Paul Foley, a current member of the Rains Independent School District (ISD) school board, recently described the duties of the Rains County Justice of the Peace office, which he is running for in the primary elections.
“The job of the JP – he works mostly with law enforcement people. He … sets all the bonds, takes care of all the warrants, this, that and the other, and takes care of evictions of houses and apartments when needed. Since we don’t have a coroner in the county, you have to go out and pronounce people … dead … It’s an administrative job more than anything.”
Foley also explained, “When I was getting my petition signed to get on the ballot, I had some people who wouldn’t sign it because they thought you had to have law enforcement background. That’s not true. You get the training you need. Your first year in office, you have to go and you have to do 80 hours of training that the state puts on.”
Foley said though, that he already has a familiarity with the court, “I’m used to working in the JP courts because being in commercial real estate as long as I was in, well, I had to evict people. The ownership that we worked for and the company I worked for, I represented them through our attorneys. I had to make sure that things got done and got done right and the leases were enforced. So, I’ve got all that training. To me, it’s just another administrative job. You’ve got to make sure that you do it and do it right and treat people fairly.”
Foley said that he’s worked on cultivating relationships with different people in the county in a myriad of ways, including attending as many Rains ISD activities and events as possible. In speaking about the school, Foley spoke of an issue he would like to address as JP. “One of the issues that the school has is that they’re not enforcing the truancy regulations as much as they should and I want to put that back on a hot burner.”
When asked why he considered running for the JP seat, Foley explained, “Some people had talked to me about things. I was at church one Sunday – I’m in charge of buildings and grounds at the church – and so this little old widow woman came over to me after church and she said, ‘Paul, do you know what you need to do?’ I said, ‘No, ma’am.’ I kind of just thought that she was going to tell me that the air conditioner needs to be adjusted or a light bulb was out or whatever. And she said, ‘You need to be Justice of the Peace.’ And I said, ‘Who’ve you been talking to?’ She said, ‘Well, no one, but you’re a good man and you would be a good justice of the peace.”
Foley stated that he researched more about the position from current JP Don Smith and consulted with other elected officials before deciding to run. “I think I would do a good job … I think I’m a good leader.” Foley is running against Woody Fisher in the primary race for JP.