Thank you, Mrs. Houx

In this age of flag-waving Bible thumpers on the far right and self-absorbed conspiracy nuts on the left, reasonable politicians are a disappearing breed. That’s why we would be remiss in not offering our appreciation of 3rd District Butte County Supervisor Mary Anne Houx’s years of dedicated service in the public sector.

Houx, who announced last Thursday her plans to retire at the end of 2006 after 30 years of public service, is a moderate, pragmatic Republican problem-solver, and she will be dearly missed. For years she and 2nd District Supervisor Jane Dolan have been in the minority on the five-member Board of Supervisors, fighting the at times ridiculous political maneuverings of the right-wing male majority. Remember the Plan 9 redistricting fiasco a couple years back, when that majority tried unsuccessfully to redraw the supervisorial districts so as to dilute Houx’s and Dolan’s bases of support?

After three terms, Houx has had enough, and we can’t blame her. That’s a very long stint in a more-often-than-not unappreciated seat. Houx doesn’t bite her tongue or mince her words when the situation warrants. When a political proposition brought before the board looks shaky, if not illegal, she’ll point it out. When she smells a crook, she’ll say so. Her devotion to good policy has always come before her loyalty to the local Republican Party, certain members of which she has angered till they were red-faced and foaming at the mouth. Houx doesn’t much care.

From high-school French teacher to active member of the PTA, from trustee on the Chico Unified School District to Chico City Council and for the last 10 years the Board of Supervisors, Houx has gone above and beyond. Thank you, Mrs. Houx, you’ve served us well.