1. What are the duties of a county commissioner?
The duties of a county commissioner are outlined in many different statues from the local government code to the transportation code and all places in between. The main duties of a commissioner are to work with the county judge and other commissioners to adopt the county budget and tax rate, to ensure the county roadways in their precinct are maintained, to approve all budgeted purchases, to fill vacancies in elected and appointed offices, to set salaries and benefits of all county employees, to authorize contracts, to ensure that all county buildings are kept in good repair and most importantly to maintain and grow the overall infrastructure of Erath County for future generations. The salary of a commissioner is $66,799.80, therefore I believe that a commissioner should devote 40+ hours per week or more to the position and go beyond just the required duties. As a leader of the county the commissioner should lead from the front and not expect anyone to do anything that he wouldn’t. He should be available to the citizens any time and have open communications with taxpayers to help the county grow into the future.
2. What are the most pressing challenges currently facing Erath County?
I feel there are many challenges currently facing the county, however from a county government perspective, the biggest ongoing challenge is delivering a high level of service to the taxpayers, while controlling spending. The last thing anybody wants is for their property taxes to increase, therefore we are faced with a challenge of stretching each tax dollar as far as we can without compromising the level of service provided to citizens. I believe that my education, knowledge and past experiences give me the proper understanding on how to do that. Another challenge we face is the current and future growth of the county. We must plan today for tomorrow. This upcoming year our county faces another unique challenge, voters will elect a new County Judge, County Treasurer and Precinct 4 Commissioner for the first time in several years. We also have a high competitive race for Sheriff and hopefully we elect a new Precinct 2 Commissioner. With all of that in mind, we must ensure that whomever is elected has the proper background, experience and ability to lead Erath County into the future by making informed, educated and well-thought-out decisions. I have the education and experiences to tackle these challenges.
3. You are faced with a need to cut expenses. What adjustments do you feel could make the greatest difference (cost saving) for the county?
After reviewing the recent budgets for Precinct 2, the next commissioner will spend between three and four million dollars just on fixed assets, fuel, repair and road expenses. That’s a big target right there to look at for potential savings. I have decades of experience and extensive training with road construction and maintenance of roads as well as heavy equipment operation/repair. Therefore I will be able to maximize efficiency in those areas. If a need arose to cut expenses, I would meet with all county department heads both elected and appointed to ask that each department look for ways to cut whatever spending possible. We would strongly consider and review their departmental wants versus needs, without compromising the services provided. I would review each county department, including my own, to ensure no services are duplicated. If elected I plan to ensure that equipment receives the proper, preventive maintenance to lengthen the amount of time equipment last as well as reducing repair cost. I will be a working commissioner devoting 40+ hours per week to this position and be available 24 hours a day if a situation arises that requires my attention.
4. How do you feel about the current condition of roads and bridges within your precinct.
I believe the precinct needs new leadership with a fresh outlook. The condition of the roadways in the precinct vary greatly. Some areas are in fair condition and other areas are in poor conditions. Some roads receive more attention and work than others. If elected prior to taking office, I will complete a needs assessment of all roadways and bridges in the precinct to develop a plan of actions to bring all roadways up to superior condition. I will take an active part in roadway maintenance and construction. You will see me onsite working with the highly skilled road crew, not just driving around. Most major bridges in the precinct have been rebuilt over the past several years with TXDOT Grants however several still need to be made wider and guardrails added for the safety of the public. I intend to ensure that all culverts are properly cleaned to ensure drainage of water as well as improving blind corners along the roadways for the safety of the public. I have spent my entire career working and maintaining roadways therefore I believe that I stand ahead of my opponents in knowing what needs to be done and how to do it.
5. What makes you the best candidate?
I am a lifelong resident of the area and devoted family man. I am a graduate of Lingleville High School and Tarleton State University. My family and I attend church at the Double N Cowboy in Dublin. I was raised to believe in the value of a man’s word and the importance of a handshake. I completed a successful 30+ year career with the Texas Department of Transportation, where I worked my way up the ladder to a supervisor position. I spent 30+ years overseeing roadway planning and maintenance as well as adopting and working with a Multi-Million Dollar Budget. I have training, knowledge and experience in equipment operation/repair as well as employee relations/management. I helped form the Lingleville Volunteer Fire Department in 2002 and have served as Fire Chief since 2006. I am familiar with all aspects of Erath County Government. I have experiences and training to handle anything this job would require. I have spent my adult life serving the citizens of this county and look forward to continuing to do that. My goal is to make Erath County a better place to live. I will bring dependability, availability and honesty to this position.