Setting The Record Straight

 
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
 
In my 22 years as your state legislature representative I've seen a lot of dirty politics. Generally, the best option is to tum the other cheek. However, there are times when the rhetoric is so blatantly false that response based on 100% fact must be issued. That is the case with the malicious and dishonest accusations regarding County Judge, Carol Bush’s salary increase.
 
In July 2016, Ellis County Commissioners voted unanimously to institute Section 152.014 of the Texas Local Government Code; the law which establishes a neutral committee from a pool of grand jury members to review salary concerns. The names of the participants were placed on individual pieces of paper and placed in a concealed container by Cindy Polley, the County Clerk. Nine names were drawn randomly to be on the Salary Grievance Committee. It was done in open Court. To state otherwise is a falsehood.
 
The Salary Grievance Committee met on September 9, 2016. The meeting was duly posted and open to the public. I personally attended the meeting and testified concerning why I believed Judge Bush should be given a raise.  I felt then, as I do now, that her responsibilities were possibly the most challenging, time-consuming and demanding of anyone in government in Ellis County. And yet at the time, our County Court at Law judges, the District Court judges and the District Attorney were making $40,000 to $50,000+ more in salary than Carol Bush. The inequity was the sole purpose of the salary review.
 
During the session, the salary compensation of other key legal and government executive positions in Ellis County was reviewed. Of those presented, Judge Bush was paid less than 30 of the governmental judges and managers in our county. As an example, in 2016 the City Manager of Waxahachie was paid $190,550 and managed a budget of $33,474,100.  At that time, Judge Bush was paid a salary of $94,835 and managed a budget of $61,840,688.
 
After the presentation, Judge Bush voluntarily left the room to allow the committee to discuss the presentations and make a decision regarding a salary increase.... or none at all. After the committee unanimously decided upon a new salary of
$165,000, Judge Bush was called back into the room. The committee spokesperson explained they unanimously set the salary to compensate for Judge Bush's experience, legal expertise and comprehensive responsibilities, time and efforts. The votes were recorded with each committee member's signature.
 
Facts don't lie, even though detractors do. The County Commissioners clearly set the protocol and legality of a committee to review salary concerns under Section 152.014 of the Texas Local Government Code. The selection process for the committee was exclusively under the control of the County Clerk. Judge Bush never asked for a specific dollar figure and never suggested that her salary be increased by the amount awarded. She simply requested that her current salary be increased to be more in line with other judges and city government managers in Ellis County. The nine-member committee mutually determined the amount of the increase and all nine members agreed on the same amount.

Those are the facts, and I challenge anyone to show proof otherwise. They can't, but they will continue to spread lies because they cannot mount a campaign against Judge Bush based on how they could do a better job at running Ellis County. And that is the true irony of the situation. It is because Judge Bush does such an outstanding job, the salary increase was justifiable.... unanimously.
 
 
James R. Pitts

Posted on 15 Apr 2018, 16:05 - Category: News



Judge Carol Bush Announces Re-election

WAXAHACHIE – Today County Judge Carol Bush announced that she will seek re-election next November.  Since 2009, Judge Bush has delivered conservative and effective representation for Ellis County.   

She has a proven record of commitment to this community.  Since taking office, Judge Bush has worked to strengthen the financial outlook of the County by adhering to conservative policies and practices.  Those efforts led to a 2017 County property tax cut that lowered the tax rate to 2010 levels.   That same conservative management has also contributed to Ellis County earning and maintaining an excellent AA bond rating from Moody’s and Fitch for its “robust financial position” and a $7 million savings to the taxpayers on refunded bonds.

 

As County Judge, I will continue to propose annual budgets that maintain the 2017 property tax cut that lowered our tax rate to an enviable 2010 level. I will also continue to initiate actions that reduce costs, without compromising services.  Of utmost importance to me is building upon our enhancements to the community’s public safety, which include a fully-staffed Fire Marshal’s office, Emergency Management department and a strengthened partnership between our Sheriff and the Commissioners Court.

It has been a tremendous privilege to represent the people of Ellis County,” said Bush.  When I became County Judge, I made a commitment that I would be an effective voice for the people of this community and always place principle over politics. That has not always been the popular choice, but I’m proud to say that I have honored that commitment and it has proven successful.

The County has flourished over the last several years and I am proud to have had the opportunity to play a part in that.  Over the course of two terms, much has been accomplished.  We have tackled improvements to our radio system, completed multiple building projects such as the Courts & Administration building, the County Farm Complex, the Ennis sub courthouse and the Elections office.  We’ve enhanced our emergency response to deal with local disasters such as the recent tornadoes and flooding, secured transportation funding for improvements, added an additional District Court, and achieved financial transparency awards.  This is the short list of the great strides we have made while keeping up with rapid growth.  And still, there is more to be done.  I look forward to continuing the work to keep Ellis County one of the best places in the State of Texas to live, work and raise a family.

Judge Bush is a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary’s School of Law.  She is an active community member having served on the Waxahachie Education Foundation, the Waxahachie Independent School District Long Range Planning Committee and the Global High Administrative Planning Team.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Ellis County Gingerbread House Children’s Advocacy Center, the Ellis County Juvenile Board and she has been an Advisory Board member to Waxahachie and Midlothian Chambers of Commerce.

Regionally, Judge Bush chairs the Elected Officials Committee for Region 10 of the Regional Healthcare Partnership.  She is also a Board member of the Regional Transportation Council and the Workforce Development Board for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. 

At the State level, Judge Bush is a Governor’s Appointee to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Board of Directors and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Posted on 08 Jan 2018, 08:14 - Category: News



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