Sydney Murphy Declares Candidacy for County Judge, LIVINGSTON, November 28, 2013 - I decided to run for County Judge because I am optimistic about our future. I am dedicated to bringing forth innovative ideas, and creating an environment in Polk County driven by a “can do spirit” where resourcefulness, partnerships and open dialogue best serve our community.
My 30+ years of experience has not only given me good insight into the region’s opportunities and challenges, it has helped me develop strong partnerships and creative solutions, each an investment in our community.
I know what it takes to do business in Polk County. I have served as the Executive Director of the Livingston-Polk County Chamber of Commerce since 2008 when I was asked to apply for the position. During my tenure at the Chamber we have worked hard to promote Polk County and the Lake Livingston area. I started a variety of programs to assist local business members that includes everything from a diversity of networking opportunities to promoting fishing tournaments and attracting nature tourists, to creating Shop Local, an effort to promote local businesses. These and many other of the Chamber’s accomplishments would not have been possible without the strong leadership and working relationships I have developed on behalf of the community.
One way to support Polk County communities is by aggressively promoting our region at the State and Federal level to develop partnerships and secure funding for infrastructure, education, and tourism development. In 1996, I was appointed by Governor George W. Bush to serve as the Polk County representative on the Texas Workforce Development Board and served on that Board for 7 years. Since 2008 I have participated in the I-69 Coalition as a representative for Polk County. Both of these appointments, along with other activities, provided opportunities to meet and engage government agencies and representatives --- networking opportunities I have maintained and that continue to serve our community well. I am committed to further developing partnerships with the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, the City and Port of Houston, other Texas State agencies and government entities to help us grow and prosper.
I believe in being proactive when it comes to the safety and welfare of our residents. We need to implement a countywide system similar to the reverse 911 system currently used in the City of Livingston – a voluntary system where 911 contacts citizens in the event of an emergency. We should be able to be implement this without creating a burden for our tax-payers. We all pay a 911 fee in every phone bill, which is available for these kinds of programs. Natural disasters in our area have taken a toll and this is one way we can help keep people and their property safe.
We should enhance our Economic Development Program by creating an Ambassador Program. Imagine if individuals from Polk County that specialized in different areas of business worked with the Economic Development program to answer questions of businesses considering locating here -- similar to recruitment programs for hospitals or schools. No one tells our story better than we do.
As a mother of three, teacher and business woman, I fully appreciate the importance of an education, which is why I was actively involved in the effort to bring the new Commerce/College Center to Livingston. Our citizens now have access to a higher education and the opportunity to improve their lives --- not only young students, but adults who want to improve and advance in the job market. This will be felt for generations to come and is one of the accomplishments I am most proud to be associated with.
Truancy affects our long term growth and prosperity and is an issue that recently came before the Court. This needs to be addressed. When our children don’t get the education they need to be competitive, it directly impacts all of us through low wages, poor training, and poor job performance. Currently processed by Precinct 1 Judge and Constable, truancy issues should be managed by the school district and precinct where they occur to avoid lost school time and low educational performance.
I am a believer in getting involved and have supported many local organizations that address a diversity of issues. I currently serve on the Board of Escapees CARE, which is responsible for oversight of the rehabilitation and adult care facility by Escapees. I am also active in Rotary and the Livingston Art League. I was a founding member of the local Boys and Girls Club, the Community Resources Coordinating Group, and the Piney Wood Lakes Master Naturalist Chapter. I have served on a variety of Boards ranging from SAAFE House and Child Welfare Board, to School Board and the Hospital Foundation Board, church (First United Methodist Church) and youth organizations.
These are just some of my ideas on how I can best serve but I invite you to visit my website at www.sydneymurphyforpolk.com or follow me on Facebook to learn more about my vision for Polk County. I welcome your input and encourage you to send me a note on your ideas or concerns. You can also leave me a voice message at (936)215-3255 --- I will return your call after work.
In closing, let me say that I believe in governing with a balanced approach, accountability, fairness and diplomacy. We are neighbors and together we have seen hard times, lean times and good times. I welcome innovative ideas and a respectful and open dialogue.
I look forward to continuing to serve the people in this area and helping Polk County prosper and grow. On or before Tuesday, March 4, 2014, please vote Sydney Murphy for County Judge.
Sydney Murphy, married to Matt Murphy Jr. --- 32 years
Children: Matthew Murphy, III (29 years old), Jessica Murphy (24), Helen Murphy Wiggins and husband Eric (both 27) and expecting their first child in February.