When I ran for this office 12 years ago, I made the commitment to be a full-time commissioner available to the people I represent including the employees of Ector County. I have always maintained an open-door policy and take pride in returning all phone calls that come into my office. I am always available to visit whether it is one-on-one in my office, in a home, or at a business, to discuss and hopefully work out any problems confronting a taxpayer or county employee.
When it comes to effective governing, you must be responsive to your constituents. Their concerns are always important or they wouldn’t call you for help. Although the Texas State Legislature sets the rules we must govern by, in most instances John Q. Public does not understand our dilemma. It is our responsibility as elected officials to educate the public in this process.
Be a good listener. Whether the conversation is in your office or on the phone, listen to what people have to say. They may want to air a complaint or give input on an important topic or agenda item. Never be too busy to listen, and follow up on your conversation. You will be surprised at some of the good ideas people have.
Never forget that you work for all of the people in your county, not just your precinct. It doesn’t matter to me where people reside; I will do my very best to help and assist in the absence of another commissioner. I make sure the caller knows that I will inform his or her representative on the court as soon as possible and pass on the information as well as the caller’s phone number.
I believe that participation in your community is very important. By being involved, you have the opportunity to interact with other leaders representing your city council, hospital board, college board, or school board, just to mention a few. I belong to the Odessa Downtown Lions Club. This organization is made up of a cross section of individuals in our community. They don’t mind voicing their opinion on the decisions of the court especially pertaining to the spending of their tax dollars. I value this information as it helps when making decisions that may affect the lives of the people in Ector County. I serve on several boards, most of which pertain to county business. It is important to have representation on these boards as the decisions made can directly affect the county. There is one thing to keep in mind: Don’t commit to more than you can handle. Know your limitations.
I have been successful in my bid for re-election by remembering two important points. I was elected by the people to represent them on the commissioners court. If I fail to do this, the people who put me in office will also take me out.
I would like to say thank you to County Progress and Julie Anderson for allowing me to express my opinion on what I think it takes to be an effective county commissioner. I hope your holidays have been as blessed as mine, and I look forward to serving the people of Ector County for the next four years. May God Bless Texas!