New SJC officials formally sworn in
New Years Day marks not only the beginning of 2017 but also the beginning of a new era for politics in San Jacinto County with eight political candidates being sworn in to serve various offices.
On Sunday, Jan. 1, County Judge John Lovett met with five of these candidates and their supporters at the San Jacinto County courthouse. The other three, including Pct. 2 Constable Roy Pippin, Jr., Pct. 4 Constable Alvin Wyatt and Tax Assessor Kelly Selmer were all sworn in at other locations.
Candidates sworn in at the courthouse include Pct. 1 Constable Roy Rogers, Pct. 3 Constable Sam Houston, Sheriff Greg Capers, Pct. 3 Commissioner Thomas Bonds and newly elected Pct. 1 Commissioner Laddie McAnally.
McAnally previously served as the Pct. 1 Commissioner from 2009 to 2012 before losing his reelection to challenger Ray McCoppin, who in turn served from 2013 to 2016 before losing his reelection to McAnally.
“They [the voters] put me back in office for a reason,” said McAnally. “That reason is to do the right thing for the county and help it move forward.”
McAnally says he hopes to establish more transparency among not only the Pct. 1 office but the county as a whole so that the citizens can know and understand clearly the actions their elected officials are taking.
“That is what our constituents put us in office for,” he said.
McAnally intends to help push the county forward into the 21st century and support anything coming the county’s way that is positive.
Sheriff Capers is beginning his second full term in his position. He ran unopposed in the 2016 election.
“It’s heartwarming to me to know that the people have faith in me to do the job of sheriff and keep them protected to the best of my abilities,” said Capers.
With four years as sheriff in his future, Capers hopes to address retaining peace officers in the county. Capers states that in his first year as sheriff the county had a 60 percent turnover rating in the jail. This rate increased to 79.8 percent in his second year as sheriff.
Capers looks forward to working with Lovett, the commissioners and the county as a whole to find a solution to the turnover ratings.
“Without it, the retention, the people suffer,” said Capers.
The turnover issue not only affects the retention of law enforcement. Capers says it also makes it harder to relate to the public when the office constantly receives new faces.
“They just don’t know who any of the people in this county are,” said Capers.