Commissioner Vincent Morales, Pct. 1: Putting People Over Politics

Fort Bend CEO – Cover Story | By Patti Parish-Kaminski –

Proud grandparents Regina and Vincent with Parker, Madelyn and William Morales.
Photo by Fitzsimmons Photography.

Living, running a successful business, serving his community and raising a family in Fort Bend County for the past 25 years has made Vincent Morales, County Commissioner, Precinct 1, committed to his home and ensuring that it thrives for many years to come. “I have committed myself to the continued growth, prosperity and citizens of Fort Bend County, ensuring future generations will want to call Fort Bend County home,” said Morales. And how does Commissioner Morales plan to continue his commitment? By doing what he has done for over eight years as a public servant:  putting people over politics.

Experienced Leadership

“I have always been active in our community as a local business owner,” said Morales. “Both my wife Regina and I have been engaged in economic development and philanthropic activities for years.”

That community leadership led to Morales to his first stint in public service as Mayor of Rosenberg. Elected in 2011, as mayor Morales accomplished securing long-term, cost-efficient potable water for the city of Rosenberg through his work with the Brazosport Water Authority, and he was part of the team that secured a Texas State Technical College campus in Rosenberg.  His track record includes several major milestones in economic development, including several companies relocating or expanding their headquarters in Rosenberg, the installation of two new business parks and several new retail developments were created with 489 certificates of occupancy issued since 2011.

“Business expansion and relocation means more jobs,” said Morales. “Building a local economy with less unemployment than the rest of our state enhances our community and our quality of life. It’s not just luck that so many people want to live in our community.  As commissioner, I have been able to continue with projects that secure our future with vast economic opportunities and a reliable infrastructure.”

Putting People First

Constituent Quart Graves and Commissioner Vincent Morales.  Photo by Terry Blackburn.

This mantra of putting people first remains Morales’ approach to public service. “Partisan rhetoric and ‘gotcha’ politics do nothing for the residents of Fort Bend County, and they know it,” said Morales. “As commissioner for precinct 1, I remain focused on solutions – on tackling the issues that matter most to our communities.”

Elected in 2016 as Precinct 1 Commissioner, Morales has done just that by listening – and responding to – the issues that matter most to his constituents. “My dad is running for a second term because he cares deeply about our community, and he is 100% committed to putting people over politics and delivering results,” said son Justin Morales.

And the results are in. Mobility remains a top priority for Precinct 1, and during his tenure as commissioner, Morales has assisted with passing a $220 million mobility bond in 2017 with 18 Precinct 1 out of the 63 countywide projects completed in design as of fall 2019 with construction starting on many in 2020.  Morales worked with TxDOT to secure funding for much needed improvements to FM roads and state highways. “Keeping Fort Bend moving forward with mobility improvements is vital to balancing the growth of our area,” said Morales.

Morales has also established County Assistance Districts to assist smaller cities in his precinct that are sometimes overlooked.  County Assistance Districts have been established in smaller municipalities to address mobility and drainage, first responders, parks and museums and economic development.  “County Assistance Districts are a great tool to help smaller incorporated municipalities that don’t have the resources the bigger cities have for drainage and roadway improvements,” said Morales.  To date, seven additional County Assistance Districts have been created in the ETJ of Pleak, Fairchilds, Thompsons, Beasley, Orchard, Needville and Kendleton

To assist the citizens of Needville with a major concern in their community, the Long Point Landfill, Morales created a Citizens Advisory Panel to serve as a liaison with the community.  The Long Point Landfill Concerned Citizens communicate weekly reports from the landfill regarding waste-related concerns, such as odor and power outages. “This model of communication between the landfill and the citizens directly has made a substantial difference in the community,” said Morales, who meets with the panel on a quarterly basis.

Addressing Flood Control

Morales believes one of the most vital issues facing Fort Bend’s future is flood control.  “Since 1950 when records began being kept, the most intense weather events experienced in Fort Bend have been in the last seven years,” shared Morales.  In addition to Hurricane Harvey, two recent significant rain events this summer – May 7th and June 4th, 2019 – dumped several inches of rain in Fort Bend in a relatively short period of time, and the results were substantial flooding throughout the county, especially in precinct one.

