Liberty County has new and returning leaders to kick off the New Year. At a swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 2, in the 75th State District Courtroom in the Liberty County Courthouse, a dozen elected officials placed their hands on a Bible and swore to uphold the laws and standards of their respective offices.
County Judge Jay Knight, who is beginning his second four-year term in office, welcomed citizens who braved the bleak and rainy winter weather to watch the officials take their oaths.
In his opening remarks, Knight addressed the changes that are taking place in the county as a result of unprecedented growth, adding that he is confident the leadership that is currently in place is capable of handling these challenges as they come.
“I am happy to see the commissioners working well with each other. We are going to see a lot of changes. In the next four years, the Grand Parkway will open. Get ready. Not only that, you will see other thoroughfares that will open up throughout the county,” Knight said. “You’ll see a change in the demographics in our county. You’ll see a whole lot of things you’ve never seen before. Will we be that same rural county that we’ve been for 183 years? No.”
Knight says the changes in the county actually began in 1979 with a decline in farming.
“Land use changed. Now we have to go back and reevaluate the plan. Some of the land sat idle for quite a while. Some things were done in areas of the county and people weren’t particularly happy about it,” he said. “I will say this, the commissioners have worked hard to make sure it never happens again.”
Knight is known for his love of workshops and mentioned there were more than 50 workshops in 2018 alone. He believes the workshops give commissioners and the public an opportunity to hash out issues and seek solutions.
“There are things coming [to Liberty County] and we will need your help,” he said to the packed courtroom. “When we have these workshops, you are invited. They are public meetings. If it is an item of concern to you, come to it. Voice your opinion. How else will we know what you want? It helps to keep us moving in a positive manner.”
The officials sworn in on Jan. 2 include:
75th State District Judge Mark Morefield
County Judge Jay Knight
County Court at Law Judge Thomas “Tommy” Chambers
District Clerk Delia Sellers
County Clerk Lee Haidusek Chambers
County Treasurer Kim Harris
Pct. 2 Commissioner Greg Arthur
Pct. 4 Commissioner Leon Wilson
Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Stephen Hebert
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Larry Wilburn
Pct. 6 Justice of the Peace Ralph Fuller
County Surveyor John Moorman
Knight explained that 253rd State District Judge Chap B. Cain, Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Ronnie Davis, Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Cody Parrish and Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace Wade Brown were sworn in prior to the ceremony.