County Judge Calls for End to Political Divisiveness, United Effort to Address Local Challenges
Despite widespread criticism of government on a national and state level, County Judge Ed Emmett said in his 2016 State of the County Address this week that Harris County government consistently provides exceptional services to residents while maintaining an extremely strong financial position.
Emmett cited the county’s AAA bond rating and recent improvements in emergency management, flood control, criminal justice and veterinary health as examples of county government’s effectiveness. “Harris County is one of the best run local governments in the country,” Emmett said.
“The commissioners courts before I arrived made it so, and it is my primary goal to work with the current court to maintain that status.”
But despite its successes, county leadership faces serious challenges in the coming years, especially in dealing with transportation, health care and the future of the Astrodome, Emmett said.
Emmett spoke to a record 1,100 people attending his ninth State of the County Address, sponsored by the Greater Houston Partnership and the League of Women Voters.
He concluded the event by calling on attendees to help him battle an increasingly pervasive pessimism regarding government and government officials.
“I ask you to push back against those who want to play politics with county government,” Emmett said. “In the world of politics, too many candidates see government as the enemy, yet they want to be part of government. Such people have vilified government employees, yet they expect quality in emergency management, flood control and all other services.
We should encourage young, bright, talented individuals to join public service.”