Crump believes elected officials work for citizens

Published 10:28 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Orange County Commissioner Pct. 4 Jody Crump is currently serving his second term on the court. He is also the senior Commissioner as he is the only one who has served with three County Judges.

Former County Judge Carl Thibodeaux held the seat when Crump won his first term. Then he served with former County Judge Stephen ‘Brint’ Carlton before Carlton stepped down to accept a position in Austin. Now Crump is serving with Interim County Judge Dean Crooks.

“I have seen how things were done in the past, recently and now,” Crump said.

One of the accomplishments of the court, according to Crump, is the county budget.

“Bringing the budget back into line as it should be is an accomplishment,” Crump said.

It was during Crump’s first term, the county found itself working in a deficit. The court made changes to cut the budget such as adding a six-week delay between a person leaving the county and a new hire starting as well as outsourcing the janitorial department.

“Both of those have since been overturned,” Crump said.

In a previous interview, Crump explained why he suggested the six-week delay.

It is through the required educational seminars Crump first learned of a solution to help save the county save money while facing a budget shortfall that year.

“I was in school when a speaker spoke on implementing a delay between when a position opened up and was filled,” Crump said. “My first thought was why? What difference did it make? I spoke with him afterwards and it made sense. I do not want to pay double salaries.”

Commissioners are required to attain 16 hours of education every 12-month period and may carry forward up to eight hours.

While Crump’s term will end on December 31, 2018, he is unsure of his future plans.

“I will return to my overalls and retire the suits, at least for a day,” Crump laughed.

Crump stated more than once, he wore suits to Commissioners Court’s weekly meetings because the seat deserved the respect of a suit and tie.

Crump did add opportunities have been offered, but he has not made a decision as yet.

Having also served two terms as Mayor of Pine Forest and a term as city council member, Crump encourages others to step forward and serve.

“My biggest plea – please get involved,” Crump said. “Ask questions. Elected officials work for you. Ask them all your questions, bring ideas to court, and run for office.”

Precinct 4 has a population of 22,000 and covers Vidor, Rose City, Pine Forest and some unincorporated areas of the west side of the county.

“We have to deal with a lot of flooding with one side of the boundary on the Neches River,” Crump said.

While Deweyville was experiencing flooding in 2016, so was the northwest side of the county. Precinct 4 was one of the hardest hit areas during Hurricane Harvey. Eight months after the storm, many are still rebuilding.