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Burnet County Judge James Oakley seeking re-election

Burnet County Judge James Oakley is seeking re-election. Courtesy photo

Burnet County Judge James Oakley is seeking re-election. Courtesy photo


BURNET — Burnet County Judge James Oakley has announced his intention to seek re-election for that spot. He is running for the Republican nomination for the Burnet County judge seat in the March 6, 2018, primary.

Burnet County residents voted Oakley into the judge position in 2014, but it was far from his first foray into public service or office. He was first elected to the Burnet County Commissioners Court in 1998 as the Precinct 4 county commissioner. He held that spot for eight years.

Oakley then went on to represent a publicly held Washington, D.C., firm and interacted with various levels of government entities.

As the county judge, according to a media release, Oakley has negotiated the acquisition of the 587-bed jail once held by a private company. He and other commissioners were able to do so without raising taxes or the debt service tax rate.

Also during his first term, Oakley prepared and passed three annual budgets that have reduced the county ad valorem tax rate from 42.05 cents per $100 valuation to 39.69 cents. In those budgets, Oakley said he cut his administrative staff in half, while paving the way for increasing the number of Burnet County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies and replenishing the patrol vehicle fleet.

As county judge, Oakley also helped facilitate the passage for the county’s first ever road improvement bond to enhance some of Burnet County’s high-traffic roads, all without increasing the tax rate.

Oakley said he also helped enhance and expand Burnet County’s existing facilities, which helped the county get out of rented properties. He and the county collaborated with the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District to renovate a 10,000-square-foot building the district was no longer using so the county could use it rent-free.

He streamlined the county’s tourism department, saving costs but still enhancing value to area lodgers through the development of social media and marketing tools.

He’s even presided over hundreds of probate and guardianship hearings and proceedings, according to the media release.

Oakley serves as a commissioner on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and the Regional Review Committee. Both are governor-appointed positions. He is also a member of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative board of directors and serves on the the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board and the Capital Area Council of Governments executive committee.

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