South Garland High School 1983
Richland Community College - Assoc. Degree 1988
First, we need an in-depth audit of the entire budget to get a clear picture of what really should be increased or decreased. With the fast-growing economy and year over year increases in property values and sales tax revenues, is there a reasonable explanation for the County to run year over year deficit? Then we have major funding issues in transportation for most all of the Dallas Counties current needs. With the growth in population for North Texas it’s been more than challenging to keep up with expansion of our roadway system. We need millions of more dollars for road projects at least for the short term, NO TOLLS, along with a better long-term transportation funding solution.
In today’s system of medical care this is one of the more challenging for the Court. We need an external audit to verify what expenses are currently being incurred and does the hospital system meet the current needs of the residents of Dallas County. Next question is there currently elective services being provided that truly should be performed in a for profit hospital and not passed on to all of the residents of Dallas County. This all should be followed up with an audit of patients who utilize the current hospital operations and develop a strategy of working with surrounding Counties for a reimbursement policy for when we provide medical care to their residents to help take that burden off of the residents of Dallas County.
Dallas County has been very fortunate to have a very professional staff that works well with the CDC and all the Cities in Dallas County. With some of the cities being large enough to have their own Health Departments like here in Garland, it has allowed the County Health Department to work more closely with the smaller cities that don't have their own departments. With this can better prepare them for any potential emergencies. The biggest thing facing the Department today is who will be the next Exec Director. This person should be a medical doctor who has a firsthand knowledge of and who has been working with communicable diseases and already has a working knowledge of the CDC and workings between the various governmental agencies.
First of all, the Elections Board should be comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to assure that no one side has an unfair advantage in the oversight of the election process in Dallas County. Early voting should have permanent polling locations that are reevaluated every 5 years to reassure all locations are in the best location to assure that they are conveniently located for the largest number of voters. By having permanent locations well in advance of any election, people will always know where to go to cast their vote. Next, update all voting equipment for better voting security and then storage of equipment to a secure 3rd party location. Lastly update mail in balloting processes.
Homeless issues in North Texas has yet to be properly addressed. Once the tent/box city that housed many of the homeless was removed, the homeless spread out to many of the Cities that only had minimal dealings with the homeless before. Many times, the ones in need don't get the help they need because they are looked down on as though they are less than human. There are many who are veterans that didn't get the help they needed to assimilate back into society or the mentally ill. I'm looking forward to working on solutions to help with this issue and a number of others as well. And just to reiterate we must work with our Local, State and Federal partners to increase transportation funding for Dallas County.
Duke University, BA Economics
SMU Dedman School of Law, JD
We need to decrease the spending on software by exiting TechShare. The program has failed and has cost far more than would software purchased from vendors out in the market. The second area that needs to be addressed is in the Dallas County Marshals Service. That entity needs to cut and the responsibility for security services should be placed back in the hands of the Sheriff’s office.
Parkland needs to have a strict adherence to its mission, providing care to the indigent. Research and other functions outside of that mission are inappropriate for a county hospital. Patient services can be improved when funds are spent wisely on the core mission and when the institution is focused solely on the mission.
The county’s public health mission is best served by using the most up to date techniques to track illness trends and provide information to providers and other government agencies when issues arise. Constantly improving and modernizing our information gathering and dissemination techniques is how we best service Dallas County.
The elections office was completely asleep at the wheel during the mail-in voter fraud crisis. Toni Pippins-Poole was caught soliciting bribes from a vendor. We need to bring in a new elections administrator, preferably one with experience in another large urban county to shake up operations to ensure fair elections. Voter registration efforts have had limited success, even with the assistance of private entities. Looking for areas in the country with successful voter registration efforts and emulating those should be a continuous activity.
Corruption. The Dallas County Commissioners Court has been mired in corruption, conflicts of interest and self-serving behavior. It is critical that the current Dallas County Transparency and Code of Ethics be enforced and strengthened with greater enforcement mechanisms and punishments.
