Texas House honors Roland
The Texas House of Representatives passed a memorial resolution Thursday, March 5, honoring former Lockhart City Councilmember and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative Lineman Kennedy Clay “Kenny” Roland. The resolution recognized Roland’s contributions to his community, family, church and everyone whose lives he touched.
Roland was born in St. John Colony in 1962. He died
unexpectedly on Jan. 21, 2015. He was raised in Lockhart, were he was a natural leader in school and on the athletic field, court and track. His leadership skills helped him during his 34-year career at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative as a journeyman lineman and crew supervisor, and as the first African-American elected to the Lockhart City Council.
Roland represented District 1 on the council from 1998 to 2010; he was elected in 2013 to the council’s at-large seat and represented every resident of Lockhart. He also founded the District One Pride organization and was instrumental in organizing Lockhart’s first annual MLK Parade in 2004.
The memorial resolution was sponsored by Rep. Armando Martinez, (D-Weslaco), and co-sponsored by every House member, including the recently sworn in Rep. John Cyrier, (R-Lockhart). Martinez said he sponsored the memorial resolution when Ken Jenkines, Roland’s good friend and brother of Scott Jenkines, Martinez’s chief of staff, brought Roland’s death to his attention and because the House District 17 seat, which includes Lockhart, was vacant.
“Kenny Roland represented everything that is great about his local community and the state of Texas,” said Martinez. “Though he left his family and friends too soon, Kenny’s positive impact will live on through the example he set every day for each of us to follow. He treated everyone equally with love, respect and dignity, and he gave so much of his time and energy to his community.”
Cyrier, a former Caldwell County Commissioner, knew Roland well and praised Martinez for sponsoring the memorial resolution. Cyrier said it was the kind of cooperation among leaders from different communities, organizations, political parties and religious beliefs that personified Roland’s life.
“It was a special honor that one of my first actions as a member of the Texas House of Representatives was to co-sponsor a resolution memorializing Kenny Roland,” Cyrier said. “Kenny was the kind of person that comes along once a generation. He was a natural leader that genuinely loved giving back to his community and inspired everyone who knew him. This memorial resolution is a fitting tribute to his life and the difference he made.”
Martinez represents House District 39 in Hidalgo County. He has served in the House since 2005, and is the vice chair of the Transportation Committee, on the Higher Education Committee, the select committee for Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement and the Higher Education select committee on Post-secondary and Workforce Readiness.
Cyrier represents House District 17, which includes Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes and Lee counties. He was elected in March to fill the vacancy created when former Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt resigned. Cyrier serves on the Agriculture and Livestock, and Land and Resource Management committees. He lives in Lockhart and is a former Caldwell County Commissioner.