"I have given it a lot of thought over the last six months, and have decided not to run again," Jim Bicker told The News, after a Jan. 11 special meeting of Quorum Court. "I'll be 64 when my term ends (in December of 2012), and I think I've served long enough."
Bicker, a Democrat, represents District Three, which covers Bexar, Byron, Glencoe, Morriston and Wheeling.
Bicker was appointed by the Governor to fill a vacant Quorum Court seat in 1993. He then served on the Fulton County Hospital Board, before being elected to the first of six Quorum Court terms in 2001.
|"I appreciate all of the support of the people and I've enjoyed serving," Bicker said. "The people of Fulton County have always been good to me."|
Bicker discovered Fulton County in 1969, when he married Sue Sanders, who grew up in the Bexar area. They moved to the county in 1978, and raised their family in Bexar, where they still live.
Bicker is well known as a History teacher at Salem High School, as well as a Justice of the Peace. He retired from teaching in 2008.
|Looking back on years of passing ordinances and annual budgets, Bicker said Fulton County has seen a lot of changes over the years, most of them for the good.|
"One of the things we have always had going for us is quality people - good, dedicated employees," Bicker said.
During his years as a JP, Bicker recalls efforts to upgrade county equipment. The county entered the computer age on his watch, created a 9-1-1 system and helped the Sheriff's Department react to new law enforcement challenges.
"The Sheriff's Department has grown over the years," said Bicker, "and we have gotten better equipment for the Road Department. Our roads are definitely in better shape than they were years ago."
"The last few years, we have been in a bind because of the economy," Bicker added.
He expressed regret that the Fulton County Hospital is still struggling, but noted that it is not alone. Small, rural hospitals all over the country are facing similar financial pressures.
Does Bicker have someone in mind he would like to see run in his place?
"I encourage everybody to run for office," Bicker responded. "I taught history and government my whole life, and think it's sad more people don't get involved in seeking office, or at least keep up with what's going on in their city or county."
All Fulton County offices will be up for election in 2012.
Deputy Collector Michaelle Watkins became the first local candidate to officially announce her candidacy. She is running as a Democrat for the office of Fulton County Tax Collector.
|The Fulton County Republican Party is currently actively recruiting candidates for office.|
The period to officially file as a candidate for office begins at noon on Feb. 23 and ends at noon on March 1.