November 17, 2021 241 PM
MARFA — At the stroke of midnight on December 6, Presidio County’s Precinct 1 will have a new justice of the peace. In October, current Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace David Beebe announced that he would be stepping down from his position a year early, after serving his post for seven years.
In Texas, the justice of the peace handles traffic fines and misdemeanors, small civil suits, landlord-tenant disputes, magistrate duties and more. Presidio County has two justices of the peace split into precincts that roughly divide the county at Elephant Rock along Highway 67.
At last Wednesday’s commissioners meeting, the court entertained an agenda item to appoint Beebe’s temporary replacement, serving from December 6, 2021 until the end of the term on December 31, 2022. The county put out a call for applicants in the newspaper and broke into executive session to make their final decision. After a long deliberation, they appointed Dina Jo Losoya-Marquez as the interim justice of the peace.
Losoya-Marquez has lived in Presidio County for 26 years — 6 years in Presidio “as a youngster,” and 20 years in Marfa, where she currently works for Marfa ISD. “Presidio County has always been my home,” she said in an interview with The Big Bend Sentinel. She has an educational background in criminal justice and hopes to use what she’s learned over the years to serve her community.
For her first 16 years in Marfa, she worked as a juvenile probation officer. Four years ago she took a position in the school system. She started out in the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program & In-School Suspension, or DAEP/ISS, and more recently has taken on a role in special ed teaching contact mastery. Throughout her time working with young people, she’s been a champion of the Red Ribbon program, which teaches drug awareness and prevention.
Losoya-Marquez is looking forward to spending more time face-to-face with her constituents as COVID restrictions in the county ease up, and invites the public to visit with her in her new office at the county courthouse. “Those doors are going to be open, with open arms,” she said. “My job is to provide information to the public — I’m working for y’all.”
She’s planning to run for the office, in hopes that her term as justice of the peace will extend beyond the temporary year-long appointment. “I like to strive, I like to make positive impacts,” she said. “Have faith in me — I will do the job, and I will do it honestly. Give me the opportunity to prove it, and I will prove it.”