In 1998 I was elected 27th County Judge for Hidalgo County, out of 5 candidates that were vying for that position. We had a vision that included plans to address a whole host of issues that included jail overcrowding, lack of security in rural areas, high unemployment, veteran issues, colonias infrastructure needs, transportation infrastructure needs, employees pay and benefits and numerous other issues.
As a new County Judge and a majority incoming commissioner’s court I knew that it was going to require working long hours and more importantly working together in order to be able to serve those who had put their trust in us.
As County Judge I knew that I was responsible for providing the leadership and more importantly the vision to move this County forward. We knew that in order to increase the security in the rural areas we would need to hire deputies for patrol, buy vehicles and more importantly pay salaries that were comparable to other police departments in the county.
To have one deputy patrolling precinct 3 (La Joya), having to wait for assistance from a deputy patrolling Precinct 2 (Pharr), was simply unacceptable. We knew that building a new jail and hire additional jailers was going to require raising taxes as well.
As County Judge addressing an issue means also looking for other resources before passing on the cost to the taxpayers.
We took action addressing the high unemployment by creating a Work Development Board. Hidalgo County was the last County in the state to do so. We worked with State elected officials to bring about a Veterans Cemetery and a Veterans Retirement home to Hidalgo County. We were one of only 3 that were awarded statewide. We initiated the construction of a 110 bed Juvenile Detention facility in order to address a revolving door process that was in place due to a 16 bed facility in place.
I will address several other issues in the next few days and look forward to continuing to bring attention to issues that still need addressing and a serious approach in order for Hidalgo County to move forward.
January 17, 2017
Eloy Pulido, Edinburg, Texas