New Alpine Councilman Speaks to NewsWest 9 - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

New Alpine Councilman Speaks to NewsWest 9

By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

ALPINE - The past year has been a bumpy one for Alpine city politics. From an infamous audit, to allegations of misuse of city money, the people of Alpine have heard it all.
But there will be a new face on the council soon and he's speaking out about his expectations for the council and the city.

"As you know, we've had issues over here and the city is going in a new direction. I wanted to be part of that because I think it's great," Jim Fitzgerald, the new Ward 3 Councilman in Alpine, said.

Fitzgerald told NewsWest 9, the decision to run for the seat, wasn't difficult, especially given Alpine's tumultuous year.

"I didn't like the way there was very little oversight and accountability," he said referring to the city's accounting issues which included employees taking payroll advances and not paying them back.

He said these problems are not new. Fitzgerald served on the council from 2009-2011 and said these issues were present then.

"There were a couple of us who raised some red flags but that didn't go anywhere," he explained.

He said, in a phone interview, that the city is now being run the way it should.

"We're a small town but it's still a business. It's taxpayers dollars. We're responsible for taxpayers, we're accountable to them. I think the issues that have come up in the past won't be a problem anymore," Fitzgerald told NewsWest 9.

There are new faces in several of Alpine's city positions: a new city attorney, interim city manager, and soon, a new finance director.

"You can walk into city hall and feel the difference in atmosphere. People are more relaxed, they're happier than the were before," he said.

As far as the mud-slinging, finger pointing and all around dirty politics; Fitzgerald said that's a thing of the past.

"That's done now. We've got a brand new future ahead of us, I'm looking for the positive," he said.

Fitzgerald also said he hopes to tackle water issues facing Alpine, improve infrastructure and have work done on the city's roads.
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