A s I begin my tour of duty as your new Milam County Judge, my first thoughts are that there are 3,250 of you out there that voted for me on Nov. 2, most of you probably having had something specific in mind that you intended for me to get done once I took office.
Another 2,750 of you that voted for Frank Summers are probably saying, “Okay, Barkemeyer, so what’s so great about you?”
And the other 10,000 or so of you registered voters that didn’t vote this time all probably are ready for me to get some things done, too.
Do I sound a little anxious? You guessed it.
In the meantime, since Nov. 2, I’ve been making the rounds visiting all the departments and introducing myself to many of you that work in our county government, many of whom I knew very little about. Also I’ve been sitting in on courtroom sessions beginning to learn about all the different judiciary aspects of the job, digging into the $16 million county budget with over 1,500 line items trying to learn the details of each, signing up for several mandatory training classes that I must attend in Austin, Waco and Lubbock during my first three months in office.
In all this I’ve come to realize just how much there is to learn and understand about the job at this point. With that said, I am still as anxious as ever to get on with it. I am no less committed to do my best to bring you open, honest, efficient county government.
To work hard to be a catalyst for economic development, infrastructure improvement, effective interaction with our state and national officials, strong law enforcement and development of tourism including utilization of our historical assets.
My intention in these articles in the early going is to tell you about what I am learning about our county government as I get familiar with all the different departments.
For as I’ve already discovered, there are many duties and services that our elected officials and employees are responsible for that I didn’t even know about, and I’m pretty sure that many of you don’t know about them either.
Open, transparent county government means that you and I need to know what goes on and why, as well as how much it costs.
Sixteen million dollars is a lot of money (not near as much as we spend on our school systems) but still a lot of money.
So stay tuned, come visit some of our commissioner’s court meetings at 10 a.m. on the second and fourth Mondays.
Let me and the commissioners know if you’d like for us to hold some of the meetings in the evenings. For sure we’ll schedule some town hall meetings in the late afternoons.
I plan to make more information available on a Milam County web site as well, all to try to keep you informed of what is going on in your county government.