“Currently we have invested in an ongoing county-wide watershed study that is examining not just parts of our drainage, but a review of how the system functions as a whole,” said Morales, who believes the Fort Bend drainage system needs to be reviewed as one comprehensive system instead of parts of multiple drainage systems.  The study is projected to be complete in late 2020 or early 2021 and will include the analysis of creeks and tributaries that have not been studied since 1987 or never before. The result of this study, in Morales’ view, will serve as a catalyst for change and improvement to both Fort Bend’s existing drainage system and the Drainage District.

The study will provide vital information to plan for the future, and Morales believes the first step in utilizing this information is to hire a Flood Control Manager. “An experienced Flood Control Manager with an Army Corps background who can manage and facilitate projects that align with the Army Corps of Engineers will be vital for flood control in our future,” said Morales. “Currently, Fort Bend County has not created new drainage projects – we have solely maintained existing drainage projects – but Commissioner’s Court has the autonomy to make this position happen to both oversee and create drainage projects.”

Additionally, Morales believes that Fort Bend should hire a meteorologist to improve our community’s ability to weather storms. “Acquiring our own meteorologist who can advise us and provide data analysis with special regard to our own rain events, in our own watershed, would be a great asset.” During the May 7th rain event, Fort Bend largely relied on data from Harris County. With the Brazos River, not Buffalo Bayou, serving as Fort Bend’s watershed, Morales feels Fort Bend would benefit from a knowledgeable expert focusing on our community and its waterways.

Dr. Mary Kendrick, Dr. Kay Reynolds, Fort Bend County Animal Shelter Director Rene Vasquez, PAWS Board Member Elaine Dietz, Barbara Vass, PAWS Board Member Pat Hebert, Mandi Bronsell and PAWS Board Member Commissioner Vincent Morales raising money for Fort Bend PAWS. Photo by Joey Belleza.

Providing Solutions 

Morales believes that balancing the growth of Fort Bend is key to making certain that we sustain a quality of life within our community, and in order for that to happen, Fort Bend needs experienced leadership – leadership that can respond appropriately to issues and provide solutions.  “The Cumings Road project is an example of an extreme community need that through diligently working with the community, the city of Rosenberg and FEMA, we have been able to make this area better than before,” said Morales.

Cumings Road was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, and immediately after the storm, Morales visited this flooded area.  “We were able to clean up the ditches and improve future drainage by completing projects where the city left off.  We paved Cumings Road and provided emergency access for residents in the floodway.” Additionally street lights were installed by Fort Bend FWSD #1, and Morales worked with Tx DOT to install a signal at Cumings Road and FM 723.

Commissioner Vincent Morales and Dave Vrshek.  Photo by Terry Blackburn.

Defining problems and responding to them accordingly is a task Morales takes seriously for all of his constituents. “Putting people over politics doesn’t always mean humans,” said Morales, who is a founder of Fort Bend PAWS. Fort Bend Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded  by a dedicated group of Fort Bend County citizens.  “Fort Bend PAWS was created with the goal of raising funds and awareness for Fort Bend County Animal Services (FBCAS), the shelter animals housed at FBCAS and the Community Cat Program at FBCAS to achieve our goal.”

As a county entity, FBCAS is required by law to accept any and all animals into their facility. With a growing county, each year more than 3,500 homeless pets were being taken in at FBCAS creating a burden on their budget. Rather than increasing tax payer burden, Morales was part of the solution.

“Through Fort Bend PAWS, we have been able to provide over $40,000 since first quarter 2019 to supplement tax payer monies to provide medical services and supplies for our pets,” said Morales. “Best of all, FBCAS has been able to post save rates of 90% plus bringing the facility in line with the ‘no-kill’ standard.”

Putting Fort Bend First

Whether it’s pets or people, Commissioner Vincent Morales is passionate about serving and putting people ahead of politics.  “Vincent Morales is not a politician,” said Ray Aguilar.  “He doesn’t see a Democrat or a Republican when he talks to you.  He is a man of integrity, compassion and honor.  I know that with all my heart because he is my friend.”

“Being out in our community, supporting our friends and neighbors, and most importantly being accessible, listening and responding to my constituents is the most important aspect of my job. I truly believe in putting people over politics, and I look forward to continuing to serve as Precinct 1 Commissioner.”

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Pol Ad Pd by Morales for FB Commissioner – Precinct 1, Doris Gurecky, Treasurer