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Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 4

Primary Election: March 6, 2018Early Voting: February 20 - March 2, 2018
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Margaret J. Gomez (Dem) County Commissioner of Precinct 4

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    Susanna Marie Woody (Dem) Project Management

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Biographical Information

What are the most important duties of a County Commissioner?

What are the transportation issues in your county and how do you plan to address them?

Because counties do not have zoning authority, how do you plan to address growth issues in the unincorporated areas of your county?

What are the health and human services issues in your county and how would you address them?

Background Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez was sworn into office in 1995, becoming the first Mexican American women to ever serve in this capacity.
Education Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Edwards University and Masters Degree from St. Edwards University.
I believe the most important duty of a County Commissioner is working to ensure the tax rate is set as low as possible for Travis County families. We have an affordability problem in Travis County, and this is one thing I can do to ensure our families have a tool so that they are able to continue living in their homes. This is important because bond agencies review our financial policies in order to rate Travis County as Triple A. This allows the county to borrow at low interest rates for projects approved by the voters to make improvements for the needs of our community.
Travis County faces big transportation issues that need to be addressed or we will continue to have problems with our roads, flooding, and access to public transportation. Our community needs to be serious about creating solutions. In Precinct 4, there are areas that are not serviced by Capital Metro, leaving many residents without access to public transportation. As a result, I worked to negotiate a contract between CARTS & Capital Metro so that every resident of Precinct 4 could have access to public transportation. These are the types of solutions I will continue to bring as Commissioner.
Even though counties do not have zoning authority, we maintain subdivision controls that help our staff work with developers and their neighbors come to an agreement about developments that are planned for these rural or incorporated areas of the county. Currently, we have a one-stop shop for developers whose developments are located in the county and the city. We do have more stringent rules in effect and we require these developments to address the environmental and affordability issues facing our community.
The health and human services Travis County provides addresses issues that impact people, children, restaurants, including animal services. Travis County has invested well in health and human services so that almost any issue that comes up can be addressed. We have several contracts with the City of Austin to address health & human service concerns, as well as public health issues. Travis County has contracted with Central Health to provide health services to adults at the County Employees clinic two days a week in Del Valle and I aim to continue improving health services for Precinct 4.
Background Mother of three, wife, six years as a School Board Trustee for DVISD, Ten years of project management and dedicated public servant.
Education Associate in Applied Science Degree
All duties of a County Commissioner are important, but the most important duties, to me, are setting a tax rate and adopting a county budget. By setting the tax rate and adopting a county budget, County Commissioners can hold county departments and officials accountable by ensuring that the community is provided all the resources needed to improve their quality of life first before approving each department’s budget.
As you move east of IH-35, you'll notice something right away: transportation options are limited. Precinct 4 is surrounded by toll roads with limited linkage options between where we live and where we work. We need wider roads, reliable mass transit, sidewalks, and safe bike lanes for our families. As County Commissioner, I will actively participate in CAMPO and Capital Metro planning to negotiate arrangements that increase transportation coverage for precinct 4.
I plan to fully utilize powers that counties currently have to create an equitable infrastructure investment plan that will account for expected growth while conserving environmentally sensitive areas.
One of the most pressing issues Travis County faces today is the inequitable distribution of health and human services for residents living in unincorporated areas. As County Commissioner, I will thoroughly review departmental plans and budgets and keep them accountable for equitably investing in health and human services accessible to residents in every sector of Travis County.