Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff presided over his final commissioners court meeting Tuesday, finishing out the most public part of a role he’s held for more than two decades.

“The county’s in great shape,” said Wolff, whose fifth term concludes at the end of the year. He will be replaced by fellow Democrat Peter Sakai on Jan. 1.

“There always comes a time in everybody’s life when you know you need to move on,” Wolff said at the end of the meeting. “That time has come for me, and I will probably miss it, but I’ll be seeing you guys.”

Wolff told commissioners he plans to maintain an office at personal injury lawyer Pat Maloney’s law firm on East Commerce Street, near the county courthouse.

He was joined in his final meeting by his wife, Tracy Wolff, and granddaughter Sydney Wolff. Tracy Wolff recalled her husband’s work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as some of the toughest times in his decades-long political career.

Heading into the final meeting of commissioners court, she said, “We were a little sad about it this morning, but I need to let you know that … our wedding anniversary is Jan. 1 … and I’m expecting an incredible trip for our anniversary.”

“I’m thinking Paris or something fabulous,” she said. “Because for the last 34 years we’ve been married he’s either been mayor of this city or county judge, so I think it’s time for a break.”

Henry Cisneros, another former San Antonio mayor and close ally of Wolff’s, also attended the final meeting and praised Wolff as “one of the most visionary, skilled, intelligent, thoughtful leaders our region has ever seen.”

“And I’m just proud to be here on the last day of his tenure, but it won’t be the last day of his service to our community because Nelson has … too much drive to stop,” said Cisneros, who attended the meeting to push for funding to create a new arboretum on San Antonio’s South Side.

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Andrea Drusch

Andrea Drusch writes about local government for the San Antonio Report. She's covered politics in Washington, D.C., and Texas for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, National Journal and Politico.