Commissioner George P. Bush visits all GLO offices statewide in first year
Places priority on in-depth knowledge of all GLO functional areas and field offices statewide
AUSTIN — As Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO), George P. Bush is responsible for a multitude of functional areas of state government services including coastal protection, managing Permanent School Fund assets, managing the Alamo, providing veterans services and leasing state owned mineral rights. Before taking office, Commissioner Bush set as one of his chief priorities visiting all GLO field offices within the first year of his tenure. With his visit Friday to the GLO Oil Spill Prevention and Response office in Port Lavaca, Commissioner George P. Bush has visited and inspected every GLO state veterans home, state veterans cemetery and field office.
“When I took office I made a commitment to visit every operational aspect of the General Land Office within my first year of service,” said Commissioner Bush. “The men and women of the GLO serve the people of Texas in a variety of capacities every day. Whether it’s maintaining State Veterans Cemeteries, caring for our servicemen and women at our State Veterans Homes, or making sure we’re prepared for oil spills, they all deserve our recognition. I wanted to visit every office not just to oversee operational functions at the GLO, but also to let GLO employees know they have my support and gratitude for their commitment to the great state of Texas.”
Visiting all GLO facilities required traveling to nearly all corners of the Lone Star State. Several operational functions share office space when in the same area, but some functions require traveling far and wide. Operational functions include the Alamo, Texas State Veterans Cemeteries and Homes, coastal Oil Spill Prevention and Response facilities and asset inspection field offices. In each location, GLO team members are focused on their area of specialization and are dedicated to serving the state.
Overview of visits
One of Commissioner Bush's highest priorities is the historic and comprehensive effort he is leading to improve the Alamo experience to make it more engaging and educational. As evidenced by his 12 visits to San Antonio in his first year in office, Commissioner Bush continues to meet with city leaders, Texas Legislators, Alamo Endowment Board members and additional key stakeholders to build momentum and facilitate the Alamo Master Plan.
"The members of the Alamo Endowment and the General Land Office are already working together with our partners in the city of San Antonio and all Texans far and wide to transform the Alamo into historic site worthy of its grand history," Commissioner Bush has stated. "In one year, we have upgraded the state’s management of the Alamo complex, re-established the Alamo Endowment Board with Texas titans, begun work with San Antonio on the master plan, and now with the Texas Legislature’s support the state purchased irreplaceable properties adjacent to the plaza. It is an exciting time for all San Antonians, Texans, and all who honor the Alamo.”
Over the course of his first year in office, Commissioner Bush visited all eight of the Texas State Veterans Homes operated by the Veterans Land Board division of the GLO. The VLB Texas State Veterans Homes provide affordable, long-term nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. Conveniently located across Texas, each first-class facility is designed to enhance quality of life with a clean, caring and dignified setting appropriate to those men and women who have served our country with honor. During his travels Commissioner Bush met with veterans and their caregivers at:
- Ussery Roan State Veterans Home in Amarillo
- Lamon-Lusk Sanchez State Veterans Home in Big Spring
- Clyde W. Cosper State Veterans Home in Bonham
- Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso
- Frank M. Tejada Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville
- Alfredo Gonzalez State Veterans Home in McAllen
- William R. Courtney TX State Veterans Home in Temple
- Watkins-Logan State Veterans Home in Tyler
As the only non-judicial statewide elected official to have served in the military, Commissioner Bush was especially grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to the veterans laid in rest at the four Texas State Veterans Cemeteries strategically located statewide, which complement the six National Veterans Cemeteries. Commissioner Bush visited the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery in Corpus Christi twice in his first year. He was also honored to pay tribute to the fallen at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission and the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. On Veterans Day Commissioner Bush planted flags with fellow volunteers at the State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene.
In addition to providing services for veterans, two of the primary responsibilities of the Texas General Land Office are coastal protection and managing the state's real estate assets portfolio. The GLO manages state lands and mineral rights totaling 13 million acres. This includes vast properties in West Texas, Gulf Coast beaches and bays and all “submerged” lands 10.35 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a variety of state agency acreage and timberlands in East Texas. A primary responsibility of the GLO is to lease these lands for the benefit of the Permanent School Fund, an endowment fund established in 1876 for the benefit of Texas public school education.
With 367 miles of Gulf beaches and more than 3,300 miles of bays and estuaries, Texas has one of the longest coastlines in the country. With more than 1.2 million barrels of oil passing through ports, bays and beaches along the Texas Gulf daily, the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response team is on call 24/7, ensuring oil stays out of Texas coastal waters.
Throughout the year Commissioner Bush visited each of the six field offices housing a mix of the Energy, Asset Inspection, Professional Services and Oil Spill Prevention and Response operations for the GLO. These offices are located Alpine, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, La Porte, Nederland and Port Lavaca. During his visits Commissioner Bush met with staff and toured operational areas overseen by each group.
While visiting the Region 2 Oil Spill Prevention and Response and Asset Inspection Field Office in La Porte Commissioner Bush took a boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel. During his visit to the Region 3 Oil Spill Prevention and Response and Asset Inspection Field Offices he took a helicopter tour of the operation area the office oversees. He also toured the Southbay Coastal Preserve by boat after visiting GLO team members at the Region 4 Oil Spill Prevention and Response Field Office. Commissioner Bush, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, capped off his tour of GLO operational offices with one last boat ride for the year with the Region 5 Oil Spill team in Port Lavaca completing his goal of visiting each of the main GLO field operations facilities across the state in his first year.
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