Former Harris Co. commissioner dies

July 1, 2008 7:28:41 AM PDT
Former Harris County Commissioner Jim Fonteno died in a local hospice today after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. Fonteno, a Democrat who served as Precinct 2 Commissioner for 28 years, was seen as a peacemaker and a strong leader whose work ethic and convictions impressed others on the court.

Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack said Fonteno "always took the high road."

Fonteno was energized by public service and especially passionate about the elderly. He pioneered the model for senior activity programs now used across Harris county. He even launched a senior softball league and often popped in to play dominoes with older citizens.

Fonteno was also a former Port of Houston Commissioner, and he is being celebrated as a man of the people, an accessible politician who personally signed all correspondence and published his home number in the phone book.

Fonteno left office in 2002 after being diagnosed with the disease.

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