Frequently Asked Questions.
Why are you running for this office?
- I am a 37-year-old businesswoman, wife, and mother raising my family here. I have a vested interest in the prosperity of this community and I want a voice in the development. It’s important that we foster a healthy economy while keeping our small-town values and atmosphere for the generations to come.
- I believe that Washington County needs a fresh perspective to manage our upcoming challenges. I will add a visionary, yet conservative outlook to Commissioners Court.
- My business expertise and high energy will bring new, creative ideas to consider for decision-making. I am capable and eager for the responsibility.
What key competencies do you possess to be an elected official?
- Throughout my career, I have planned and managed complex processes, multi-million-dollar budgets, and criteria for measuring results – all needed at the county level.
- I have a well-rounded background that includes job estimating, procurement, labor allocation, scheduling, operations, engineering review, data entry, project management, and sales – these activities are deeply embedded in county government.
- I routinely evaluate quotes from suppliers and service vendors. This will be a huge asset when reviewing bids for county expenditures and contracts.
- I am objective, open-minded and fair – with a good balance of vision and pragmatism.
- I have excellent communications skills, and encourage open discussions for decisions.
What sets you apart from the other candidates in your race?
- I am a servant-leader. My seat will always center on empathy and compassion. My goal is to support and benefit my fellow citizens – along with the overall county.
- Anyone operating this way must involve collaboration and input from others. I advocate listening and learning before decisions are made.
- I excel in negotiations, relationships, and conflict resolution. There is always an equitable solution if you work hard to find it. No one should leave Commissioners Court angry.
- My business background is also very different from my opponent’s. For the past ten years, I have worked daily on very large projects and budgets – many that are similar to county projects.
What is your vision for Washington County?
- I hope our county can become more unified and more cooperative, across all governments, towns and civic organizations.
- By working more closely together, our community leaders can make a greater positive impact for the common good.
What are you doing to prepare for the job?
- I have been meeting with many county residents to learn what suggestions and concerns they have for our community.
- The above meetings have led to much research. Once a concern is expressed to me, I spend a great deal of time looking for ways to improve it.
- I have been studying budgets, past county decisions, and today’s top issues.
What do you consider to be the top priorities to work on?
- I will take a collaborative and proactive role in both identifying and implementing smart growth strategies. Some of these are utilizing land for mix-uses, provide a range of housing opportunities, foster distinctive and attractive communities, preserve open space and farmland and centralize residential and commercial growth. These smart growth strategies not only help to manage future growth but can increase socioeconomic conditions as well as supplement any efforts to fortify financial gains through tourism objectives.
- Work towards finding creative ways to create or allocate more resources in support of our Sheriff's Office and Volunteer Fire Departments. These departments and office service the welfare of our community and being that Washington County is already a dispersed community and keeping in mind of future growth, it will only continue to be more difficult to uphold their obligations if they are not adequately staffed, supplied and compensated.
- It is important that we continue to innovate and evaluate different approaches geared towards minimizing our tax rates and improve upon the services the county provides.
What are the top changes or improvements you want to make while in office?
- Based on complaints from my fellow citizens, I would actually want to start with the Commissioners Court. This group is paid to work for the public. I would like to introduce practices of proactive listening, learning, and conflict resolution.
- If there are variables or unknowns around an issue, I will always recommend due diligence in research. Commissioners cannot make sound decisions, for any areas of county operation, without a thorough understanding of those areas.
- The professionals in each department are the ones who are experts in their fields. They know their strengths, weaknesses, budgets, and challenges – and they should be listened to.
- I am firmly against the idea of micro-managing individual departments or offices. Once budgets are approved, each entity should be empowered to make daily decisions without the oversight of County Commissioners. If any departments or offices perform unsatisfactorily, those individuals will be held accountable.
In your opinion, what county department needs the most improvement?
- Roads are a big concern for residents. The department works hard to identify and prioritize what roads are in most need of service, however many of the constituents are not informed of how, why, or when. This plan needs to be more visible, so the public can understand the process and know what to expect.
- The Sheriff’s Office is also a top priority for citizens who talk with me. Law enforcement men and women risk their lives for us every day. They need to be adequately staffed, paid and equipped for their own safety, and for ours.
How can we manage the growth of the population and crime in our county?
- A lot can be done through the guidance of our economic development. We need to protect our rural landscapes and farmlands, provide attractive neighborhoods and retail areas, centralize development to minimize a dispersed community, utilize existing infrastructure and utilities, and create more tourist attractions.
- Implement strategies that can discourage criminals, and encourage peace and prosperity for citizens.
- If we beef-up our law enforcement (which is needed anyway), we will be in a much better position to deter the criminal elements that inherently come with growth.
What could you do as an elected official to help the small business community?
- The creation of the A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center provided a tremendous service to our community. We should continue to build upon those services.
- Additionally, I would like to see an extension of the center that provides life skills training for our youngest adults.
What is your opinion of offering economic development incentives to lure capital investment and jobs to the community?
- Economic development should continue to be a priority for this county. Due to inflation and the further disparity between net productivity and wages, it is harder for society to make a dollar stretch as it once did. With this in mind - if our ad valorem and/or assessed values increase it will only make it that much harder for our community to make ends meet.
- We need to promote economic development initiatives that will attract new businesses and investments into the community. In doing so, we can not only widen our tax base, which can help ease the tax burden on constituents but they can drive more sales tax revenue into local government and create jobs amongst other benefits. Again, back to smart growth strategies and this is a part of that equation.
How important do you feel the relationship is between Washington County government officials and City of Brenham officials, City of Burton officials and the unincorporated communities?
- All of these relationships are of utmost importance to the community. It is critical that each entity endeavor to collaborate as much as possible; this alone will be an excellent service to the county.
- Decisions made by any entity or community can affect another, whether it be directly or in-directly so I cannot stress enough the importance of cultivating good rapport with one another.