Zimmerman seeks Commissioner of Precinct 1 position

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

My name is Shirley Zimmerman.

I am announcing my candidacy for Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 1. I live in Orange County by choice. My husband, Steve and I moved here with our family in 1992 when his employer transferred his job location to Louisiana. Orange County provided the close-knit community we desired to rear our family in and we’ve been very happy living in the Country Squire neighborhood and being a member of Community Church.

My son graduated with honors from LSC-O and later Oklahoma State University while both daughters graduated with honors from LCM and at the top of their classes at LIT. I am also one of the proudest grandmothers named ZZ by my three year old grandson.

Orange County is a wonderful place to live and has many positive attributes with a great future ahead. I have loved serving the community and citizens of Orange County for the past eleven years while employed by the Orange County Economic Development Corporation. The EDC is a Governmental entity just like the county is.   As public entities, they are required to conduct business differently than the corporate world. I have acquired the knowledge and understanding of how they operate. It is my working with the elected officials and countywide entities in Orange County that gives me the confidence that we will be able to work together well, making the best decisions for the people as we move the county forward.

I am not one of the “good ole boys” and I will stand firm for what’s right according to my conservative Christian values. I think fairly, logically and am community minded. With Commissioner David Dubose announcing he would not be running for office again, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I could truly make a difference for the citizens of Orange County by stepping up to serve. Now I have that opportunity and am excited to offer myself as a full-time Commissioner to Orange County.

Currently there is turmoil and transition going on within the county as officials have been tasked with bringing financial soundness back after dealing with three hurricanes. I attended Oklahoma State University and received a Business Administration Degree with minors in Accounting and Computer Science. I have developed budgets and helped make decisions with many different organizations over the years. I set up and have maintained the Orange County Economic Development Corporation financials and am currently serving as Treasurer on the Boards of the Bridge City Chamber and Christian Women’s Job Corps.

I am straightforward, sincere and I truly desire to continue doing all that I can to help the county to become a better place to live, work and play. Orange County is blessed with many great assets, one of which is the friendly, caring people who live here. I have grown to love the people and care deeply about the entire county. I have spent many years working and volunteering county-wide to bring unity within various entities as well as the people within the county. I have worked with all three of the county Chambers of Commerce and was truly excited when I was the volunteer coordinator for the first Bassmaster’s Tournament. It was a huge responsibility where I was able to bring volunteers together from all over the county.

A saying often quoted in economic development is that “a rising tide floats all boats.” Anything good that happens within Orange County is good for all of Orange County. Instead of competing against each other we should be supporting each other and standing together. I want to help the county to make the best decisions for the entire county. If you look hard enough and handle things appropriately, there will usually be a solution to issues where everyone involved can walk away feeling good, a “win-win.”

I strive to live by biblical principles and offer myself to public service as a person who wants to see this county work together in unity with integrity and transparency.

As the first Republican woman to run for this position in Orange County, I want to see the county fiscally sound and working in harmony. I believe that with my fair and well-balanced attitude and dedication, I will be able to work effectively within Commissioner’s Court as well as bring unity within the County employees. The county has hired many good employees who deserve the respect of being heard and valued.

The county has a great future ahead and I would consider it an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Orange County as Commissioner of Precinct 1. As your commissioner, I will be a good steward of taxpayer money with an “open door” policy; always there for you. I am the right choice, the exceptional choice and humbly ask for your support and vote. Let’s bring unity back into our community!