Since his very first election in the tea-party tidal wave of 2010, McLennan County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ben Perry has consistently impressed us as a bold leader and consensus builder. Rather than ducking problems or applying bumper-sticker slogans to complicated challenges facing the county and constituents, he routinely has rolled up his sleeves, sounded out his fellow commissioners and constituents for input and offered practical and thoughtful solutions. We strongly recommend Ben Perry be re-elected to a third term on the county commissioners court.

During his recent sit-down Q&A with the Trib editorial board, Perry offered detailed insights about a unit-road system that could well bring more uniformity to the maintenance of county roads. He has been part of a concerted effort to build up county reserves and revamp county government to a degree more efficient for the constituents and more respectful of the taxpayers. And when complaints arose about property appraisals, he stepped forward to serve on the McLennan County Appraisal District board where he has highlighted problems of state manipulation of local property values that defy the conventional wisdom. And when state law threatened to bring guns into a venue where contentious issues (such as the biker trials) are to be resolved, Perry defied politically correct thinking (in Texas anyway) that guns should be permitted in the county courthouse.

Some of the opposition in the ongoing Republican primary election holds that Perry isn’t fulfilling his oath as a full-time county commissioner. Really? Besides his aforementioned duty on the McLennan County Appraisal District board (a thankless task) and daily work as a commissioner, he also serves on the State Jail Commission (by appointment of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott), the Economic Opportunities Advancement Corporation board, the Waco Sports Commission and Advisory Committee for Training at the sheriff’s office (a natural, given Perry’s earlier career as a local police officer). And he has readily made himself available to the press to discuss complicated, often controversial issues. His precinct consists of parts of West Waco, Woodway, Hewitt, China Spring, Speegleville, McGregor and Crawford, but his positive impact extends well beyond to the benefit of all.