Alpine native Betse Esparza has announced that she will seek the Republican nomination for Brewster County Commissioner in Precinct 1 in the March 2016 Primary Election.
Esparza is a graduate of Alpine High School and Angelo State University. She returned to Alpine in 2001 when she was hired as the editor of the Alpine Avalanche. During her work at the newspaper, she regularly covered the meetings of the Brewster County Commissioners Court, Alpine City Council, and Alpine school board.
In 2007, Esparza accepted the bookkeeping position in the Brewster County Treasurer’s Office. Her duties included taking the minutes during commissioners court meetings, and she often served in the absence of the district and county clerks, becoming familiar with court functions. She was later appointed the public information officer and assistant emergency management coordinator, in addition to her duties with the treasurer’s office, and served in those capacities during the 2011 wildfires.
In 2013, Esparza was appointed emergency management coordinator by the commissioners court. She worked with local and regional law enforcement agencies, and administered Homeland Security grant funding. Esparza attended regular meetings of the Rio Grande Council of Governments, and worked with the county judge’s office to create strategic partnerships with area agencies. Esparza also implemented quarterly preparedness drills for first responders.
“During my time at the newspaper, I took an avid interest in local governmental affairs. As a reporter, you need to understand how things work in order to be accurate,” she said. “That interest continued during my work at the courthouse. I have attended a countless number of meetings in the last fourteen years, which means that I not only understand the county’s budget, I have an institutional knowledge of its history.”
As a business owner with knowledge of public finance and county policies and practices, Esparza believes she brings the experience that the commissioners court needs.
“Commissioners courts in the recent past had a habit of thoughtful consideration and creative problem-solving. I fear the current court may be moving away from that in the midst of what has become a serious situation in the treasurer’s office,” she said. “I want to help put things back in order.”
In 2014, Esparza took a job with Big Bend Telephone Company as the Director of Business Development, and this past summer she joined husband Joe at their business, Printco, which is expanding after five years with the completion of their new building on South 5th Street.
“I have wanted to serve for quite some time. Now is right for me and my family,” said Esparza.” This is my favorite place in the world and I want to help steer Brewster County toward stability and solvency.”
Esparza and her husband have two sons—Jake, 9, a fourth grader at Alpine Elementary School, and Ethan, 3, who attends the Bridge-K program at Alpine Christian School.
Esparza is the treasurer of the Frontier CASA Board of Directors, and has served on the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Steering Committee and the Alpine’s Gallery Night Board of Directors. She is a graduate of the Leadership Big Bend Class of 2002.