For 15 years, I have served as President of the MOTRAN Alliance, obtaining over $1 billion in additional highway funding for our area, and serve as Commissioner for the State Commission on Emergency Communications working with first responders. I have developed budgets, found efficiencies while accomplishing more, and in the case of MOTRAN generated the memberships to carry out our work. As Republican Party Chairman I have a proven record of working with voters.
As someone who works with the county on a regular basis I believe there are things we can and should improve and understand how important the work is. Our current growth in the county means we need someone who understands the office and has a proven track record of accomplishment. We need someone who has a record of dealing with the public and understands that the citizens of Midland must come first.
As a property taxpayer, I believe we need county leadership who will work with state leaders to reform our current property tax system, instead of hiring consultants with your tax dollars to fight them. I believe we can find a solution that allows cities and counties to operate and accomplish our tasks, and maybe even help us stop sending $50 million in local property taxes to Austin by way of the Robin Hood School Finance System.
We also need to do a better job of prioritizing our needs and objectives, and work to build public support before we start building major projects. I believe engaging voters and citizens is critical to accomplishing a long-term vision and regaining public trust.
1. Bring budget revenues and expenditures in line to provide greater transparency. (current budget expenditures exceed revenues by nearly $28 million)
2. Draw down the nearly $80 million in reserves to pay off county debt (saving over $3 million in interest) and complete remainder of the future south Loop 250 project.
3. Audit the finances for the Horseshoe, review associated contracts, and have local users provide feedback on fees.
4. Require an open bidding process for all county contracts.
5. Put resources into road repair and fix the potholes.
6. Provide resources to law enforcement to enforce the law on oversize and overweight vehicles so taxpayers do not pay for unnecessary bridge repairs.
7. Develop plans for roadway and other necessary infrastructure projects so that when additional revenues are available we can use those revenues to address critical infrastructure needs.
8. Reform our current juvenile detention program by implementing job training so we can get them in jobs.
I’m the only attorney in this race. This education and professional experience gives me a unique understanding of the criminal and civil justice systems which comprises nearly half of the county’s budget. As a businessman, I have also managed multi-million dollar non-profit enterprises as both an employee and as a chairman of a board of directors. Such management in both the private and non-profit sectors involved the development, implementation, and execution of those organizations’ budgets.
With the high likelihood of the county population increasing by at least 20,000 or more over the next decade, the key issue that prompted me to run for Midland County Judge is the need to prepare our infrastructure, facilities, processes and procedures proactively for that growth, while still maintaining the lowest ad valorem tax rate of any county in Texas. With such growth, there will be expected and unexpected strains on all of us, but particularly on our infrastructure and criminal justice system, including both our sheriff’s department and our courts.
Recognizing that such challenges exist is not enough, however, and guiding the residents of Midland County to successful outcomes will demand committed, objective leadership that makes communication with the public, other local government entities, and the state, a high priority. With my long involvement in the community and as a representative of the Permian Basin oil and gas industry at the local, state, and national levels, I have the experience needed to effectively communicate the needs of the county and its residents. I also have the track record that proves such communication will result in success.
While the current Commissioners Court, with the cooperation of the other twenty-two elected officials at the county, has done well to limit debt and provide for services to Midland County’s residents to be funded out of cash flow, there are always improvements that can be made. Especially when embracing innovation and ingenuity. If elected I hope to accomplish the following. I want to:
Evaluate all county departments, particularly as to funding, to make sure each department is appropriately utilizing the tax payers’ money to effectively and efficiently provide the state mandated and essential services;
Review and negotiate county contracts with outside parties and memorandums of understanding between the county and other government entities to ensure such agreements are providing the greatest benefit possible to the residents of Midland County; and,
Develop stronger relationships at the local and state levels with government officials and community leaders to better benefit the r
field service company that has employed up to 185 people. I have dealt with financing, budgets, planning, employee issues from hiring to firing and payroll. I know how to weather the economic storms of our economy. I have started 4 businesses and sold 3 of them to move to be where I am today.
The lack of transparency along with apathy from this court has caused me to want to lend my expertise to the running of our county government. I will open communication with taxpayers in the county and do what the taxpayers who are served want. Getting our County government back to doing the basics extremely well and not venturing off into Legacy projects that reflect on the politicians. Keeping needed services provided at a reasonable expense while keeping total tax revenues as low as possible. Maintain a cushion in budget but do away with extremely large surpluses. State of the art law enforcement by insuring Sheriff’s office has needed funding for up to date equipment, supplies, facilities and personnel. Combining resources with City, State and Federal to expedite joint interests. Work with City on all aspects of overlapping services to maximize benefits and reduce costs to all. The privatization of the Horseshoe to the detriment of the citizens of Midland County needs to be reversed and handled by Midlander’s for the sole benefit of Midlander’s. Code of conduct, ethics and confidence reinserted into County government.
I plan on bringing County web site up to provide all contact info, to include mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and office hours for citizens to have. I intend to put all projects up on web site along with proposed plans, budgets, bidders, and all info associated with what the county has going on along with the stage of that particular project. Any major project will have the approval of the majority of taxpayers before that project moves forward. There will be open and honest discussion/debate on any expenditure over and above ordinary recurring county operational expenses. Budgeting will be reviewed with automatic increases denied. Real world budgeting practices will be implemented to insure the taxpayer gets value for services provided. I will concentrate of safety for our families and our property. I will curtail any project that is not in the interest of the majority of the taxpayers of Midland County.