To the Editor:
In 2002 I saw an opportunity to run for Bell County Commissioner in Precinct 4, representing a large population of the city of Killeen. I had no agenda, other than to serve the rural constituents, help unite the county and be a strong voice on the court on their behalf. I have always tried to represent all of the constituents of Precinct 4, regardless of their political beliefs, color or stature in the community.
Upon my election to office, I served with Judge Jon Burrows, Commissioner Richard Cortese, Commissioner Tim Brown and Commissioner Leroy Schiller. I immediately went to work to win the trust and respect of my colleagues. I had a goal to work across the county to bridge the gap and truly make Bell County one as a whole. Later, it was my pleasure to work with now Sheriff Eddy Lange, Bill Schumann and Russell Schneider. I have the utmost respect for all of you.
During my tenure, I had the opportunity to serve as president of (HCCAA) Hill Country Community Action Association and the (CTCOG) Central Texas Council of Governments.
I also served on the (TERF) Temporary Relief Fund board and various steering committees such as TxDOT and KTMPO.
I enjoyed a working relationship with our state Representatives Layton Black, Suzanna Hupp, Jimmie Don Aycock and Scott Cosper; our state Senators Bill Sims, Jeff Wentworth, Troy Fraser and Dawn Buckingham; as well as Congressmen Chet Edwards and John Carter. We worked together on issues like the creation of TAMU-CT, Chisholm Trail Rural Water SUD, the hotel-motel tax, unfunded mandates, Highway 195 widening project, U.S. 190 and the 100 percent Disabled Veterans Exemption.
I would like to say thanks to all the appointees of various committees and Boards of the county (Expo, Appraisal, Museum, Historical Society, and Agricultural Boards for serving with us in Bell County and allowing us to serve alongside you.
Thank you to all of the emergency services that helped us set up and shelter evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. Thanks to Phil Goodwill, Lisa and Randy Larson, Tim and Karen Doerbaum for making Bell County’s light shine around the state with our housing program, resulting in receiving the award for “going the extra mile” from our County Professional Association.
To the Expo Center management and staff, thank you for being an economic generator in Bell County. The events you host make a better quality of life for all of the citizens. Your board is to be commended on its work to make it the best venue in the heart of Texas.
As to my current colleagues Tim, Bill, Russell and Judge Burrows, I say a heartfelt thank-you. It has been a pleasure to have served along your side from the Commissioners Court, to the employee Bar-B-Q, to the recycled tire event. I sincerely enjoyed all of the professional and social events we have done together.
To all of the department heads and other elected officials, thank you for your professional service to Bell County. To my colleagues, thanks for knowing we always had each other’s trust to speak freely to address any subject. We never worried who got credit for anything, therefore we were able to accomplish a lot.
To my successor, John Driver, be so ever mindful that the people living outside the city limits in Precinct 4 have only the county as their local government to help them. The county commissioner has to be there for them, as well.
In closing, God has blessed me beyond belief over the last 16 years. I cannot wait to see what He has in store for me in the future.
The golden lining to all of this is that Braeden, Bryce, Brody, Bristol, Brecken, Camila, Pierce, Gracen, and Harrison, you now have BIG FISH back. Sheena Fisher, Chad, Jim Bob and Wade, I love you all!
Bell County Commissioner