It took three elections to win the position, but John Banken finally was elected in November as the next Precinct 3 county commissioner.

But, winning elections is not new to Banken since he was the mayor of Bridge City for nine years and served on the city council for six years. But, he saw a need to be a county commissioner and ran for office.

He was sworn in on January 1 and is anxiously awaiting to take office.

“Once I am sworn in I will get in with both feet,” Banken said.

Banken said he does not have another job to do other than county commissioner.

“This will be my full time job.” he said. “It doesn’t matter who they voted for, I will be everybody’s commissioner.’

Banken knows there are some tough issues he needs to work on for the county.

“We have got to do something with the budget,” Banken said. “There is no way we can keep spending like we are spending.”

He added, the county cannot afford to continue spending the way they have been without the additional income needed.

However, he knows he will have to look closer into why commissioners have been spending the way they have done.  But, he is not blaming anybody. He says it can no longer go on the way it has been.

One thing is for sure, he does not want to raise taxes to pay for past mistakes.

He would also like to work on bringing new businesses to Orange County.

“We have got to do something,” Banken said.

On the minds of many is the water rights in the area. Banken intends to stay on top of the issue and make sure Orange County’s water rights are protected.

Banken will work on issues with the drainage district.

“My goal is to save money and get the job done,” Banken said.

Banken is originally from Sulpur, La, but has been a resident of Bridge City for the last 44 years. His wife, Donna and he has two sons who are Bridge City High School graduates. In addition, he has four grandchildren with another one on the way.

“ I will do the best job I can for the citizens of Orange County,” he said.

Pictured: John Banken was sworn in as Precinct 3 commissioner Jan. 1.