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Denton County Commissioner, Precinct 1

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  • Candidate picture

    Sandy Swan
    (Dem)

  • Ryan Williams
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

1. How would you use the County’s existing authority to regulate development in order to balance competing interests?

2. Are there any areas of overlapping services provided by governmental entities that you believe should be consolidated to more efficiently provide services to your County residents? Please explain.

3. What actions, if any, should be taken regarding Confederate monuments in Denton County?

4. What do you perceive to be the most important countywide issues and how would you address them?

5. Denton County is projected to grow over 350% in the next 30 years. How would you plan to ensure our community is developed in a way to prepare for growth?

6. COVID-19: What actions can the county take to address the health and economic impact caused by COVID-19?

7. Open Government: How will you ensure government transparency (open records, open meetings) is maintained during a state of emergency?

8. Budget: How will you address any budget deficit caused by COVID-19?

Two Minute Video Option: Comment on the recent civil rights demonstrations. (Video cannot be more than two minutes. If the video is not hosted on YouTube include the full URL to the video in the Text Response box. Do not include any other comments in the Text Response box.)

Education Masters of Public Health, Masters of Library Science, Bachelors of Science Health Sciences
Experience Wide range of experience including project management, budgeting and effective allocation of resources, strategic planning, data analysis, grant writing, organizational communication, staff hiring and supervision, community outreach, records management, in fields of health care, education, and community based organizations. Experience with election procedures.
Each development project should be thoughtfully evaluated with consideration given as to how it fits into the overall community as a whole. The needs of our residents should be taken into account when reviewing projects. The Commissioners should give greater opportunity for community input into the permitting and planning processes, including notification of project consideration by the Denton County Development Support Committee and by the Commissioners itself so that the public has adequate notification and can provide comments. The county has several tools to manage development such as transportation planning, platting decisions, tax rates and tax abatement policies, our Greenbelt Plan, and floodplain management authority to balance interests. The county should also strengthen its work with our cities and the Council of Governments to ensure the promotion of an overall vision for the region.
Denton County should be a leader in encouraging our municipalities, businesses, education, community organizations, and our neighboring counties to work together to insure that services are operated efficiently and effectively. I would meet with county departments and seek their input about their needs and where they might see better effectiveness and efficiency. I would look at increasing our grant funding and the possibility of a dedicated staff member to write grants. Countywide discussions with a wide range of representatives from all parts of our communities should regularly meet on a variety of issues to ensure that services are provided efficiently and effectively. The County should conduct an annual review of County services and how they fit with other services provided in our communities.

Additional community discussion needs to take place so the viewpoints of a wider range of residents are heard with additional ideas considered. The County Commissioners should take the lead to engage in more community conversations about these monuments, their history, purpose, and their future.
Measures to combat COVID are currently of paramount importance. I would promote more public education about COVID as well as other public health issues and advocate for more widespread access to testing. All levels of government were underprepared for this pandemic. I would work for greater coordination between all levels of government and community based organizations to prepare for and respond to this and other disasters. Another issue is our county’s rapid growth. Denton County was designated a “Boomtown” by Smart Asset. We are projected to reach 3 million people in 30 years. While growth has benefits, all systems are impacted including infrastructure, education, housing, health care, and social services. Traffic is awful and housing prices have soared with 43% of households cost burdened. The County must act proactively with our cities, the State, businesses, education, and community organizations along with increasing involvement of our residents to address these effects.
Denton County must take a comprehensive and future oriented approach to managing our rapid growth. The Dallas Morning News recently noted that our region’s current rate of growth is reaching its limits. Community input is critical to developing our County in a way that meets a wide range of needs. The County should provide more opportunities for greater community involvement in planning decisions. To manage growth effectively, the County must also continue working in conjunction with other governmental entities, businesses, education, and community organizations and make full use of a wide range of tools such as budging, tax rates, transportation planning, platting decisions, tax abatement policies, our Greenbelt Plan, and floodplain management authority.

The weekly reports from the Public Health department are very helpful to decision making in response to the pandemic. I would also meet directly with the Public Health Department to better understand our current levels of infection and public health response. I would advocate for more widespread and easier access to testing. I would promote more education about COVID and other health issues. All levels of government were underprepared for this pandemic. I would work for greater coordination between all levels of government and community organizations to prepare for and respond to this and other disasters. I would meet with small businesses to determine their needs and solicit ideas for how the Commissioners can help. I would encourage more partnerships between our colleges and universities and businesses to address health and economic impacts related to COVID and other disasters. I would look for ways to encourage greater local production of PPE.
I would work at continuing our virtual meetings during this emergency. Several people have mentioned to me that it is currently difficult to make public comments at the Commissioners meetings and I would work with technology services and the public to find ways to make it easier for the public to comment. I would increase publicity about the meetings of the Commissioners as well meetings of the County boards, committees, and commissions. I would look at accessibility of electronic records of meetings and ways of making this information easier to find.
If there is a budget deficit, I would advocate a reduction in the Commissioners’ salaries and allowances and personally forego any salary or allowances. I would meet with county departments and seek their input about their needs and where they might see better effectiveness and efficiency. I would look at increasing our grant funding and the possibility of a dedicated staff member to write grants.
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