By Jim Gilliand / Investigative Reporter, The Ellis County Press
This reporter recently interviewed Rodney Pat Ramsey, Ellis County Republican Party candidate for Ellis County Judge.
Ramsey, a life-time resident of Ellis County, lives in Red Oak with his wife Becky.
When I asked what his political platform would be, he responded foremost, to give back to the citizens the seventy thousand dollar pay raise granted to the incumbent Carol Bush.
He added, even though the money has been approved for the upcoming budget, he would allow it to remain separate from his salary and return it to the general fund next year.
Ramsey said he fully intends to monitor the county spending agendas and would see a tax reduction for Ellis County home owners.
He also pledges to be a full time Judge and would place his law firm on hold. Another topic of interest would be his focus on future growth for Ellis County.
The infrastructure in Ellis County is aging and needs to be maintained for future expansion as the trend illustrates people from the north are beginning to make their permanent residence in Ellis County.
Another item on his radar is to defund the money spent on the Texas Attorney General’s Office to prevent transparency into the shielding of documents sought after from the county regarding e-mails and phone records pertaining to actions conducted between the county District Attorney and County Judge Carol Bush.
Research into the count records clearly show in 2008 the budget for salaries and related expenses for the office of County Judge was $150,733.00. The Judge’s salary was $82,740.00. In 2011 the budget was $200,810.00. The Judge’s salary was $86,050.00. The Judge’s salary was $86,050.00. In 2015 the budget was $291,865.00. The Judge’s salary was $86,787.00.
Today the budget and expenses is $351,361.00. The Judge’s salary is $153,452.00, before supplements which put her above $160,000.00. That is more than the Governor of Texas makes. So over a period of nine years the budget for salaries and related expenses for the County Judge has more than doubled, at an increase of $200,628.00.
On April 8, 2009, The Ellis County Press reported after her original appointment to the office she stated, “If my interests are for the people, then that is going to be reflected in my actions for the court.”
Ending our interview, Ramsey made a valid point, “Our first responders and those who work in the cold for a medium hourly rate are trying to raise a family on approximately $25,000 a year, while our County Judge and her hand-picked assistants get a raise of more than $10,000 a year.” Now you know where your money goes.