Texas A&M University
Bachelor of Science
As a vital staff member to elected officials and civil rights leaders on both sides of the aisle. I have worked with the State of Texas and Federal elected officials regarding grant funding for various organizations.
There are many factors in the areas of the budget, and that is something I am not able to make a decision without knowing exactly why and how those budget distributed. Increased or decreased any amount to any department is something that needs further examination. However, I would like to look into substance abuse/mental health programs and see where we can give them the best resources to help the community.
With an estimated 80 people moving into Collin County each day, we need to be working on expanding our infrastructure to stay ahead of this growth to help reduce traffic congestion. We must invest in our infrastructure.
As a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity I have seen the highs of getting almost a dozen homeless families into safe shelters. This has impressed upon me the need to help the less fortunate among us. With Texas Workforce Commission I helped give a hand up to those in need of jobs. I will work closely with organization to provide the resources that they will need to help the community.
With an estimated 80 people moving into Collin County each day, our infrastructure need to be examine so we can stay ahead of the growth. It is time that we need to look into our public transportation and how we can better the services for our community.
We will need to stay on top of the state and federal grant funding for emergency management and public health preparedness programs. As well as designs and conducts exercises and drills to improve emergency preparedness planning and response.
Cost of living in our county is getting higher and higher, as more people are moving into town we need to focus on helping our native with an affordable housing options. We also need to start thinking about investing in our own county hospital so we can take care of our local populist.
Bachelors in Family Science from Brigham Young University
I stepped down from the Allen City Council in Dec 2017 after 9.5 years of service. I currently serve on the Allen Economic Development Board and on the BSA District Committee. I have continually served in the community since 2002.
With County growth projections, I believe we need to build upon a strong foundation. Transportation, Public Safety, and our Justice system are not prepared to handle this growth. The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel was told to warn the shepherds about not feeding their flocks. We too should be aware of taking conservative measures to the extreme of being cheap. Quality of life depends on strong and effective transportation, public safety, and swift justice. The current situation has delayed transportation solutions, our court system juggling a population 45% higher than the state average, and has ignored and attacked public safety needs. Efforts have been made to try to shut down our busiest JP Court and refuse bullet proof vests to some of our deputies. A parent can brag about their savings while feeding the children beans and rice but must also take responsibility for the malnutrition. We have a large supply of cash reserves to meet our needs without tax increases.
Growth is the number one challenge in our County. Each of our communities and our County should work together to find solutions. First and foremost, a Commissioner is a manager or steward of County resources. If that stewardship is not addressing the needs of transportation, public safety and justice, we are building our house on the sand. Without immediate solutions we will all suffer from more traffic congestion and crime which will lead to lower quality of life. The congestion and crime will also lead to the County being less attractive for economic development and jobs will move away and you will see home prices fall. The solution, as mentioned, previously, is to immediately address transportation needs, public safety needs and justice system needs. Don’t be afraid to go for quality. It always returns more than it costs. Allen did not become Money magazines #1 city in Texas on accident. My time on Council there was always focused on quality of life life for the citizens.
What a great question. For the most part, economic development continues to invite great companies to our County with good paying jobs. While home prices continue to increase so do opportunities. Education is key. Collin College and other educational avenues are close by and affordable. Yet, on the subject of mental health we must make large strides, even leaps, to find solutions. Public Safety is challenged. Families are overwhelmed. Working together we must find solutions. Homelessness should not be a problem in Collin County. We are truly a “sweet spot” in the nation. Incentives must be made to help citizens get a hand up and not a handout. There are opportunities to get education and find work. Affordable housing is based upon income. If we can increase the likelihood of citizens getting better education and job opportunities their incomes will increase. I do not have the solution for these problems but I am more than willing to be a part of the conversation.
