Tag Archives: Jerry Hodge

‘Hodgetown’ it is!

Jerry Hodge has gotten 2019 off to a rockin’ start, wouldn’t you say?

I mean, he awakes on New Year’s Day to learn that he has been named Man of the Year for 2018 by the Amarillo Globe-News. The newspaper cited the former Amarillo mayor’s work in helping bring a minor-league baseball team to the city, among many other activities he has engaged in to make the city a better place.

Oh, and then we find out that the new ballpark under construction in the city’s downtown district will be named after the Man of the Year.

Welcome to Hodgetown. How about that?

Hodgetown will be the home field for the Amarillo Sod Poodles Double A baseball team that opens its season in early. The Sod Poodles will open the season in Corpus Christi on April 4, but then will have their home opener at Hodgetown on April 8.

According to KFDA NewsChannel 10: “We approached Jerry with this name because he shares the common interest of positively impacting our community and has proven so over the last 50 years,” said President and General Manager of the Amarillo Sod Poodles Tony Ensor. “This community, spearheaded by Jerry, had a dream of bringing not just baseball, but professional, affiliated baseball back to Amarillo and now that it has been brought to life, there is no better way to honor and recognize his hard work to make the dream come true than by including Jerry’s name on our new home.”

The Sod Poodles name was chosen from a list of five finalist submissions. I initially hated the name. Then I grew to like it — if not actually love the name. Sod Poodles became my favorite among the five names being considered.

I didn’t think too much about what to call the ballpark where the Sod Poodles will play hardball.

Now that I have given it some thought, I kind of like the Hodgetown name.

It is fitting to be named after a man who worked hard to bring the team here from San Antonio. I like, too, that it doesn’t carry some kind of corporate name. Yes, Hodge earned a fortune as head of Maxor, a pharmaceutical firm based in Amarillo. I hope the Sod Poodles management will resist the urge to put a corporate name on the ballpark.

So, Hodgetown it will be!

I have to say that Jerry Hodge will be rightfully proud.

Texas Tech regents headed for a big shakeup?

Might it be that a former Amarillo mayor, Jerry Hodge, managed to exert enough pressure on the chairman of the Texas Tech University Board of Regents to surrender his chairmanship?

Hodge is angry at the Tech board over the way it handled the ouster — and let’s call it what it was — of former Tech Chancellor Bob Duncan. Frankly, I’m angry, too. So are a lot of Tech partisans throughout the state and beyond.

Hodge launched an effort to get rid of former Tech Regents Chairman Rick Francis, on whose watch the board conducted what it called an “informal vote” in executive, or secret, session. The informal vote said regents no longer had confidence in Duncan’s leadership as chancellor.

Duncan then announced his retirement … and was gone!

To their credit, regents have approved more money for an upcoming college of veterinary medicine that Tech wants to build in Amarillo.

Francis remains on the Tech board. He’s just no longer the chairman. I hope Gov. Greg Abbott chooses not to reappoint him. I believe — and this is just my view only, as someone who didn’t attend Tech, but who got to know Duncan over the years — that Francis and four of the nine regents disserved the university with their no-confidence vote.

What’s more, they well might have acted illegally. That issue needs examination, too. Regents said they had their informal vote in closed session. I’ve always understood that the Texas Open Meetings Law prohibits secret votes. Regents or any governing body aren’t allowed to vote in executive session; they’re supposed to cast those votes in the open.

I don’t know what the appropriate sanction ought to be. Perhaps a public letter of reprimand from the governor’s office might suffice.

At least the chairmanship has been handed over to someone else. If the former Amarillo mayor had a hand in that happening, then I applaud him.

Go for it, Jerry Hodge, in your effort to oust regents chair!

I hereby endorse former Amarillo Mayor Jerry Hodge’s effort to oust the chairman of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, Rick Francis.

Hodge is steamed over the way the Tech board treated former Chancellor Bob Duncan. I am, too. Angry, that is. Duncan got the shaft, the bum’s rush and was shown the door after what well might have been an illegal meeting of the Tech regents.

Regents took what was called an “informal vote” in executive sessions to deliver a no-confidence decision against Duncan, who then announced his “retirement” from a post he had held for the past six years.

State law prohibits governing bodies from voting in private, but the Tech regents did so anyway. Thus, we might have a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Law.

Hodge also is miffed that Francis might have sought to undermine Tech’s decision to build a college of veterinary medicine in Amarillo, which has drawn full-throated support from the Amarillo City Council, the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation and a number of corporate donors who have pledged money to help finance the project.

Committee targets Tech chairman

Will the campaign succeed? That remains a wide-open question. The committee that Hodge leads wants Gov. Greg Abbott to take action. Count me as one who doubts the governor will jump to the committee’s cadence.

Still, as a Texas resident with strong sentimental attachments to Amarillo, the Panhandle and a deep and abiding respect for the long public service career of the former Texas Tech chancellor, I want to endorse Jerry Hodge’s effort to raise as much of a ruckus as he can.