New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 11, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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By Ron Maloney
Friday, Comal County’s adult probation office lost a musician and its long-time director — and marked the day District Attorney Dib Waldrip had to make new arrangements to manage his office.
Jack and Connie Williamson retired from county service — he after 30 years in adult probation, where he spent 25 years as director of the Comal County program, and she after 26 working for the county attorney and then the district attorney as executive office manager.
The Williamsons were rec-ognized Thursday with a county proclamation thanking them for their service — and a cake and punch going-away gig at commissioners’ court Friday — regrettably without Jack Williamson’s guitar.
The Williamsons will pursue hobbies, they said.
“Jack’s going on with music, and I’m going to get back to art,’’ Connie said. “I haven’t been able to paint in a while.”
“We’re going to decide what we want to do when we grow up,” Jack quipped at the sendoff.
Growing up can take a little time at home. But while on the job, the Williamsons did a lot to help Comal County during its period of major growth.
“We appreciate what you’ve done, and you will be missed," said County Judge Danny Scheel.
“They’ve devoted 56 years total of service to Comal County,” said George Hernandez, chief of the tri-county adult probation district that includes Comal County. “I think that’s awesome. I don’t know how many other people can say that.”
The district, which includes Hays and Caldwell counties, has been in existence for 38 y fears—--att b«*4ba vary first with Williamson. More than anyone else, Hernandez said, Jack Williamson has shaped the program as it exists in this district.
“The belief that the best way we can protect the com-, munity is changing peoples’ behavior is the driving force behind the things Jack’s tried to accomplish with this department,’’ Hernandez said. “The research shows prisons do not change people. The really bad people, hopefully, will stay there for a very long time. But there are other people who cause damage to the community who aren’t going to be there forever. We need to change their behavior. Jack has tried hard to fulfill that mission of our department.”
Hernandez worked alongside Williamson as a fellow probation officer for 28 of his 30 years. When he was promoted to become the district’s chief probation officer, he found in Williamson someone he could depend upon for advice.
“He’s been a tremendous help. He’s someone I can bounce things off,” Hernan-
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Jack and Connie Williamson were recognized Thursday at commissioners' court for their combined 56 years of service with Comal County.
dez said. “I Ie’s open and willing to voice his opinion, but if I didn’t go his way, it doesn’t faze him one way or another. For me, he’s truly a great help.”
In a probation district known for its innovation and forward-looking programs, Hernandez said many were ideas Williamson came up with in Comal County and took to the district.
“We piloted them in Comal County and moved them on to other counties,” Hernandez said.
In addition to friendship and leadership, Hernandez said Williamson could provide entertainment in the New Braunfels probation office when he chose to.
“Jack’s been much more than a co-worker. I le’s a hell of a guitar player, too. Santana doesn t have anything on Jack Williamson,” he said.
Connie Williamson, who has worked for Waldrip since he took office, will be missed just as much as her husband.
A former victim’s assistance coordinator, she ultimately
would assume responsibility for the entire office.
“She’s one of those rare people who you can have the utmost of confidence in, very simply, to get the job done,” Waldrip said. “You can delegate both authority and responsibility to Connie to get that job done and never worry about her overstepping the bounds — or that things weren’t fully taken care of.” Waldrip said he’d miss the rapport he enjoyed with Williamson.
He said he has had to reorganize his office around her departure.
“What we have done is shuffled the workload,” Waldrip said. “We’re working to consolidate and delegate some of her responsibilities to other staff members.” Assistant District Attorney Sam Katz, a former Bexar County judge who conducts grand juries and does intake work now in Waldrip’s office, will assume the responsibilities of executive office manager.
“Sam Katz has got some very large — but pretty — shoes to fill,” Waldrip joked.
Two separate fires destroyed an uninhabited mobile home and an outbuilding in Startzville Friday night. Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford, above, said authorities have been unable to identify the current owner of the property, located on E. Clark Road. Canyon Lake Fire/EMS responded to the scene and asked for backup from several other agencies while fighting the blaze.The cause of the fires is unknown. No one was injured in the blaze.
"What's really suspicious is the property did not have electricity at the time, and the fire would have needed a heat source," Manford said.
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