the last decade. Those who do not remember, or who are un-
willing to concede that point, will still reap the many benefits of
John Ramp's tireless work on behalf of Hemphill County and its
Mark Meek would be the first to acknowledge his predeces-
sor's service to Hemphill County. It was during John's tenure that
the Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation I) -
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Brown, Laurie Ezzell. The Canadian Record (Canadian, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 11, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 13, 2008, newspaper, March 13, 2008; Canadian, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252695/m1/2/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hemphill County Library.