The Standard Times reported on Tom Green County Judge Mike Brown's retirement celebration, held at the Stephen's Central Library.
Brown has been county judge since 1995. He was elected when the county was embroiled in a multitude of problems, from financial issues to internal dissension.A longtime employee had this to say:
“It was kind of embarrassing to work for the county,” Killam said. “Since then (Brown) has straightened it out.”
Judge Brown left the County much better off, due in a large part to Indigent Health funds going from consistently in the red to having major surpluses. From 1998 to 2000 the Indigent Health Program ran a $1.25 million deficit. Over the next twelve years it ran a $7.9 million surplus (relative to the budget/General Tax Levy of 8% for Indigent Health).
Brown said. “We’ve got a bright future, and I’ve left the team in a very positive position to grow into that.”Indigent Health contributed greatly to the County's improved financial position under Judge Brown's tenure.
Indigent Health's nearly $8 million in surpluses comprise roughly half of the County's $16.6 million in general fund investments. It was Mike Brown's and Tom Green County Commissioners' cash cow.