EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The Smith County Commissioners Court is without a judge as Judge Joel Baker has been removed - at least temporarily - by a state panel.
This leaves the largest county in East Texas without a person to preside over county business. Marry that daily and weekly need with the fact that budget season for the county is upon us as the county's fiscal year starts in October.
This task falls upon Smith County commissioners who are faced with selecting the interim replacement for Baker. While the removal of Baker came as a surprise for some, the procedure for replacing him is not – the county commissioners need to make the selection. Recent discussion is that it will take several weeks and while that may be a reality, this decision needs to be put on the fast track because the business part of county business cannot wait.
Whoever the selection is will need to hit the ground running and the commissioners will need to work diligently within their own parameters to keep the county on track. This will be a critical budget season as tax revenues will be challenged, needs are increasing, and leadership is required. Citizens need to participate as well to ensure that county government is solid and responsible to the charge of serving its citizens.
So again, quick action on the part of commissioners will keep the county focused and make for a Better East Texas.