Jim Fonteno

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James Walton Fonteno
Born Template:Birth date
Port Arthur, Texas
Died Template:Death date and age
Houston, Texas, Texas, USA
Occupation County Commissioner, Harris County, TX
Spouse(s) Joann Fonteno
Website
ilasting.com/jimfonteno.php

James W. Fonteno (July 2, 1926 – June 30, 2008) was a former County Commissioner in Harris County, Texas and Municipal Court Judge in Baytown, Texas.

Biography

Template:Unreferenced section Fonteno, born July 2, 1926, in Port Arthur, Texas, was one of 7 children of Walton and Lula Mae Fontenot. Raised on the bayous in Port Arthur, he became the most outspoken of his siblings, becoming a judge and county commissioner. Fonteno joined the Merchant Marine and later the Army and received an honorable discharge.

Political life

Fonteno was appointed as Municipal Court Judge in Baytown, Texas, in the latter part of the 1950s before moving to Houston in the early 1960s.[1]

In 1968 Fonteno was appointed a Commissioner for the Houston Ship Channel, one of the largest ports in the U.S.

In 1973, a group of businessmen approached Fonteno and asked him to run for County Commissioner - during an era of severe Harris County government corruption and financial mismanagement. Fonteno became a County Commissioner in 1974 with the intent of serving for two or possibly three terms - he stayed for 7 terms, serving a total of 28 years. He was credited for cleaning up Harris County politics during the mid-1970s and 1980s and became known as "The Dean"[2] and "The Peacemaker".[3][4]
Fonteno left office in 2002 after 28 years in office, due to Parkinson's disease.

Fonteno is credited with starting a Senior Citizen program that was later copied in counties throughout the USA[2][5][6]

Harris County threw a retirement party for Fonteno in 2002 - 4,000 people showed up to the party held on the floor of the Astrodome[7][8]

Honors

In 2002, members of the United States Congress named the Main U.S. Post Office in Pasadena, Texas, “The Jim Fonteno Post Office Building.” (HouseResolution 4717, 107th Congress). [9] [10] [11]

Gene Green, a member of the House of Representatives from Texas, delivered an "extension of remarks" honoring Fonteno's career on March 28, 2001 which appeared in the Congressional Record. [12] [13] [14]

Also in 2002, Harris County Commissioners named the new County Courthouse, the "Jim Fonteno Courthouse".[15]

In 2005, Harris County Commissioners named a 100+ acre park the Jim & Joann Fonteno Family Park [16]

Notes

  1. "The Baytown Sun". The Baytown Sun. 2008-07-05. http://baytownsun.com/story.lasso?ewcd=a60e47658ff100fd. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Ex-Harris Co. Commissioner Fonteno dies | TOP STORIES | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas". KHOU.com. 2008-07-01. http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080630_tj_fonteno.e7bacf3.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03.  Template:Dead link
  3. "News, search and shopping from the Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2002-12-26. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2002_3612730. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  4. "Former Harris County Commissioner Jim Fonteno has passed away - 7/01/08 - Houston News - abc13.com". Abclocal.go.com. 2008-07-01. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=6237421. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  5. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r107:FLD001:H53621
  6. http://ftp.resource.org/gpo.gov/record/2002/2002_H03621.pdfTemplate:Dead link
  7. "Houston salutes retiring Precinct 2 commissioner > Import Archives > Houston Community Newspapers Online - News Around Town". Hcnonline.com. 2002-11-20. http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2002/11/20/import/20021120-archive121.txt. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  8. "Seniors gather to honor, say goodbye to retiring Commissioner Jim Fonteno > Import Archives > Houston Community Newspapers Online - News Around Town". Hcnonline.com. 2002-11-24. http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2002/11/24/import/20021124-archive13.txt. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  9. Bentsen, Ken (2002-10-30). "H.R.4717 - 107th Congress (2001-2002): To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1199 Pasadena Boulevard in Pasadena, Texas, as the "Jim Fonteno Post Office Building".". https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/house-bill/4717. 
  10. "Vote 235, H R 4717". June 18, 2002. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/107/house/2/votes/235/. 
  11. "Public Law 107-268, 107th Congress". https://www.congress.gov/107/plaws/publ268/PLAW-107publ268.htm. 
  12. Green, Gene (March 28, 2001). "Celebrating the Career of Harris County Commissioner Jim Fonteno (Extensions of Remarks - March 28, 2001)". Congressional Record. p. E472-E473. https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2001/3/28/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/E472-4. 
  13. "page E472, PDF version". https://www.congress.gov/crec/2001/03/28/CREC-2001-03-28-pt1-PgE472.pdf. 
  14. "page E472, PDF version". https://www.congress.gov/crec/2001/03/28/CREC-2001-03-28-pt1-PgE473.pdf. 
  15. "Courthouse annex renamed after Fonteno > Import Archives > Houston Community Newspapers Online - News Around Town". Hcnonline.com. 2002-02-12. http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2002/10/23/import/20021023-archive248.txt. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  16. "County dedicates Fonteno Park > Import Archives > Houston Community Newspapers Online - News Around Town". Hcnonline.com. http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2006/06/07/import/20060607-archive329.txt. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

External links