LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Archives are a treasure

If you have not visited the Presidential Archives lately, I would suggest you do so and view the new permanent exhibit they have created to honor our own John Ben Shepperd, former secretary of state and attorney general who was also one of the key players in establishing UTPB.
While I was there, I was particularly taken by an oversized lithograph from a part of one of John Ben’s speeches as attorney general entitled “A Public Officials Creed,” It was originally written in the 1950s, but I think it is something every public official should sign off on. I repeat it here for your edification: A conscientious public official serves the people as guardian of their welfare, defender of their institutions, servant of their will, and champion of their cause, by dedicating themselves —
To put God and country above party, persons and private interests,
To strive to promote a religious state, but avoid a State Religion,
To safeguard the people’s right to free, unfettered elections, the secret ballot and the honest count,
To encourage decentralized government as a safeguard to the liberties of the people, and to keep government their servant and not their master,
To uphold the law and expose corruption wherever it may be, and to oppose those who break the law in spirit as well as the letter,
To strive to make their office an example of efficiency, economy, and integrity,
To give a day’s work for a day’s pay, and to require the same of their employees,
To make no private promises, grant no special favors, and receive no personal gifts which would compromise their personal integrity,
To use no official power or information for personal gain to himself or to others,
To protect the institution of private property by discouraging the acquisition of land and other goods on the part of the government,
To defend the institution of private enterprise by keeping government out of business and out of competition with private capital,
To keep the public informed of their office’s activities, to respect the right and function of the press as the people’s informant, and to invite public scrutiny and constructive criticism,
To assist the public schools in the civic education of children,
To be attentive to the activities and needs of other offices and branches of government,
To strive to make their personal conduct exemplary of morality and good citizenship, and to fulfil the duties of a private citizen as well as a public official
As citizens of Odessa, you need to be aware that if the current state legislature has its way, the JBS Institute and the Presidential Archives continued existence is in danger. It would be a shame to lose these entities.