Voices of County Government - Hon. Nancy Berry

County government officials are as diverse as the Texans who elect them, coming from every background imaginable. In this issue we talk with Brazos County Commissioner Nancy Berry

By County magazine

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How long have you been a Brazos County Commissioner?

Two and a half years. I was elected in November 2016 and took office Jan. 1, 2017. 

Prior to your election, what kind of work did you do?  How did you get interested in running for office?
I was Mayor of College Station. I served two terms and was prohibited from running again because of term limits. I care deeply about our community and felt that I wanted to continue to serve. I had worked closely with the county judge over the years and thought that I could make a difference at the county level. 

What was the biggest surprise or adjustment after taking office? 
Just learning how different county government is from city government. The city could enact ordinances for anything as long as the state doesn’t prohibit it. The county can only do what the state will allow it to do.

What are some of the most difficult challenges you’ve faced, and what advice would you give your peers across the state who may face the same or similar challenges?
The biggest challenge I faced was as mayor when we annexed a fast-growing area and a small but very vocal group opposed it. In fact, I faced a recall election over it. We defeated the recall by 75% of the vote and the annexation took place. My advice would be to do what is right in the long-term interests of the county and don’t be dissuaded by “not in my backyard” residents.

Since taking office, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
With nine public meetings and over 2,000 comments, we were able to adopt a 2050 thoroughfare plan. We have also submitted an application to the Texas Department of Transportation to establish a Regional Mobility Authority.

What do you find are the most successful methods for reaching out to the residents of Brazos County to communicate what your office is doing and why?
Residents can reach me on my Facebook page where I post where I am and what I’m doing. I’m available to speak with anyone at any time. I’m very active in the community, serving on six non-profit boards plus the local hospital board. Also, having a presence at Texas A&M University athletic events makes me visible, reachable and approachable.

When you’re not at work, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies or something unique that you’re interested in that may surprise your colleagues?
I’m usually volunteering for the non-profit organizations whose boards I sit on. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, gardening, golf and doing needlepoint.

What is your favorite thing about Brazos  County?
 What I love most are the people. The residents of Brazos County are the best in the world. It’s a privilege to go to work every day to help them and ensure we continue to have the best quality of life possible.