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Donna Klaeger announces she won’t seek third term as Burnet County judge

Donna Klaeger


MARBLE FALLS — While she still has more than a year-and-a-half left in office, Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger announced June 4 she will not seek a third term.“I started thinking about it last year,” Klaeger said. “Bobbi (her daughter) had just moved home and was getting ready to have her baby. I need to take care of my family.”

Klaeger took office Jan. 1, 2007. When her term expires, she’ll have served eight years as county judge. Before that, Klaeger was the Burnet County treasurer for eight years. But Klaeger always had a close connection with the community through the numerous boards and nonprofit organizations she’s served on or with.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Klaeger said of the plans of her and her husband, Robert Klaeger. “My plan is to stay and possibly pursue something at the state or regional level and work on issues important to Burnet County.”

Since Klaeger, who is a Republican, took office, the county has faced numerous challenges, including a recession. But the commissioners’ court forged relationships and partnerships both at local and state levels to help curb the impact on Burnet County residents and taxpayers.

“We ran the county like a nonprofit organization,” she said. “We’re not afraid to ask (for grants or assistance). If they say ‘no,’ I’m not afraid to ask the next one. Through grants and partnerships, we were able to weather the recession.”

Burnet County taxpayers pay a lower tax rate currently than in 2006, she pointed out.

Other accomplishments Klaeger highlighted with the current commissioners’ court include:

• Burnet County earning a Double A- bond rating;

• developing a water infrastructure and facility plan;

• helping foster regional water systems built by Corix Utilities;

• and working with state and regional transportation authorities to get $65 million in road and highway improvements in the county.

“The county will be debt free in 2016,” Klaeger said.

Her decision also comes after a particularly rough 2012 primary season in Burnet County. The political climate wasn’t lost on Klaeger.

“I have great concern that our county politics have become so disrespectful that qualified, dedicated leaders will be reluctant to commit their lives to county service,” she wrote in a letter announcing her decision.

While the 2014 elections are still more than a year off, the Republican and Democratic primaries are scheduled for March. Klaeger said the reason for announcing her decision not to seek re-election so soon was to give people who might be thinking about running for the position enough time to weigh their options.

As for her future, Klaeger said she’s excited about the prospects.

“It’s very rewarding to work for the community,” she said. “I’m ready to take the next, whatever that may be. Only God knows.”