Eight years ago, Willie James was sworn in as a Live Oak County commissioner for Precinct 3, and on Dec. 31, he attended his last meeting as a county commissioner.
Although James did not have as long of a tenure on the court as some of his fellow commissioners, his leadership and service to the county is appreciated.
“I served eight years, and that was enough for me,” he said. “We were able to get quite a few things done, some big things with the courthouse and a lot of smaller things, like fixing potholes, that not everybody notices, but they’re important to the people affected by them.”
Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff said he appreciates James’ fiscal judgment.
“I had the pleasure of swearing in Commissioner Willie James on Jan. 1, 2013,” Huff said. “During his tenure as a county commissioner, Willie exhibited great business acumen. He served us well as Live Oak County investment officer and the county’s representative to the Live Oak County Appraisal District.
“Willie was a solid voice when it came to improvements to serve the public. Recently, Live Oak County has constructed a new (justice of the peace) office with climate controlled storage both paid for at groundbreaking.
“When he took a stand or voted he had done his homework. It was well thought out. I consider it an honor to have served with him. The entire commissioners court wishes him well and thanks him for his dedication to public service.”
James said he is not comfortable in the spotlight, and just wants to get things done.
“I like to be behind the scenes and trying to get work done,” he said. “Whether they’re big things or small things, they’re all important to somebody.
“It’s been interesting. I’ve been in public service for quite a while, including serving in the appraisal district for 10 years and being chief appraiser part of that time. I was also on the George West school board for about 14 years and I’m still on the county fair board.
“I just want to help take care of issues that concern the taxpayers and to get things done as quickly and efficiently as we can. I’ll miss part of it and other parts I won’t.”
Pct. 2 Commissioner Donna Kopplin Mills said she has known James his whole life, and she said she appreciated the commitment he had as a commissioner.
“Willie was a hard worker and I enjoyed serving with him on the commissioners court,” Mills said. “He did a lot of good for the county and was very conservative with taxpayers’ money. He was always focused on doing the best for the people of Live Oak County.”