Appointed Commissioner Running To Keep His Job

Jack Cagle was named by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, to run Precinct 4 last fall after the resignation of longtime commissioner Jerry Eversole. Eversole stepped down as part of a deal with prosecutors in a federal corruption case that saw him plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

Cagle now hopes to earn his seat by election rather than appointment.

I asked him about taking over in the middle of someone else's term.

"Well, it's a privilege to be able to serve. The commissioner's position is a very important one, with regard to being able to take of the needs of the individuals of the community. I have to admit though, that in terms of the services that Precinct 4 renders, I found to be in tip-top shape. There are excellent employees that we all can be very very proud of in Precinct 4."

He says it's his job to use the staff he inherited to be able to serve the residents of the largest precinct in Harris County.

"As a county commissioner, one day I'm out picking up trash; another day, I'm out mowing the lawn. The next day, I've got maps laid out, and we're trying to figure, which — with these scarce resources that we have — is the best intersection to put that stop light, so we can help people's mobility. [And] how to negotiate with other departments to make sure that government is functioning."

Cagle talks about his most recent accomplishment; addressing the problem of sexually-oriented businesses moving out of Houston city limits and into his precinct along FM 1960:

"We saw in essence a red light district, come out and move in and take over our neighborhoods in 1960. But by working with the state reps, the constable's office, by working with our sheriff's office and our county attorney's office, and by pulling together community resources, in less than a year we now have regulations on 1960 that will be as strong if not stronger than the city, and we gonna clean that mess up."

He says a lot of work needs to be done in Precinct 4, like completing the Grand Parkway to increase mobility.

Cagle is facing Democrat Sean Hammerle, a fund raising consultant.

KUHF's repeated efforts to contact him have been unsuccessful, but according to his campaign website, he's running to improve county ethics, transparency and oversight.

Cagle thinks he's done that.
 
"And I would love to be able to continue to be accessible and accountable to the public in this area. But also let's just get out and vote. This is an important season, and every vote counts and makes a difference."  

You can find more information on the candidates for Harris County  Commissioner Precinct-4 at www.hcp4.net/commissioner and at www.seanhammerle.com.

For election coverage, visit kuhf.org/election2012.

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