A County Judge in a small county such as Mason has the responsibility of wearing many "hats" and performing various duties assigned to the Judge by the State of Texas. One of these responsibilities is that the County Judge must appoint a person to replace a member of the Commissioners Court is that person resigned or is deceased.I have had to experience this task just a short time ago when Commissioner John Fleming passed away. As was my duty, I reviewed prospective candidates and made the selection of Will Frey to serve as Commissioner of Precinct 2. Commissioner Frey has more than proven to me and his constituents that I made a wise choice.Now, it is again my sad duty to select an individual to take the position of Commissioner of Precinct 4. Due to the untimely death of my great friend and public servant, Commissioner Eldon Kothmann, I must appoint someone to serve in that position. According to the laws of the State of Texas, since the vacancy occurred before the filing deadline for the 2012 primary, the office must be placed on the ballot for the March primary for the unexpired portion of the term. My appointee will serve until the votes are canvassed after the general election in November. If an individual is interested in filing for the position, he or she must contact the respective party chairperson and have their name placed on the March primary ballot for that office.Since the vacancy occurred, I have reviewed lists of eligible voters and residents of Precinct 4. I have consulted with various prospective candidates, talked with residents and community leaders, and visited with the remaining Commissioners on the Court to assist me in making this decision. To enable the Commissioners Court to proceed with the work that needs to be done, I made the decision to appoint Stephen Mutschink to the position of Commissioner, Precinct 4. Stephen has agreed to accept this appointment and has indicated he will file to place his name on the ballot for the March primary. During the December 12, 2011, Commissioners Court meeting, I will perform the ceremony of swearing into service Mr. Mutschink and he will immediately assume his duties as a member of the Mason County Commissioners Court.