Collin County Commissioner, Precinct 3
4-year term. Must be 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Texas, and a resident of the district represented. Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which he/she is elected in the Collin County Commissioners Court, which conducts the general business of the county and oversees financial matters.
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David Azad (Dem)
Budget: What areas of the budget would you like to see increased or decreased during the next term?
Growth: What challenges will the growth of the county present, and how would you address them?
Poverty/Homelessness: What, if anything, should be done to meet low income residents’ basic needs, such as mental health care and housing, and reduce homelessness in the county?
Transportation: What are the main transportation issues in the county, and how should they be addressed?
Emergency Preparedness: What does the county need to do to be prepared for and provide emergency services and funding after natural disasters?
Other Issues: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the county, and what is your position on these issues?
University of North Texas - BA Political Science; University of Kansas, School of Law - JD
Small business owner for nine years. Managing Partner of Azad & Barlow, PLLC a firm representing individuals in immigration and criminal defense.
The need to increase spending in vital areas is commensurate with the growth of our county. It is imperative we find ways to do this without increasing taxes on our citizens. This can be accomplished through fiscal responsibility and minimizing government waste (such as expensive lawsuits by one branch of our government against the other for political enrichment). In the words of the outgoing County Judge “the numbers are staggering” when it comes to population growth in Collin County. We need to allocate money to address critical infrastructure needs and meet this inevitable boom in demand. Among the many items that fall into this category are roads, jail expansion, and mass transit.
The population of Collin County is anticipated to double within 10 years. Within 30, it is anticipated the population of Collin County will exceed that of Dallas County. Addressing this growing demand is the greatest challenge the county faces. We must begin to address our transportation issues, placing all options on the table. Collin County residents know our highways are gridlocked during rush hour. We need to work with local and state officials in planning our alternate routes. We must also include a diverse mass transit plan. Not only will mass transit divert congestion away from the highways, it is appealing to large companies seeking to relocate or establish a new headquarters in a booming metropolis.
Collin County’s current solution for mental health care involves incarceration. This is not a good solution but it is nonetheless a solution for which our citizens pay. We need to divert our efforts away from incarceration and toward social services. I believe that healthcare is right. As such our government has a duty to the public health. If state and federal government choose to drop the ball in this area then its on the county government to step in and provide that access. This can be done by broadening our partnerships with private healthcare providers, and messaging through community leaders. Further, we need to incentivize more entities like Samaritan Inn who help provide the bootstraps with which people in need can pull themselves up.
We are all commuters.--all 900,000 of us. Soon it will be twice that many. Dallas has five major east-to-west highways. Collin currently has two and we are dragging our feet on the possibility of two others. We need to partner and plan with our city government, state government and TXDOT to find viable alternate routes. The State of Texas sets aside transportation funding for the DFW metroplex and when we fail to have projects toward which that funding can be applied, it goes to our sister counties. The county must also address mass transit. The only solution that has ever existed in this area were the TAPS buses. They went bankrupt and have not returned to Collin County. If there are no other solutions for sustainable mass transit, then we must consider the benefits of DART.
Proper planning and competent personnel to execute that plan are the linchpins in emergency management. Emergency planning is a coordinated effort among city officials, federal officials, and homeowners. In the worst of catastrophes planning should include the rapid deployment of emergency service personnel from multiple jurisdictions. We must examine flood plain maps and educate and encourage local residents to buy flood insurance. Wherever else possible we must incentivize homeowners to take measures to protect life and property.
As a criminal lawyer I have witnessed the shortcomings in our criminal justice system. I support bail reform which implements an assessment tool to properly identify individuals accused of non-violent offenses who can be released during the pendency of their case without risk to the community. I also support diversion programs which promote rehabilitation over incarceration of individuals with non-violent offenses. One-third of the county’s budget is allocated to criminal justice. As our population increases, we need to start thinking about innovative solutions to reduce the number of individuals brought through this system.
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