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Hail & farewell, Ray

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

After the Thursday, Feb. 26, meeting of Bandera County Commissioners Court, the colleagues of retiring engineer Ray Rendon feted him with a reception in the judge's chambers.
Judge Richard Evans described Rendon's 18-year sojourn with Bandera County as "the most cost-effective decision ever made." One of his proudest achievements was re-writing the county's subdivision rules. "It was not an easy process and throughout it, Ray would raise objections and say, 'I'm just playing the Devil's Advocate here,' and I'd say, 'No, Ray, you are the devil'," Evans recalled.
"When we hired him away from Bexar County, he didn't know anything about the North Prong of the Medina River," Evans continued. "But since Ray's been here, we've been through a couple of 500-year floods and a couple of 300-year floods. We're glad you get to retire, but we wish you wouldn't."
Also recalling his introduction to the North Prong of the Medina River, Rendon said, "When Ralph (Chancy) first took me out there, I counted 17 low water crossings. Bexar County doesn't know what a county road is." He added, "Now that I'm retiring, gas is cheap again. I guarantee I own two Valero stations."
In a more serious vein, Rendon said development in Bandera County is not going to stop. "I really hope the next person in this job will continue the work that's been done and move the county forward."
Former Precinct 4 Commissioner Doug King said, "For 20 years, I worked with engineers at Southwest Research and Ray has had the most integrity of any that I have worked with. This is a happy day for you, but a sad day for Bandera County."
Realtor Gail Stone underscored King's assessment of Rendon's integrity. "When people purchased property from me and told me their plans, I always advised them, 'If you have any problems, go talk to Ray. He'll tell you exactly what you have to do and his rules are the same for everybody."
Precinct 2 Commi-ssioner Bobby Harris offered simply, "Ray's kept me out of a lot of trouble.' "
By way of acknowledging the county's current difficulty in finding a replacement for Rendon, Evans might have hit on a novel solution. Speaking to Rendon's wife, Elisa, he said, "In two months, I'll see what you're willing to pay me to have Ray come back to work."