He'll Be the Judge of That: Steve Floyd - 34 Years Serving on a Bench in Tom Green County


SAN ANGELO – Steve Floyd is retiring Dec. 31 as Tom Green County Judge after 9 years.  He sat down with LIVE!'s Yantis Green to reflect on a 34 year career as a Judge in Tom Green County.  

The wide ranging conversation was a pleasure and I will miss my friend serving the County. 

A reception will be held in honor of Judge Floyd in the Commissioner's Court meeting room on the second floor of the Keyes building downtown Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The reception is come and go and is open to everyone.  

"It's been an absolute honor to serve in this position I still can't believe people entrusted me with it. I hope I did them their service.  This County owes me nothing. I owe everything to this County.  It's been my family; it's given me purpose; it has made my life richer."  Floyd said at the end of the interview.

"It has worked out.  I wanted to complete a term and let the citizens, you said 'get it right', pick who they wanted for the first time in nearly 30 years and a chance to put a new judge off the street from whoever poked their head up in here to go forward and its worked out and the Court has been good about trying to set it up with the idea that somebody was probably gonna come off the street in here and give them a good chance to go forward and to seamlessly keep providing services." 

During the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis, Judge Floyd even mowed the Courthouse lawn. 

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd Mows the Courthouse Lawn

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd Mows the Courthouse Lawn

Judge Floyd was initially recruited by area citizens to run for Justice of the  Peace in the 1980s.  San Angelo Municipal Judge Allen Gilbert had Floyd on an advisory committee for Juvenile Alcohol violations at the time.  

"Political Party had never crossed my mind but you had to pick one.  And I remembered (Former State Representative and Federal District Judge) Rob Junell saying that period between the Primary and the General Election is the longest 'three years' of your life.  And so I'm going to have to defeat an incumbent to get there.  I'd just as soon find out in March, that's when they had the primaries then, whether this was going to be successful or not and he was a Democrat at the time and so I ran as a Democrat and we were successful in that campaign. We had a general election opponent and we were successful so January 1, 1991, when I was 34-years-old, which is ironically the same age as Lane Carter is coming into here."  

"I started to get comfortable dealing with real problems for real people. You're pretty much there at the sensitive part of their lives whether they're having trouble with their kids for some reason or there's a death in the family.  Just a host of things you get into." Floyd said. "I felt like I was comfortable with the job." 

"But I had been warned by a DPS Sergeant here by the name of Ed Dickson, who has been retired now for years who came to see me the first day I was in office. I asked him what's it take to make a good J.P., and he said its simple; you just have to fight that cynicism because this business will have a tendency to make you cynical.  He said we generally have, after seven or eight years on the road, troopers generally transfer to another locale or move up or change departments."  Dickson told Floyd he'd be doing the same thing.  

"Because you're going to deal with some bad stuff.  I remembered him saying that until seven or eight years later when I started feeling myself feeling that.

"After about ten years I was really fighting hard to hide that.  Then my clerks and my mother began noticing that I was getting a little dark and dreary and I had an opportunity to work on a private subdivision.  And so was another opportunity to go do something.  So I thought, at the time I'm at that age, my mid 40s and we're 13 years in, and I thought that if I don't do something now, I'm afraid I'm going to find myself stuck in that 'well if I can only last another eight or ten years then I can retire," Judge Floyd said.

Floyd said he just couldn't see himself doing that so, he submitted his resignation to then County Judge Mike Brown.  

"He immediately said he wanted me to run for Commissioner.  And I said no way.  That is not going to happen.  Well, 18 months later I ended up filing and became Commissioner January 1 of '05."

"That was a big change in my life.  I went from the guy who held the gavel.  I was responsible for the decision but I got to make it.  It wasn't a team effort.  All the sudden I had to play well with others.  The first couple of years that was kind of a challenge.  There was some head butting that went on.  Then you came along and things started getting better." Floyd said.

"I really thought that I would do just one term as that Commissioner.  I really did because our budgeting process at the time was horrible.  At the end of the summer I was so dejected and wore out and frustrated about just the process and how it worked and the people and the attitudes and things."

"But, like I said, some of the people started changing and some good folks came along and everybody started pulling in the same direction and I hung around." 

"I was planning on finishing out that third term. I was only about a year into that third term and that was going to be that."  Floyd said.  "Judge Brown had always tried to push me into, and recruit me into, running for County Judge." 

"I had absolutely no interest.  I didn't want to be that responsible.  And I didn't want to work that hard.  And I knew it didn't come naturally for me.  I'm not that smart and that I was going to have to work on it, and I just wasn't interested."  Floyd said.  "Well, obviously, he had the last laugh."  "From there, I was very reluctant. But with the other Commissioners talking to me at that point it looked like there was nobody else to step in there at that point. I even went to my spiritual guide and my pastor.  And he said 'it looks like the Good Lord has a boulevard paved for you.'  And I said yes. Then he said, 'What's the problem?'  I said well, where's my joy? He laughed and said 'The Lord just puts you in places that keep you dependent on him.'" 

"Here we are nine years later. It has been an absolute honor to do it.  It has changed me.  You think by the time you get to that age, you know, you're real set in your ways."  Floyd said he asked himself, 'Where's the County's place?' and decided that, 'You have to have the support of your Commissioners, you operate as a body, you live and die as a body." 

"I was sworn in Dec. 31, 2013.  About March of April of that Year, Colonel Kimberly Jost was the Goodfellow Air Force Base Commander at that time. There was not a lot of interaction between the County and Goodfellow.  We found out that they did quite a bit of international training; Saudis, Kuwaitis, the Royal Thai Air Force, and there were citizens here that would host those people's families for six or eight weeks while the were here training," he said.

Floyd said, "[San Angelo ISD Superintendent] Carol Ann Bonds and I, the Mayor, [and] some of the other community leaders met with Jost and she laid out this 'P4' initiative. "Public, Public, Public, Private" and that's been the mechanism that's brought the community together to support Goodfellow which resulted in three Altus [Trophy] awards that we've won in the last four years.  That resulted in the fourth and fifth DEEAG grants we received from the Governor's Office."  

"We've been very successful in those grant programs and received two grants this year," he added.

Other accomplishments under Judge Floyd's leadership include guiding the County through the Covid-19 pandemic and winter storm Uri.  

Floyd also led the effort to build the new Tom Green County Jail and ongoing renovations to the Tom Green County Courthouse.  

Judge Steven Floyd Joins LIVE!

Judge Steven Floyd Joins LIVE!

Judge Floyd will end his tenure as Tom Green County Judge on Dec. 31, 2022.  

Former San Angelo City Councilman Lane Carter won a Primary Election Runoff and the General Election for Tom Green County Judge in 2022.  

Carter will be sworn in on January 1, 2023.  

The video below is of Judge Floyd introducing Texas Governor Greg Abbott at a campaign event in Fuentes Cafe in Oct. 2022.  

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd at His Desk 12.22 (LIVE! Photo/Yantis Green)

Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd at His Desk 12.22 (LIVE! Photo/Yantis Green)

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