1. What are the duties of county commissioner?
The guide to, “Texas Laws for County Officials” lists approximately 1,000 duties of a county commissioner, yet I believe they failed to mention the most important responsibility of any elected official. I believe, my first duty as your county commissioner, will be to maintain an open-door policy, and to be readily accessible to the citizens of Erath County. A county commissioner must maintain a high standard of communication, integrity, and trust, to preserve the confidence of their constituents.
As Precinct 2 Commissioner, I will have the responsibility of maintaining and working within a balanced budget. It will be my responsibility to oversee a precinct crew, maintain county equipment, make necessary improvements to the roads and bridges in Precinct 2, within that allotted budget. It will also be my responsibility to have personal, firsthand knowledge of the road conditions within my precinct, assess where improvements need to be made, and accomplish these improvements, in a timely and efficient manner.
In addition, I will have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Erath County to be far sighted with tax dollars. I will be willing to search all available resources to provide and maintain our quality of life, without increasing tax rates.
2. What are the most pressing challenges currently facing Erath County?
The most pressing challenge for Erath County, is simply growth. Data from November 2017 states the current population of Erath County is 41,659 residents. The most current data shows that in one year, the population of Erath County increased by approximately 748 people. That’s a 1.9% increase in growth, in one year. Also, we are blessed to have as part of our local community, one of the fastest growing institutions of higher education, in Texas. It brings with it roughly 13,000 students to live in Erath County and who are an integral part of our community, each year. As people continue to discover the attributes of Erath County, and relocate here, Erath County commissioners must prepare to work for sustained, managed growth of the county, while maintaining and growing the infrastructures that affect the citizens of this county. We are presently at a crossroads, where the Erath County population growth has the potential to pose significant challenges for Erath County Commissioners. Wise and prudent decisions must be made, by your elected officials, to maintain what we already know, that Erath County is an extraordinary place to live, and every decision and effort must be made to keep it that way.
3. You are faced with a need to cut expenses. What adjustments do you feel could make the greatest difference (cost savings) for the county?
First and foremost, it is imperative to carry out my duties as commissioner within the allotted county budget. As a former business owner, I worked within the confines of an annual budget. At times, I had to make difficult, company decisions to remain within my budget. As your county commissioner, if I am faced with making cost saving decisions, I will first look inward. I will determine what budget cuts can be made within my precinct, without sacrificing service to the community and without sacrificing, staffing cuts. I will focus on the proposed capital investments within the county and precinct, that I represent. An example of this, would be to repair existing, county owned equipment, rather than making a capital investment by purchasing new equipment. Next, I will research and apply for existing, grant opportunities that will aid in funding the projects and initiatives of Precinct 2 and Erath County. Furthermore, I will encourage each of the 53 departments, working under the supervision of the commissioner’s court, the opportunity and responsibility of modifying their budget, to maintain the highest level of service, while creating the largest savings possible.
4. How do you feel about the current condition of roads and bridges within your precinct?
As a candidate for Erath County Commissioner, Precinct 2, I hear from the people that live in the precinct, that they have issues with their roads. I agree, there are concerns and issues that need attention. Precinct 2 has 213.92 miles of roads, within its’ jurisdiction. There will always be repairs, and upgrades needed on the roads and bridges, due to natural deterioration and deterioration from everyday use. The real issue, is the manner and timeliness that the repairs are being addressed. If elected as your county commissioner, I pledge to be accessible and accountable to the citizens of Erath County, Precinct 2. Another goal, is to continue to upgrade the roads within Precinct 2 and complete the projects, that are currently in transition. I will strive to maintain the roads in a timely and cost-effective manner, to the highest possible standards.
5. What makes you the best candidate?
Imagine pieces of a puzzle, realizing that when each piece is connected to the other, it forms a perfect, complete whole. My life experiences are the pieces of this puzzle. Over a lifetime, these pieces have been molded, to make me the best candidate for Precinct 2, Commissioner. The first piece of the puzzle; I am a Texas A&M University graduate, Animal Science Degree. The second piece; I was a business owner. For 24 years, I owned and operated an oil field service and heavy equipment company. That piece, gave me the experiences of; contracting with the Army Corp of Engineers, performing work for the Texas Resource Conservation and National Resource Conservation Services. I prepared bids for state and federal contracts. I created and worked within a 1,000,000-annual budget. I managed personnel and work schedules, ran heavy equipment, and worked until the job was completed. I currently serve, as TxDOT crew chief. I allocate daily work and equipment assignments. Serve as lead point for contractors and meet the needs of the public. I have advanced knowledge of bridge inspections, chip seal, roadway failures and repairs. The last piece; I want to serve YOU, as your next, Precinct 2, Commissioner.