Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner

Taking a Stand

Is Jefferson County ungovernable?  Is it time to throw in the towel and give up?  Is it enough to say, we have insane taxes, and our ‘leaders’ are corrupt?  Is that all we will ever be?

My aim in this blog is not so much to wax eloquent on the problems of Jefferson County, but to show that, maybe, one person can make a difference.  If enough people will not only say, ‘this sucks’, but take a stand and say, ‘that’s enough’, then maybe we can start a change for the better.  Some people have been complaining about government here for years.  I’ve been complaining about it publicly for a few weeks.  I know the government in Jefferson County doesn’t care about the people.  I know they just want their kilo of flesh from us.  I know the only news we get out of them comes around election time.

I’ll try not to harp on it anymore.

Instead, I will try to tell you what I would do in their place.  How, I would attempt to make the Jefferson County government responsible to the people.

First, let me say this.  Anyone who tells you that all the problems will go away if you elect them is lying to you.  I know that I would be one voice out five on most things in the Commissioners Court.  But if the people see that one person is willing to stand up for them, instead of whining about it, then maybe the next election will bring some support for that one person.  One person can’t do it alone, but maybe one person can be the point for real change.

I’m not a reporter.  I’m not an investigator.  I am a scientist and a teacher and a father.  All I can do is look closely at the things I think are wrong and try to figure out if there is a way to fix it.  At this point, the only way to even try to fix this problems in Jefferson County government is to get in and start banging away on the inside (since they don’t listen to anyone on the outside).  I’m willing to try.  I don’t see a lot of others standing up and saying they’ll try.

As I said, I’m a scientist.  I spend all my time with reality.  Real things, facts, evidence.  I’m telling you now, I do not compromise well.  That’s probably a good thing.  I see that something is wrong, or incorrect, or stupid, or ridiculous… I’ll be perfectly happy telling everyone so.  And I’ll vote against whatever it is.

This blog is getting a lot of hits and I appreciate many of the sites that have linked back to me.  If I haven’t linked back to you, let me know. However, no one is talking to me.  What I need from the people of Jefferson County and especially those in Port Arthur, Sabine Pass, and environs, is what do you want fixed?  What are the problems that you see?  I’ve mentioned budget, deputies, and citizen access to the Commissioners.  Is their anything else?

Can I fix it if elected… probably not.  But I can start working the problem.  If the Commissioners aren’t willing to listen to the people of Jefferson County, I am.  I’ll listen to you.  I’ll happily discuss the issues and try to come up with some kind of solution.

November 16, 2007 Posted by | Campaign, Jefferson County, Libertarian, Politics | Leave a comment

A review of the Jefferson County Budget 2004-2007

The budget for Jefferson County can be found here. These comments are based on the 2006-2007 budget.  The 05-06 budget is also available, just replace the years.  I have not found other yearly budgets yet.

Between 2004 and 2007 and out of 55 departments in the General fund. The following had ANY budget decrease:

  • Budget Office 2004 – $147,000 2007 – zero
  • Jury $1000 lower in 2005-2006 and $1.3 million higher in 2006-2007 ?!?!?!?!?
  • Community Supervision $200 drop from 04-05 to 05-06
  • County Morgue $25,000 drop from 05-06 to 06-07
  • Library lost $2000 in 05-06
  • Health Unit 2 lost $30k in 05-06
  • Child Welfare lost $17k in 05-06
  • Mosquito Control lost $110k in 06-07 !??!?!?!?

So out of 55 departments, 7 have had a budget reduction in 3 years and only 3 have had a budget reduction for 06-07 and one of those is (arguably) the most important department in Jefferson County… mosquito control.

Ford Park gets $1,788,371 for 06-07 and $1,500,000 for 05-06 out of the contingency fund. It might as well be made a budget item.

Without more detail about what some of this money is going for, I can’t really say what can be cut where, but something can be cut. Most importantly, the contingency fund is being used too much.

Contingency from the Yahoo American Heritage Dictionary :

1) a) An event that may occur but that is not likely or intended; a possibility.

b) A possibility that must be prepared for; a future emergency.

Let’s face it, the way Ford Park is, it is not unlikely or an emergency. It should be a budget item… actually, it should not be in the budget at all. It’s time for Ford Park to fly or crash on its own.

November 16, 2007 Posted by | Jefferson County, Politics | Leave a comment