Gainesville Daily Register

December 10, 2013

Klement enjoys job challenges

Staff Report
Gainesville Daily Register

Gainesville — Staff report



Incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner Leon Klement, now seeking reelection in March, deemed his job never easy and always interesting.

“If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a job,” he said Monday.

Klement, 60, attended Muenster Independent School District and Cooke County College. His precinct territory, recently redistricted, extends through areas of Lindsay, Gainesville and Muenster — the latter his hometown and base of operations as a rural dairy farmer for decades before his election as commissioner in 2008.

The Texas Association of Counties website details the job of a county commissioner as covering a broad canvas and ranging from hands-on road maintenance to arbitrating public policy and responding to complaints pertinent to his district. Klement credited his own Precinct 4 maintenance crew for their part in keeping rural thoroughfares well kept.

 “I’ve got a very good road crew that helps me out and my guys are a very good bunch of guys,” he said.

But Klement said his position is a “service job” for reasons that go beyond overseeing road maintenance.

“I love the many facets,” he said. “It’s not just about roads; this job is also about the financial aspect.”

Four commissioners, each elected from a quarter of the county's population, serve along with the county judge on the “commissioners court.” This court also has the responsibility to adopt the budget and tax rate that is sufficient to fund the personnel, equipment and infrastructure necessary to deliver the services provided by the county. Typically, the commissioners court is responsible for conducting business on behalf of the county and only the commissioners court can enter into contracts on behalf of it.

Alongside the county judge and his three fellow commissioners, Klement said he helps attempt to give Cooke County an economic and political environment appealing to incoming companies.

“It’s about having a good financial rating and credit rating to help attract more business to the county,” he said. “And what occurs in Austin, I’ve been trying to immerse myself in more during the past couple years. Everything you read that’s happening in Texas with people moving here, and jobs, and water issues, is a very interesting set of conditions that we’re all going to deal with. And I enjoy being involved with that.”