Mayor’s longevity out­shined re­mark

Late Rich­mond chief’s wel­fare com­ments sparked con­tro­versy.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - Her­man B ALBERTO MARTÍNEZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN


buried Hil­mar Moore of Rich­mond this month. Moore, 92, had been mayor of his small town near Hous­ton since 1949, win­ning 32 elec­tions and earn­ing ac­claim as the long­est con­tin­u­ously serv­ing elected pub­lic of­fi­cial in the United States.

Amaz­ing. Call me if you know of any who’ve served longer (and, as I have, please re­sist snark-in­fested ref­er­ences to Rick Perry).

The best I’ve come up with is Mayor John Land of Apopka, Fla. (Apopka is fun to say, isn’t it?)

Land, 92, served from 1949 un­til he was de­feated in 1968. He mounted a suc­cess­ful come­back in 1970 and has served since then for a to­tal of 61 years, though in­ter­rupted.

Moore’s fame crossed great bod­ies of water. This year, the BBC in­ter­viewed him about his longevity. (Rel­e­vant bench­mark: Moore be­came His Honor three years be­fore Queen Elizabeth be­came Her Majesty.)

In Moore’s life there is a les­son about the value of pub­lic ser­vice.

And there’s an­other les­son: If you’re go­ing to say some­thing mon­u­men­tally dumb, it’s best to cloak it in a long life of pub­lic ser­vice.

When I heard he’d died, I re­mem­bered Moore once said some­thing nutty, but I couldn’t pin­point it. A line in his paid obit about serv­ing years ago as chair­man of the Texas Board of Hu­man


Rich­mond Mayor Hil­mar Moore stirred con­tro­versy when he said wel­fare re­cip­i­ents should lose their right to have chil­dren.

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