By Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones, Newly Elected Second Vice President, County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas
Let me begin by saying I am very humbled to have been chosen to serve as second vice president of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. I know quite a few of you from around the State, and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming year. I would be remiss if I didn’t commend our 2010-2011 officers, CJCAT staff, TAC, County Progress, and Ector County for a great 2011 state conference and wonderful hospitality. The attendance was good along with the educational tracks. Thanks to everyone who had a part in making this conference possible.
I assure each and every one of you that I take my responsibility as an officer of the CJCAT very seriously. I pledge to give you my all and to do my very best to uphold the confidence you have placed in me. I am currently in my 11th year as Lubbock County commissioner. Prior to taking office my husband and I were in the commercial produce business where we raised and processed onions and watermelons and then shipped them all across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
I am the immediate past president of the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association, immediate past president of the Texas Association of Regional Councils, past president of our local council of governments, past president of the Lubbock Metropolitan Planning Organization, and chair of the local Host Committee for the 80th Texas State FFA convention; I also serve on numerous other local boards.
To the many areas devastated by the drought and wildfires this year, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Texas has experienced devastation that most of our elders can’t remember experiencing but only hearing about. Acres upon acres burned, and homes were lost along with a few lives. These acts of nature though are when most are at their best. We have seen volunteers, road maintenance workers, and elected and appointed officials perform monumental tasks without reservation. The volunteer fire departments across the state are a prime example of “doing what it takes.” Many of these volunteer firemen worked countless hours sacrificing time with their families and employment. All of these individuals are what make Texas a great place to live.
We have just completed the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature without too many scathing results thanks to the efforts of the CJCAT. One thing I observed throughout the session was the overwhelming response of county officials called upon to visit or correspond with their elected officials. Time after time I would run into county officials throughout the halls of the Texas Capitol making their rounds. Everyone was well informed on their particular issues and provided many specific examples as to the effects of a particular bill on their county. Many were able to provide fiscal impact information which proved to be invaluable. The state representatives and senators I know or heard speak were complimentary of their “elected folks from back home” regarding the information provided to them or their legislative staff. Jim Allison and his staff did a tremendous job in representing us in Austin, but nothing will ever replace county officials visiting with their legislators to make sure they know where they stand on pending legislation.
Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Our Association lives by this saying. As long as we continue to come and keep together with our thoughts and ideas, we will have continued success in our Association. With education and resources we, as county officials, must always keep our constituents informed as to our responsibilities to them.
Thank you again for the confidence placed in me as your second vice president. As diverse as the great State of Texas is, I will do my best for each and every commissioners court in all my endeavors.