JEFFERSON — The Marion County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the appointment of Jefferson Mayor Rob Baker to serve as a representative for the county to the East Texas Council of Governments.

Baker is replacing former Ward 3 city commissioner Victor Perot, who was unseated in the May 1 city election by an 82-78 vote against challenger Richard Turner.

“Our longtime representative Mr. Victor Perot was unsuccessful in the election, therefore that disqualifies him from being on East Texas Council of Governments,” County Judge Leward LaFleur explained to commissioners.

The county judge said the court is tasked with appointing a representative from the county that’s involved in city government, serving as either a city councilmember or mayor.

“I spoke with the mayor last week. I think he’d be a great fit there, serving on the executive committee,” LaFleur said.

“I think that Rob will bring a lot to the table, especially for the city of Jefferson and county of Marion,” he added.

Baker was elected Jefferson mayor during the November 2020 election. He replaced Perot, at that time, who stepped in as interim mayor after former mayor Charles “Bubba” Haggard resigned.

The East Texas Council of Governments is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the 14-county East Texas region. According to its website, www.etcog.org, the organization assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.

“Either directly, or through our contractors, ETCOG provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers and job seekers,” the website states. “We also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training, and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, grant writing services and environmental grant funding for the region.”