Brandon Huckabee sworn in as Erath County Judge. Here’s what he says about his immediate goals.
A new era has begun for Erath County with the swearing in of Brandon Huckabee as county judge.
The 41-year-old married father of two was officially sworn into office at midnight on Jan. 1, and will take part in a public ceremony, along with other county officials, at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Erath County Courthouse.
Brandon sat down with Beneath the Surface News to talk about his immediate goals for the office and how he plans to put the turmoil that has plagued the inner workings of the county to rest and repair fractured relationships.
Q. After winning the election last spring, you’ve had to wait months before taking office. How does it feel to finally assume the role of county judge?
A. It does feel like it’s been a long time but we have been busy learning and building relationships throughout the county and state so we can hit the ground running.
Jocelyn Perez has been in the county judge’s office since September and has been doing a great job helping me prepare as well.
I am very excited to get started and humbled and honored to serve the citizens of Erath County.
Q. It’s no secret that the office has spent the last couple of years in turmoil. How do you plan to repair fractured relationships and regain the community’s trust?
A. I don’t think it's overly complicated. It’s communication, transparency and accountability to the other offices and the citizens.
It’s been 18 months since I decided to run for county judge and I have spent a lot of time observing and listening to each office and the citizens.
The Erath County offices are full of great people and we will work to ensure everyone has the support to provide excellent services to our constituents.
Q. The commissioners court has been criticized for what some call a lack of transparency. The Stephenville City Council and Stephenville ISD board of trustees streamlines all of its public meetings. Is that something you will consider doing?
A. The county has begun live streaming commissioners court meetings which is a step in the right direction.
Our office is already looking at ways to make that technology better and more user-friendly for citizens to be able to watch the court conduct the business of the county.
We are looking at ways to have supporting documents available with the posted agendas so that people can be informed when they come to court or decide to watch online.
It may take some time and investment, so give us a little grace but that is a big priority for myself. That’s big part of what I mentioned above about communication, transparency and accountability.
Q. The county’s record-keeping has faced harsh criticism over the past couple of years. How concerned are you about the current status of the county treasurer’s office?
A. I hate to keep mentioning communication, transparency and accountability but again I believe that is the key to public trust in our government.
I am 100% confident that we will have structure and processes in place to accomplish those three things and citizens can have faith that the county finances are in great shape.