Tuesday, January 5, 2010
County Judge Phil Fitzgerald Re-Election Announcement
My first day as Liberty County Judge, January 2, 2007, I was sworn to office by Judge Ronnie Davis. During the ceremony I asked the citizens of Liberty County to pray for our county and to pray for me and the other newly elected officials. I appreciate not only your prayers but also the support and encouragement you’ve shown over these last three years, and specifically this past year. Your cards and letters of support have been overwhelming. I now ask that you continue your prayers and support as I seek re-election so that I may continue what I promised when I originally sought this office; to give all my effort in working toward bettering Liberty County for all its citizens.
Over the past three years I, and the commissioners, have worked together in a united effort to do all we can for the good of Liberty County. The commissioners have all worked together to help in each other’s precincts and make decisions that benefit the county as a whole. Our efforts led to many successes for our county including:
• Securing over $43 million in grant allocations for Liberty County in the past three years;
• Increasing the number of law enforcement officers by 17 without increasing the tax rate;
• Attending to the needs of all communities in our county borders equally, breaking down the barriers of past divisions;
• Implementing a job classification system for Liberty County identifying salary concerns for county employees and raising the pay standard for all citizens by demanding incoming industry to recognize the value of our citizens compared to pay scales in other areas outside Liberty County;
• Increasing Liberty County’s fund balance from $8 million to over $18 million by closely managing county finances. This healthy fund balance enabled us to fund disaster recovery efforts immediately when state and federal resources were slow to arrive;
• Implementing a traffic patrol division that aided in decreasing traffic fatalities by 42% leading to an estimated 20 lives being spared in the last 2 years.
Remaining true to goals I set when I took office, I have facilitated meetings with mayors, school and other officials to share in solutions to county issues, again in efforts to unite our county. These quarterly governmental summits provide leaders throughout our community a forum to unite and work together for our county.
As County Judge I’ve also worked hard in establishing and maintaining good working relationships with officials from surrounding counties, state officials, and federal legislators. Working as Emergency Director for Liberty County immediately following Hurricane Ike I appointed a liaison to assure that Liberty County rigorously monitored FEMA guidelines and requirements for reimbursement. These efforts resulted in State and Federal audits approving all $23 million in Ike recovery expenses that were eligible for reimbursement helping Liberty County to more quickly and more fully recover in the face of tragedy and disaster.
In my capacity as Juvenile Court Judge I have had the opportunity to work with Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Anthony Scott in successfully re-evaluating procedures in handling juveniles. We are confident these efforts have led to making our schools and neighborhoods safer.
Lately, there seems to be an attempt by some of my foes to proclaim value changes based on party affiliation. For the past twenty-three years I ran on the local Democratic ballot and will continue to do so. Does it mean my personal values or the values of the citizens of this county have changed? I think not. I have attended the same local church for the past thirty-three years worshiping alongside Democrats and Republicans alike and never veering from the same conservative values we all hold dear. I hope that my party affiliation is not needed to reflect my values. Rather, I hope my values are reflected in my decisions, actions, family, and most importantly, my Faith.
In holding true to my values, I enjoy working with officials from both political parties. Working together we have accomplished many things over the past three years for the betterment of our entire county. If you feel the need to label me, I ask you to label me in the most important way, not by party affiliation, but rather as a common man looking to God to guide his every decision in hopes of doing everything he can to make his home and community, Liberty County, the very best it can be.
As I’ve said I have had the opportunity over the past three years to work with many dynamic people all striving to make Liberty County the best it can be. Unfortunately, since nearly day one as County Judge I’ve also been in a battle against wickedness entrenched in high places. There are some in our county, and its leadership, who are primarily driven by their extreme sense of entitlement and care only for getting their way despite the effects their actions have on the citizens of Liberty County. Despite the negativity and disregard of integrity by some, I remain steadfast in my efforts as County Judge to bring common sense business principles to our local government and work towards positive achievements for our county.
One of the foremost of these principles is to eliminate unnecessary expenses in the operation of our county. As you can imagine this conservative philosophy did not sit too well with those who are determined to maintain the way things had always been done. However, they failed to realize that unlike themselves, my loyalty is to the hard-working citizens of this county and not to the self-proclaimed elite of the courthouse. I have not nor will I back down from my values as they attack me from every side.
I will continue to stand against those who care only about their own ego and sense of entitlement and care nothing for the good of those around them. I will continue to stand against those who ignore truth and the law and fail to seek justice and impartiality. I will continue to stand against those who abuse their positions by using fear and intimidation to get their way. I will continue to stand against those who care nothing for right and wrong and only hunger for control. I will continue to stand for the good of all the citizens and the betterment of Liberty County. Stand with me.
Liberty County Judge