Perhaps we are a bit jaded, but we sometimes roll our eyes when a public/elected official cites his or her job as being that of a "public servant."
Too many times, these "public servants" receive handsome salaries and/or benefits and goodies (courtesy of taxpayers) that do not fit the logical definition of a servant.
For example, we take it with a grain of salt when a person running for public office promises to run x-number of terms - just coincidentally the same number of terms needed to qualify for taxpayer-funded retirement and health care.
We are also skeptical of public officials who contend it is "all about the people" or "all about the kids" (in terms of school/university officials) while at the same time receiving a high six-figure salary.
However, just this once, a public official has put his money where is mouth is - and provided an example of a "public servant."
West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler recently balked at going to South Dakota as the Buffs men's hoops team made school history by winning an Elite Eight game.
Rather than jetting off almost 850 miles, Wendler decided to spend the roughly $2,500 in travel costs to host an on-campus pizza party for students and WT faculty while watching the Buffs on large TV screens.
Let's be honest - we would not have faulted Wendler for taking off for South Dakota. It is not uncommon or unreasonable for high-ranking university officials to be present when one of the school's athletic teams makes a deep postseason run. This makes Wendler's gesture to spend money not on himself but for WT all the more appealing.
And it was not that long ago when a former WT president faced criticism for spending at least $60,775 on travel expenses for himself and his wife - over a 2½-year period.
Congrats to the Buffs men's hoops team for making history. (And on a related thought - will those still criticizing WT Director of Athletics Michael McBroom for the firing of former WT football coach Don Carthel now give McBroom some credit for hiring Tom Brown as WT men's basketball coach? Probably not.)
While we applaud the Buffs for going where no WT team has gone before, we also applaud Wendler for not going - and living up to the term "public servant."