Most frequent questions and answers
My top priority is saving lives with increased Covid vaccinations. Rising taxes are squeezing folks dry; steady tax rates aren’t enough as assessments keep rising. I’ll increase County efficiencies, work with our municipalities to seek savings, and demand a legislative tax-system cure. We’ll support existing businesses and attract well-paying jobs that provide good career opportunities. We’ll manage growth and development, maintaining a balance between rural and urban areas, protect our open lands, air, and water—particularly for those on wells—and the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country. And we’ll restore, trust, honor and integrity.
Record development and population growth have stretched our transportation resources to the limit, threatening air and water quality and quality of life. Locally, we need a multi-faceted transportation plan to get people where they’re going, quickly and safely. And it must minimize environmental impact, not serve as a magnet for overdevelopment, more cars, more trucks, and more pollution. Congestion on our key thoroughfare, I-35, is forcing through traffic onto our local roads. This is a regional problem requiring a regional solution. I’ll make sure Hays County has an effective voice with TxDOT and regional transportation and planning bodies.
While such a change would require the legislature to act, there are times when having this authority would be appropriate and necessary. Examples include protection of critical resources such as water, and activities that could negatively affect shared infrastructure, such as roads, or undermine the quality of life in our communities and neighborhoods. I would work with the legislature and stakeholders to seek implementation. My overall goal would be to use such authority in pursuit of good jobs, increased ratables, attractive communities, and a clean environment, while respecting the identity, needs and priorities of local communities.
Explosive growth is putting incredible demands on our natural resources and infrastructure. Keeping up with this development is expensive and affects the quality of life here in Hays County. Open land is disappearing, being replaced by strip malls, new subdivisions, and the traffic and pollution that come with them. And development is moving further and further west, changing the character of our precious Hill Country. I will work closely with regional planning bodies, local communities, and our legislature to encourage development that offers good, career-oriented jobs and respects our environment. We must protect this legacy for our children and grandchildren.
We must spend every taxpayer dollar as wisely as possible. That means providing our residents with the best services at the best price. Holding the tax rate steady is important, but it is not enough. As property assessments keep rising, even a stable tax rate can result in a higher tax bill. We must do better. This is particularly important for younger families, who see the dream of home ownership slip further away, and for seniors on fixed incomes. I will work with the legislature to seek improvements to property tax relief programs and purchase incentives that keep housing costs affordable—for both homeowners and renters. With sky-high inflation, we cannot let Hays County be priced out of reach for our children and our parents.
We will review county programs that support the health and wellness of our families—from babies to young mothers to our parents and grandparents to be sure that the services we offer are meeting their needs, from transportation to clinical care. And as Covid-19 continues to ravage our County, putting residents at risk, we will ramp up our testing and vaccination efforts.
We must make our county government more transparent and accessible to working people, busy families, and others with limited time and conflicting obligations. We must eliminate language barriers and the physical barriers of distance. And we must give more people a voice in our decisions by scheduling meetings when and where our residents can attend not just for the convenience of Commissioners Court. And as I have seen with my own grandmother, we must make voting by mail easier—not harder.
I will work to establish advisory bodies of all sectors of the communit —including families, students, seniors, and businesses—to be sure we understand how our County can serve them better. And I will host regular open houses in each of the four Commissioner precincts to be sure we understand how our County can serve them better.
Most importantly, we must restore trust, honor, and integrity to all we do.