County Judge Glenn Hughes named an interim Precinct 4 commissioner this week.
Gary Potts of Paradise was sworn in by Hughes in the third floor conference room Thursday afternoon, taking office immediately.
Hughes said Potts is a lifetime resident of Precinct 4 and “exactly what the county needs.”
“I would just like to say how fortunate I am, and Wise County is, to have someone the caliber of Gary to serve Wise County,” Hughes said, just before issuing him the oath of office.
Potts is filling a post left vacant when District Judge Roger Towery removed Commissioner Terry Ross from office March 19. He will serve until a new commissioner – either Republican Gaylord Kennedy or Democrat Kristina Kemp – is elected in the general election Nov. 4. The winner of that election will take office as soon as the votes are canvassed.
“The job is definitely not about an individual, but about the precinct and the people in it,” said Potts.
He said the Precinct 4 citizens need a voice in commissioners court, and it’s important to have a representative actively serving during the preparation of the 2015 fiscal year budget.
Potts maintained and defined a budget for his department at what was then Mitchell Energy (now Devon) and as a Paradise school board member. He said he never went over budget while working for Mitchell and was recognized and commended for his efforts.
“Budget issues have to be addressed with common sense … and when we know the whole picture, we can take a common-sense approach,” he said.
Potts retired from Mitchell in 1999. In addition to serving on the school board, he volunteered with the Paradise Parks and Rec Board and is a past-president of the Bridgeport Historical Society.
He and his family also raise and race horses and enjoy spending time at their place in New Mexico.
Potts said although he has had a hiatus from community involvement, he’s always had a special place in his heart for this county he calls home as well as a respect for the position of county commissioner and its obligations.
“We all need to give back …,” he said, “and if I can do this, then I’m pleased.”