Jim Wells County Judge Juan Rodriguez just ended the first year of his four year term. With the one year that flew day, he looks back at the year as he thinks about the county’s future.
In January 2019, Rodriguez was all about learning what his position entailed and how to make the best use of his political seat.
"People don’t understand what goes on. The first year for anything position is usually a learning aspect," Rodriguez said. "How can I help the county if I don’t understand how I can use the position to better the county."
As the learning process period concludes, Rodriguez is proud of some of the things he has accomplished for taxpayers. In 2019, Rodriguez hoped that his term as County Judge would be characterized by fiscal responsibility and transparency.
"My main objective is to keep taxes down and support economic growth and local business," Rodriguez said. "Two major accomplishments I'm proud of this year, are the pay increase at the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office and the updated satellite equipment for law enforcement and first responders."
The new radio equipment was approved and voted on last October for better efficiency and safety especially in dense rural areas of JWC. The three site locations for the new radio equipment were installed in Alice, Orange Grove and Premont.
"The JWC Sheriff’s department was not competing with other cities on their employee pay and suffered from high employee turnover. The pay increases have helped maintain employee retention, which is important," Rodriguez said. "I’m also proud of the the motion passed for an updated radio system for law enforcement and emergency first responders in Jim Wells County."
Rodriguez knows that he can’t do his job without the work that his employees do. Everyone working together for one goal.
"I most importantly want to thank my staff for this last year, I have a great team. They continue to do so much and work to keep me on the ball," he said. "We are currently working on the Census 2020, which is critically important that everyone in the area be counted."
The Census will dictate the next 10 years in funding and data for local businesses, researchers and community programs.
"If everyone in the county is counted right on the Census, the county gets more money. More money means more projects that can get done," Rodriguez said. "I’m not alone making these decisions for the county. Each commissioner does their part that makes the county better as a whole."
For the months to come, Rodriguez wants to maintain transparency and work on having all the Commissioner Court meetings live online, keep taxes down and try to keep businesses open and thriving.
"People sometimes do not understand that there is a lot of red tape on issues we work on and things take time," he said. "We are currently working with surrounding counties, Kleberg and Nueces, to increase economic growth in Jim Wells County and I'm looking forward to what we accomplish during the remainder of my term."
"There’s so much that Rodriguez still wants to do for the community. He wants to help the county to grow and be a place that people will want to live and work because they see everyone working together.