New county commissioner is alum
Rice alumnus Jack "Cactus" Cagle became a Harris County Commissioner for Precinct Four on Monday.
Cagle (Wiess '83) has worked as a civil court judge for the past 11 years and is taking over as Commissioner from Jerry Eversole, who pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators and resigned on Saturday.
A triple major in history, economics and business, Cagle said getting a Rice education has really helped him in his career.
"It prepares you for leadership in the future. If you look at Harris County, which has five people in the Commissioner's office, two of those people are from Rice," Cagle said.
Cagle explained his job as a county commissioner the way he said he described it to his 10 year old daughter – someone who fixes pot holes and ensures transportation routes are usable, makes sure parks are clean and developed and plans for the future, with responsibilities ranging from making sure there is enough water during the drought to developing flood control.
One thing Cagle is working on is combining nature with facilities, so that water naturally found in one place can irrigate a field or park, for instance.
"Public service involves taking care of constituents and making sure their needs are provided for," Cagle said.
Cindy Dinh (McMurtry '11), who works for the Harris County Clerk's office, said she is glad to see a Rice alumni in office and is looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish.
"It's nice to know that there is a lot of pride in saying ‘I went to Rice,' and for me, it is nice to say there is another alum working in the same agency as I am, but I am ready to see his results," Dinh said.
Not only does Cagle feel that his Rice education has helped him be a leader, but he said it also influenced him emotionally as well. His fondest on-campus memory is sitting outside and reading.
"The first sweeps of cold weather and sitting by Willy's statue and reading tomes about history is what I remember most," he said.
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