Greg's Stand On County Issues
The challenges we as a community face are numerous and great. I know, like me, you want solutions to these problems, so that you can leave a better future for your children and grandchildren. To do this we need to tackle mobility issues, cutting taxes and spending and address the significant level of conflicts of interest that plague our community. The status quo is not working and we do not need a commissioner that needs on the job training. We need a commissioner that has the experience, education and commitment to make real change.
Mobility & Toll Roads
Montgomery County precinct two, at best, has a makeshift plan to handle precinct roads. There is little or no long-range planning. The County is spending millions of dollars on roads with no plan or future strategy. Yet, three of the five commissioners are dead set on continuing to develop toll roads as a method of road financing, despite the public's strong outcry.
Unlike my opponents, that are pushing toll roads or hiding in the shadows waiting for conformation the fight is over, I have a proven track record of fighting toll roads as a former County Commissioner. My efforts were recognized by The Texans for Toll-Free Highways, founded by Terri Hall, in there endorsement of my campaign. In addition, I believe we need a county-wide mobility plan. This county-wide plan, I.E. strategy for the future of our roads and bridges, will allow for better coordination between the precincts, better priority in road maintenance and better capital budgeting.
“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government;... whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Taxes and Spending
Our community is the fastest growing in the nation with a population increase of 7.8% and a growth rate 11 times higher than the national average. Yet our County spending has grown from $89 million to $377 million annual, or a 424% increase, since 2000. This $377 million budget consists of $153.8 million spent on “administration.” Let's not forget tax appraisals on the rise as well. They are increasing so much so that citizens are being taxed out of their homes.
As a former County Commissioner, I have a proven track record of reducing taxes, controlling tax increases and reducing spending. I worked alongside my colleagues to keep Comal County's tax policy fair, and I am proud that our tax rate was one of the lowest in the region. We reduced our tax rate twice and the rate was lower when I left office then when I started. However, in Montgomery County spending reductions are the first step to reduce our tax rate. I firmly believe we can cut spending while boosting the core functions of government; I.E. law enforcement and maintenance of roads and bridges. This can happen through targeted spending cuts and well as a transparent Zero-based budgeting process. I have also worked to expose financial mismanagement in local agencies. Taking a local agency from a $300,000 loss to $200,000 in the black. As a former City Manager, I managed the operations and direction of all city functions and departments to include developing public financial projections and forecasts to create integrated public revenue and financial budgets.
Giving the destruction leveled upon our community due to the enormous magnitude of Hurricane Harvey and the poor communication from country officials, it is clear that the citizens of precinct two and Montgomery County need more from their commissioner than photo ops and cooking burgers after a disaster, or a commissioner that has to learn emergency management on the job, which could cost lives. I have served as a Commissioner on the Texas Commission on Emergency Communication, where I lead the charge for Next Generation 911. I have also been a floodplain administrator and I am currently certified by FEMA in emergency management. Accordingly, I understand that the citizens of precinct two and Montgomery County need a commissioner that will focus on mitigation of flooding, reviewing flood control processes and improving emergency management communications throughout the entire county.
Conflicts of Interest
Montgomery County is known statewide as a corrupt county. Our county elected officials in recent years have come under fire for nepotism, as several immediate relatives work under the county umbrella, as well as several conflicts of interest allocations with business entities and friends of commissioners' court collecting millions of tax dollars. Let's not forget developers and road engineering firms donating to Commissioners campaign funds, then receive millions of dollars in road construction contracts. This corruption was brought to the forefront with the criminal incitements of the precinct two Commissioner, the precinct four Commissioner and the County Judge on charges of violating the Texas Open Meeting Act, by having secret meetings. While some candidates offer policy proposals, well intentioned, still leave a significant question in the minds of citizens. The question of wondering will the person they’ve elected fulfill the campaign rhetoric and act with independence and objectivity when rubber meets the road. It’s clear the citizens of precinct two and Montgomery County believe it’s about the actions elected officials take when confronted with ethical situations. It's time for real change! While County Commissioner, I took on a corrupt government agency director, and Won! I understand the need to act with independence and objectivity from friends and relatives. While City Manager, it is documented in the press, my refusal to commit nepotism or favoritism for city leaders. Even if that meant the loss of my job, I did not succumb to the temptation of the "go-a-long" to "get-a-long" mindset. Further, I commit to the citizens of Montgomery County and precinct two, that I will seek meaningful change to the current Montgomery County ethics policy; that under no circumstances will an immediate relative of any Commissioner or County Judge be allowed to work for the county. Further, to reduce the perception of a pay-for-play scheme with road contracts, owners, partners, or PACs of construction companies and or engineering firms that donate to any member of the Commissioner Court, be limited in doing business with the county. Actions speak louder than policy research or large campaign contributions and I have proven that I will act with the citizens best interest in mind and not for the special interest.
It is time for real change, and I am willing to lead that change. I believe my campaign is that first step in restoring “We The People” to our county government.