Skip to main content
Pigeons flock to Jesús Rodriguez as he feeds his chickens “scratch,” bird feed, while organizing the junkyard behind his home Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in West Odessa. “I come here for therapy,” Rodriguez said about tending to his animals during stressful moments. He raises a variety of animals not otherwise allowed within city limits including his fowl, goats and a donkey.

A Texas politician wants to provide emergency services to constituents who don’t have them. Will they let him?

In unincorporated West Odessa, residents relish their freedom. And they also go without basic services. Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett, a young Republican with Ronald Reagan good looks and politics, wants to change that.


Jesús Sierra’s grandchildren Xavier, 2, left, and Malyna, 5, right, play in the yard of their family’s yard Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in West Odessa. A small PVC pipe seen nearby  provides water to their parent’s home.
An oil rig storage yard is seen beyond the Knox Village neighborhood Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in West Odessa.
Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett poses for a portrait Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 in Odessa.
Members of the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission meet Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 in Midland.
Dagoberto Fierro loads groceries into the bed of his truck with help from Karime Quintana after a trip to one of West Odessa’s only grocery stores, Lowe’s, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in West Odessa.
Ruben Pando, left, and his son Armando Pando, second from right, sit down for a meal at El Taco Loco Brirrieria as the sun begins to set Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in West Odessa.
Motorists drive down a caliche road in Knox Village, a mixed neighborhood of permanent homes, residential trailers and recreational vehicles Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in West Odessa.
A guard dog is seen chained to a slack line outside of Jesús Sierra’s home Monday, Nov. 6, 2023 in West Odessa. The family has lived in West Odessa for 13 years after spending time in various parts across Texas and New Mexico.
Alexa Miranda, 4, hugs her mother, Maria, as she cleans dishes in their travel trailer Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in West Odessa. Maria, a native of Chicago, moved her family to West Odessa after her husband got a job as a driver in the oilfields.
Siblings Samantha, 9, and Alexa Miranda, 4, stand in the doorway of their family’s travel trailer Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 in West Odessa. The siblings live in the trailer with the four other members of their family, sharing a communal water supply with the other taps in the RV park.

Informed voters, strong democracy with your help

Yes, I'll donate today

Explore related story topics

Economy Politics