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Denton needs seats at state table

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Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

Regular readers of our editorial page know the Denton Record-Chronicle strongly believes Gov. Greg Abbott should appoint at least one Denton resident to each of the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University boards of regents.

It is obvious why a Denton voice should be in the room when regents are making important decisions that can affect the city. So we won't repeat our case here. Suffice it to say that business and community leaders should work overtime to rectify this glaring oversight.

But that is not all. Gov. Abbott's view of Denton appears to resemble how Superman feels about kryptonite.

A Texas governor possesses a lot of political power, including the ability to appoint people to a vast array of state regulatory boards and commissions; everything from the Funeral Service Commission to the Texas Commission on the Arts to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

We reviewed all of the governor's appointments going back to December 2016. Obviously the big cities were well represented. And so were many small towns -- appointments of people from the likes of Paradise, Magnolia, Athens, Joshua, Hereford, Rio Media, Driftwood and Pottsboro.

We did not find one resident of Denton, population 130,000, appointed to any state board or commission since December 2016. And we are fairly certain that none exist at all.

We understand politics. A governor dances with them that brung him into office. And that means appointees who have a strong Republican pedigree or who have strong connections to a lawmaker or power broker in the GOP camp.

Denton's lowly status in Austin is important. Members of state boards and commissions hear things.

They learn, for example, that a private company or a state agency is contemplating an expansion into North Texas. The appointee carries the news back to community leaders and they jump on the opportunity for economic development.

Denton needs to be in those influential rooms in Austin.

If you have a professional expertise that dovetails with a state board or commission's mission, and you have an inclination to serve, go to https://gov.texas.gov/organization/appointments to learn more about the appointment process.