Honoring Service

County honors Hickl, Thompson for years of service


During Monday’s meeting of the Matagorda County Commissioner’s Court, county officials took time to honor Janet Hickl and Suzan Thompson for their dedication of service to the citizens of the county.

Hickl worked for 15 years in the county clerk’s office before being elected as Matagorda County Clerk in 2011. Thompson served as Matagorda County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 for 36 years.

“I want to thank the citizens of Matagorda County for allowing met to serve them for eight years as its county clerk,” Hickl said. “I learned a lot from the deputy clerks that were serving then that are no longer serving now. I will miss the courthouse.”

Thompson also was thankful to the residents of the county as well.

“I appreciate and am extremely blessed by the voters and citizens of Matagorda County,” Thompson said. “I appreciate all the county commissioners that I worked with. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve this county. And all the new judges have my number if they need me.”

Hickl was raised in five different countries and graduated from high school at the American High School in London, England. After graduation from Texas A&I University in Kingsville, she married Paul Hickl on Aug. 27, 1977 and moved to Bay City. She went to work for Sarah Vaughn, county clerk, in January 1979 as a deputy clerk and worked for 15 years in all areas of the office.

On Nov. 15, Hickl was sworn in as county clerk finishing the term of Gail Denn and again sworn into office Jan. 1, 2011 where she served the citizens of Matagorda County for the next eight years as county clerk.

Hickl worked to make real property records available online dating back to 1954 and preserved all the birth, death and marriage records making all these records accessible in case of a disaster.

Hickl introduced the county to a new electronic voting system, which was certified by the secretary of the state with intentions of implementing a countywide polling place program.

Hickl has been very active in the community being a charter member of the Pilot Club of Matagorda County, the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as a member of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.

Thompson started her career in the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 office as a clerk to the previous JP. Thompson was elected November 1982 and sworn into office in January 1983 and served in that office for 36 years.

Thompson was the first judge from Matagorda County to serve on the executive board of the Justice of the Peace and Constable’s Association.  Thompson has received many awards during her tenure including 2007 Matagorda County Woman of the Year; 2008 JPCA Sweetheart of the Year; 2009 TA Vines Award; 2010 Judge of the Year; 2011 Judge of the Year and 2016 Appointment to Chaplain of JPCA.

In 1985 Thompson developed a truancy program in Matagorda County and handled all school-related offenses for every school district in the county for more than 10 years. 

On the personal side, Thompson raised two successful children. Her generosity didn’t end with her children as evident by a time that she learned of a kid that didn’t have any clothes to go to school in. The kid said he would go to school if he had some clothes so she loaded him up with a new wardrobe and the young man never missed another day of school.

“There are so many wonderful things Judge Thompson has done for this county and this state,” McDonald read from the proclamation honoring Thompson. “We find it hard to believe that she will be able to stop, cold turkey, from helping people the way she always has. Judge Thompson can be described with two words….amazing woman.”

McDonald also praised both Hickl and Thompson for years of dedicated service to this community.

“They are very commendable and I am so thankful that we could honor these two ladies in Matagorda County,” McDonald said. “It means a lot to answer the call to serve like these women have done and I know it will be tough for them to slow down.”

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