SMU - BBA Finance 1984
SMU - School of Law, JD 1988
Criminal justice is approximately 75% of the annual county budget. Productivity and public safety can be increased with better technology and software integration. This area of the budget needs to be increased. Better management of the jail and court systems will reduce employee overtime costs. Authorization for overtime should be decreased.
Mental health is a serious issue which is highly correlated with homelessness. Many of these people end up in the criminal justice system, which is the most expensive way to provide assistance. Instead, additional measures should be implemented to treat mental health through Parkland Hospital system.
The County Health Department should be the coordinating agency between all of our medical providers. The Ebola event demonstrated how unprepared Dallas County was at that time. The next Health Department Director needs to have strong emergency management experience.
Average. The Elections Department needs to vigorously monitor early voting ballots as most of the abuse in the past has involved mail in ballots. To vote in person, some sort of identification is required. The same standard should be required to apply for a mail in ballot.
The list is long: regional transportation, juvenile detention issues, criminal justice, court and auditing software, document management, mental heath, and voter fraud. Public safety is the most pressing issue. If crime is not reduced, then it affects everyone's quality of life and the regional economy. Companies like Amazon will not consider Dallas if there is a high crime rate.
BA, Govt & Politics, UMD
MA, International Relations,UMD
JD, Antioch Law
LLM, Southern Methodist Law
My approach to the County budget is to create new revenue streams to increase the budget. This can be accomplished by identifying revenue growth opportunities so that current programs, personnel, and initiatives may be sustained and expanded (without the necessity of raising taxes). Revenue generation and the creation of a cost savings plan are my priorities. Secondarily, I would review all budget items to ascertain where cost savings may be achieved to ensure efficient and effective county government.
a. Signage of the Hospital / Digital Map. Digital signs and color-coordinated divisions are ideas which can surmount the problem of finding one's way around the hospital.
b. Managing Patient Check Out
Check out can be tied up by waiting for x-ray and lab results. Instead of tying up these much-needed beds for new patients, Parkland can establish ‘The Almost Home Room’ which can facilitate the reduction of traffic around hallways and reception desks.
c. Speeding up Referral to eliminate months of waiting for appointments. Clinical practices with times reserved for new referral is one solution.
d. Provide iconography cards to help non-English speaking persons express themselves to staff when no family member or interpreter is available.
Dallas County received a perfect score from CDC (Center for Disease Control) and Texas DHS (Department of Health Services) on public health preparedness in 2014. The County's Medical Reserve Corp should continue to get support particularly in the area of recruiting more volunteers and funding.
POD (Point of Dispensing) Programs adopted by the County to enable the County to dispense medical countermeasures to affected populations efficiently (2.4 million within 48 hours) are crucial following a catastrophic public health event. Traditional methods to achieve this timeframe include developing plans with public and private entities that disburse medications.
It is important to look at eco-friendly ways of dealing with mosquito spraying.
The Dallas County Election Department (DCED) hosts and coordinates various registration drives throughout Dallas County.
These events are calculated to lead into the annual Dallas County Registration Day which can be seriously improved upon by having a public campaign about these drives. The plan in place needs greater exposure to increase response for volunteers.
DCED can improve its efforts by actively forming relationships with private organizations, faith-based entities, ISD and other civic groups to strategically plan for increased voter registration.
The DCED should provide more information on election operations.
• Maintain a diverse, talented, and capable workforce to execute Dallas County functions.
• Pay employees market rate salaries and tie in an incentive-based compensation plan to motivate and reward employees.
b. Public Safety
• Facilitate public engagement to discuss public safety issues; hold a conference of cities to implement strategies based upon citizen input.
• Crime Reduction.
• Identify clear lines of communication and determine opportunities for collaboration.
• Collaborate with regional partners to provide alternative sentencing options for offenders.
• Align crime prevention and prosecution goals with Dallas County governmental agencies (Sheriff, Constable, District Attorney, City Police Departments, and others).