Nothing drives me crazier than the phrase “good enough for government work.”

Since the day I took office, I’ve been working diligently to maximize efficiency, improve accuracy and increase accountability for the Galveston County government. This hasn’t always made me popular among the appointed bureaucrats in the county — but the results speak for themselves.

As government officials and employees, we report to the taxpayers and are stewards of their hard-earned money. We should be held to a higher standard than the private sector, but we too often see unaccountable bureaucrat-led offices being mismanaged.

I’ve been county judge for almost eight years, and during that time we’ve made great strides in improving how our government works. Taxes have been cut numerous years in a row, yet we have continued to fund our law enforcement and increase the amount of resources available to keep our county safe.

Galveston County now has a perfect bond rating from the Moody Investors Services, making us one of the select few Texas counties to achieve this rating. Commissioners Court has successfully fought off judicial overreach on a number of occasions, and I’ve helped lead the fight to protect the constitutional rights of all residents in Galveston County.

I’m proud of the work done by the Galveston County employees; they’re the backbone of our government. None of the progress made in the past eight years would’ve been possible without their steadfast devotion to making this county a better place.

Despite all the strides we’ve made, there are still holes in accountability that need to be addressed. We have offices led by appointed officials seemingly accountable to no one. These offices don’t fall under the jurisdiction of Commissioners Court and still operate the same way they did 10 years ago. As you may have read in the news, these are the same offices responsible for losing $525,000 in taxpayer money earlier this year.

To address these structural accountability gaps, I will be recommending to the Galveston County Commissioners Court that an internal committee be formed to review how the county handles accounts payable, as well as other financial operations. This committee will focus on how best to develop a system that is both efficient and accurate while ensuring maximum transparency and accountability.

I want to make this promise to the residents of Galveston County: I will work tirelessly to close the accountability loopholes that still exist in our government and ensure that all government employees and taxpayer money are accountable to you, the taxpayers.

Mark Henry is the county judge of Galveston County.

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(2) comments

Paul Hyatt

The problem with digital communications is that you can not be for sure who it is on the other side. When some one is changing the bank account information why is someone not picking up the phone and calling that company to see if this is real or not? A wee bit of diligence would save We The People tons of money....

David Schuler

Mistakes happen. But in this case, I'm not so upset over the initial mistake as i am over the mutual-finger-pointing not-my-fault total-lack-of-responsibility attitude seemingly endemic throughout the entire County financial organization. Someone needs to take the blame, dammit, even if they get to keep their job.

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