Many of our County roads are substandard. Many well traveled roads are overcrowded. I believe we must work with COG and TXDOT at a new and more cooperative level to address highways. 380, 78, and the outerloop must help relieve the pressures put upon 75, PGBT, and SRT. I am against the tolling of roads. The State, County, and Cities, must work together to address present and future needs. Many rural roads should have shoulders and better turn lanes to increase safety. Acknowledgement that we are behind in this area and yet chosing to not bring a bond election up to even allow the voters a chance to address the needs has been irresponsible. And this, after the County Planning Board unanimously recommended a bond election last year. We cannot allow invisible and ineffective incumbents to drag their feet any longer. We need representatives who actually like to put in a full days work.
Citizens of Wylie told me that after the terrible devastation of hail storms that County leadership response was lacking. Unthinkable! The County should have been on the scene immediately to help provide immediate relief. Our public safety personnel should assist with other first responders. The cities and county do have inter local agreements to help in such emergencies. However, two real needs are coordination with state and federal officials and money. The County has an incredible rainy day fund. It may need to be changed to the tornado and hail fund or at least a portion. Most disaster relief funds come from other sources yet the County should be there to help coordinate and speed up the process even if that means making advances to create safe living environments for the affected citizens.
I’ve spoken a lot about the important issues of transportation, courts and justice system, and mental health. I’d like to say a couple more words about public safety. After years of tight budgets the Commissioners Court agreed to allow the hiring of 17 new deputies. A former leader told me they would struggle to hire and retain them. He said the Commissioners refuse to look at a competitive compensation plan. We may be able to hire and train deputies but they will continue to leave since nearly every nearby city has better compensation plans. We must be competitive! I believe you get what you hire. Let us hire quality because we offer quality compensation. Let us respect the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.
After graduating from Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Cheryl attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she earned a B.B.A in Finance and Economics.
I was elected to the Commissioner’s Court in 2010.I am the county's alternate to the Regional Transportation Commission.I served three terms on the Plano City Council. I have extensive experience as both a business owner and business consultant.
I look at every budget from each department and elected official to find potential decreases that make sense. I always find areas that can be decreased. As a result of legislation passed in 2017, we will see a need for increased funding for jail operations. I also expect that we will need increases to indigent mental health care funding. It is very expensive to house and treat people with mental health issues in the jail or in hospital emergency rooms. It is more effective and less costly to increase funding for outpatient services to try and keep people out of the jail and hospitals.
Rapid growth creates pressure on every function of county government. However, rapid growth in population also results in a rapid growth of tax dollars. The new taxes received from new development and increased property valuations should be adequate to cover the costs associated with a growing population. Unfortunately, many elected officials use the excuse of growth to keep more taxes to spend on unnecessary programs.
The county is responsible for the healthcare of people qualified as indigent. That does not necessarily include uninsured or under insured people. We have created Project Access which allows indigent individuals to receive free care from many primary care doctors, specialists, and hospitals. I have spent much time in Austin and here at home working on indigent mental health issues. I am participating in ongoing meetings with Sheriff Skinner, hospital administrators, police chiefs, and the LHBA to work on creative ways to help reduce the drain of resources being used to deal with this issue.
During my term, the County has taken a leadership role in transportation; providing data and traffic analysis for the entire county, facilitating coordination, and encouraging cooperation among cities. The county has also partnered with cities on projects that improve mobility. We also began the process of creating a Strategic Transportation Plan. Mobility and congestion mitigation are such important issues to the citizens that I believe it’s important for the county to take on the task of planning for the future and diligently working to find the funding for projects identified in the plan.
By law, the Department of Emergency Management is under the authority of the County Judge. The Department plans for, directs and coordinates responses to, and recovers from disasters and emergencies. They work closely with all the cities designing and conducting exercises and drills to improve emergency preparedness planning and response. They also conduct threat and vulnerability assessments to mitigate the effects of natural, technological, environmental, and intentional incidents. The Commissioners Court has set aside reserve funds specifically for emergency preparedness.
I’m proud of my record as a principled conservative and that Collin County now has the lowest tax rate in the State. I am looking forward to continuing these policies and working on the challenges ahead. We are on the verge of making some important decisions about transportation and mobility and we have decisions to make about how we continue to improve public safety. I want to be a part of finding solutions for the mental health and substance abuse issues that are now so critical. I believe we can find an innovative way to address this problem that could be a model for the rest of the state.