1. What are the duties of county commissioner?
The major duties of a County Commissioner are: to be part of Commissioner’s Court, to oversee the budget, and to oversee policy making functions of county government. In addition, a Commissioner has extensive responsibilities related to the building and maintenance of county roads. Passing a county budget is a major undertaking for the Commissioner’s Court. During the budget making process, commissioners approve the employment level of the county and consider the level of funding necessary for the other county offices to carry out their duties and responsibilities. Commissioners help set the county property tax rate and have the responsibility of providing oversight of the county’s infrastructure. Other responsibilities that fall under the job duties of a County Commissioner are being responsible for providing rural ambulance services and subsidizing rural fire protection. As a member of the Commissioner’s court, a Commissioner may be called upon to fill vacancies in elective and appointive positions in the county. They may also supervise and control the county courthouse, county buildings, and other facilities. A Commissioner is a servant to the community and should be willing to serve in any situation as the need arises.
2: What are the most pressing challenges currently facing Erath County?
One of the most pressing challenges facing Erath county is population growth. Rapid growth brings not only boons, but also difficult challenges that demand forward thinking and planning. The population of Erath county in 2016 was 39, 942. The estimated population of in 2018 is 40,787. Erath county’s projected growth over the next 10 years is on an upward trend. The population and housing growth bring several challenges that require planning, such as traffic safety and maintenance of the county roads. There is also a need for more emergency personnel and equipment relating to law enforcement, emergency medical service, and fire protection. Judge Thompson and Donna Kelly have both done outstanding jobs keeping the county in good financial shape. It is a big challenge to follow in their steps and keep the county running as smoothly as they have.
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?
If faced with a need to cut expenses as Commissioner, cutting the labor force is the last resort. The employees are the backbone of Erath County, and I believe that there are several areas of the county that are under staffed. Cutbacks would have to come from unnecessary spending practices, such as buying new equipment in some departments. I am a firm believer in maintenance of vehicles and equipment to get the most use out of them. I personally drive a 1996 Chevrolet pick-up with 115, 000 miles on it. I would not be afraid to drive it anywhere. I would implement more stringent maintenance practices on the county roads that would lead to less erosion and frequent overall maintenance. I believe that we live in a disposable society, and that much of the wasteful spending could be alleviated with maintenance and a more proactive standard operating procedure.
4. How do you feel about the current condition of roads and bridges within your precinct?
The road conditions in Erath County Precinct 2 are not up to safe standards on several roads. I have traveled several roads during my campaign that have been seriously neglected or forgotten, while other roads have been given priority. Every road should be maintained and be able to be traveled safely in all weather conditions. Every tax payer and citizen should be able to get to their homes and work, whether there are one hundred roads on a county road, or simply one home. Most importantly, emergency services and school buses should be able to safely travel these roads at all times. Many of our current road problems are a result of a lack of maintenance and proper drainage. With increasing population growth and traffic on our county roads, speed limits should be placed on most roads to increase safety for everyone. Potential hazards such as bridges and curves should be marked more clearly with signage to prevent accidents.
5. What makes you the best candidate?
I am not a politician, but just a common working man who wants to serve my community. I am very strong in my Christian faith, and will conduct all business and duties of a Commissioner based on biblical principles. My faith in the Lord further propels my desire to serve. It allows me to trust that I will be able to fulfill the capacity whole heartedly, working hard, being honest, and giving my best back to the community. Not only do I want to improve Precinct 2, I want to see Erath county thrive as a whole. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2: 3-4 My experience in private business and as an employee for Erath county provides me a more in-depth understanding of the budgeting and necessities within the county and precincts. I believe in transparency and needs over wants with regards to spending. All the roads are a priority in the precinct and require attention for safety and longevity. This will be accomplished using quality materials and skilled labor.