Happy August! It’s hard to believe how fast the months are going by. This year is quickly approaching its end, yet it seems not too long ago we were
celebrating the New Year. We’ve all heard some interpretation of the old saying, “The older you get, the quicker the years seem to go by.” Don’t know about you, but it sure seems true to me.
It was really nice to see so many of my friends and colleagues at the South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference in San Antonio. We had a wonderful time with lots of great food, fun and conversation. The Bexar County Commissioners Court did a fantastic job in hosting us with a trip to Sea World which included a delicious buffet dinner and fascinating whale and dolphin shows. The hotel was absolutely delightful and had so many amenities that the entire family could enjoy. I’d like to thank Webb County Commissioner Jerry Garza, the officers, their staff, and all the helpers that made this a successful conference.
Folks, there are so many issues our counties are already dealing with, and the Legislative Session has not even officially begun. Many counties are struggling with damaged county, farm-to-market and state roadways due to the oil and gas industry and production. And although this has spurred our economy and has created many jobs in those areas, we are going to need the help and support of our state lawmakers to ensure counties are compensated and/or reimbursed to repair and rehabilitate our county roads.
I know many of our counties have passed resolutions regarding mental health patients in our county jails. These inmates are costing our taxpayers approximately $9,000 during their period of incarceration. Our jails are not the appropriate place to hold mentally ill individuals. Our representatives and senators should support the transfer of sufficient funds to enable the admission of these persons to a state facility. I ask our members to continue to stay informed and involved in these and other issues affecting county government. We need your help, and as Jim Allison says, he doesn’t want to get “the look” from our representatives telling him we have not done our jobs in speaking to our representatives about the issues.
Finally, I’d like to take an opportunity to speak about the importance of family, both our immediate families and our families in county government. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive, caring, loving, Christian family. I know I can depend on my immediate family to be there for me and lift me up in prayer whenever I need them. I also feel a same closeness to so many of you, my family in county government. As many of you may know, one of our own, Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones, lost her husband, Steve Jones, in a tragic farming accident. Now is the time for us, our family in county government, to come together for our wonderful friend and colleague. Please keep Commissioner Patti Jones, her sons, and the entire Jones family in your thoughts and prayers.
Blessings to all.