Endorsement: Vote for Mark Russo for Justice of Peace in Pct. 3

ROCKWALL – Rockwall Mayor Pro Tem and recently re-elected third-term City Council member Mark Russo is the candidate to vote for in the May 29 Republican Primary Election race for the new Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3.

Early voting continues through tomorrow at locations listed on the Rockwall Co. Elections website.

If he is elected, it will then be up to the discretion of the City Council to determine if there will be a special election to replace him or if they will simply appoint a replacement until another election is held.

Since winning the Place 2 seat four years ago, Russo has worked very hard and shown great commitment to the City and its residents; so much so that even his Council member peers selected him unanimously as Mayor Pro Tem for 2012.

He is as up-to-date and acutely aware of everything going on in Rockwall as anyone we know, plus has shown by his words and actions that he cares very deeply about the people he serves, plus doing the right thing for the community.

In addition to his Council service, his work ethic and leadership ability were recognized by the Republican Party of Texas when he was named Senate District 2 Volunteer of the Year in 2011. The team he led to organize the 2012 Rockwall Co. Republican Reagan Day Dinner raised $15,000, the most ever by the local GOP organization.

As a new Justice of the Peace, Russo will no doubt maintain the same high standards of integrity and fairness that he has bent over backwards to show in his Council seat to this new County position, required because of the growth of the County.

He has told residents at several community meetings that, if elected, he will build a team that will provide the best customer service possible. That’s good to hear. He also plans to make use of all the current technology possible to streamline the workload, just as he has done on City Council.

Russo has shown he is a fine listener, as well.

His primary opponent, former County Judge Chris Florance, is a good man and was an effective County administrator from 2006-2010. Unfortunately, although voters twice made it abundantly clear that they did not want the County Courthouse in its present location, Florance led the charge to locate it there against the voters’ wishes.

He explained to at the time that he did so because there was no other location where they could build such a building, construction costs were rising fast and the former courthouse was no longer deemed safe by the fire marshal, requiring it to be abandoned immediately. He said there was very little other choice.

Nevertheless, although he felt he was doing the right thing, voters did not feel he listened to them. It was not a wise political decision and he will likely now pay the price.

Russo has made some mistakes, as well. Most elected leaders have. But the Mayor Pro Tem has clearly listened closely to the residents of Rockwall during his time on Council. Because he cares so deeply about the community, and has a solid track record, we recommend Mark Russo for this new Justice of the Peace position, and feel confident he will do a great job.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher








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