My positions on the issues
While I don’t expect everyone to agree with every position I have on specific Issues, please try to remember that I’m leaving my business of thirty years to serve in public office for probably no more than one term to create policies and procedures that will end our exposure to corruption and get us all back to normal and better! My positions on issues include but are not limited to the following:
Our out-of-control violent crime rate is a result of what can easily be described as a perfect storm. Officers with 20 plus years are retiring in record numbers. The replacements are simply not there for a variety reason i.e., population growth, pay scale and an acceptable agreement to provide the services. Then came the “pandemic” so courtrooms shut down and the judges went home creating a huge backlog of cases. Some if not most criminals who were bonded out have been waiting for adjudication for over 4 years and have begun to feel like there are no consequences for their actions. So they go back to doing what they do best. The solution appears to be to change the law-making bonds more commensurate with the charges brought against the bondee and maybe duration no longer indefinite but even more important, no longer issue multiple bonds for violent crimes. In other words, if a person is out on bond for committing assault and battery and while out on bond commits another violent crime, the original bond is forfeited and the individual goes back to jail to await trial just as someone would if they violated their parole. We will also need to get the judges to get back to trying cases and or vote in those that will. So while we increase the hiring of police officers and get caught up on trying cases we may need more jail space. There are plenty of commercial properties lying dormant that could be easily transformed into temporary jails until we get the situation back under control.
Holland, which is under sea level, has figured out how not to flood. I think the engineering and resources exist in Harris County to figure out how we can reduce if not eliminate our exposure to severe flooding as we are above sea level. It’s my understanding that the army corps of engineers have been working on a project to build tunnels that would funnel the flood waters directly into the ship channel which would also reduce the need to dredge. We need to help that project along to get off the drawing board and start digging. We can also, in conjunction with the army corps of engineers, double our reservoir capacity to never suffer from the ravages of storms like Harvey again!! I will get this done.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF:
Property taxes are too high. This is creating a burden on everyone in Harris County no matter if you rent or own. In the past the only buffer we had to the too high rate which is set by Harris County was conservative and or reasonable appraisals. Now Harris County Appraisal District,HCAD, is moving those appraisals up to more closely related to full market value. If you’ve ever protested your taxes or hired a firm to do that for you, you would quickly realize that you’re not alone. The building is packed with taxpayers and Harris County employees alike spending great amounts of time, energy, and money. This much activity dedicated to protesting property taxes is a clear sign that something is wrong. The rate is too high! Solution is to eliminate offices, and programs that were out of our jurisdiction in the past. The budget was approximately 3 Billion just four years ago but has now grown to over 7.6 Billion Even though the budget to the Sheriff’s office should be close to double, once we have got back down to the business of properly running the county, there are some 1.6 Billion dollars that can be cut. Once that is done then we can cut the rate. Most government entities have the mindset that they better spend their budget and more or you won’t get the same or more the next year. Therefore, the notion that government bodies generally waste taxpayer’s money is not a notion but a fact! As a business owner of 50 plus years if elected, I promise to partner with Commissioners and Cagle and Ramsey to get this done! Last but not least I will propose that the tax rate for residences owned by veterans and valued at less than one million dollars, be lowered by 50% as we owe them a debt that can never be repaid in full!
If you’ve lived in Harris County for more than 30 years as I have, you may remember the promise from Harris County officials that once the toll road now known as Beltway 8 was paid for, the fees would go away. Well, whoever it was that said that didn’t think things through for the long run. If the fees went away, you still have maintenance, repairs and improvements required for any road built so if the fee went away the aforementioned three things would have to be paid for by property tax in most cases. That would not be congruent with the goal to lower property tax. However, when elected I promise to conduct an audit and discover where we can give the commuters of Harris County some relief short of raising property taxes.
This is a very complex and difficult issue that has plagued every major city in America. I believe that the homeless are made up of many groups of people i.e. the mentally ill, old and or disabled, people suffering economically and are willing to work, people for whatever reason wish to for lack of a better word, disappear and of course drug or alcohol addicts. I think the constable’s office should do everything possible to create a census of these people and those found to be in need of help for addictions, mental illness or disabled brought to a facility that Harris County has made arrangements with and at least get as many of those people off the streets as possible. During that effort I’m sure some persons might be discovered to be wanted and would need to be brought back to justice as a matter of safety for our citizens. There of course will be those who refuse to let us help them and as long as we can ascertain that they’re not a threat to the citizens, they will retain the right and Freedom to Choose. It’s not an easy task by any means and will not end homelessness but with hard work we will at least significantly reduce the numbers.
When the pandemic started you may have noticed that Dr. Fauci told everyone that the mask would not do much to stop the spread of an airborne virus. As I told you in the introduction, I am and have been a professional risk manager for over thirty years. We regarded and trained our clients in using the mask to protect themselves from blood borne pathogens when helping an injured worker or as a healthcare provider, performing procedures where an exposure to that was present. So when I heard Dr. Fauci speak of not needing to wear the mask for protection of a virus, I of course concurred. It wasn’t long before that he changed his tune and everyone suddenly was wearing masks. I was shocked and amazed at how the population was so willing to adopt this form of mediation for a virus. Even more shocking was the use of handkerchiefs or other cloth masks in lieu of the standard N95 mask which offered even less protection from bloodborne pathogens. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the particles of a virus are approximately One Micron while the mask blocks particles that are about 80 Microns in thickness. Visualize using a chain link fence to block mosquitoes from getting into your backyard. You should notice that anyone working in a lab where viruses are present is wearing a complete sealed suit with independent and or specially filtered air supply. The CDC finally came out with a study that showed that there was a .4 of 1% advantage they think by wearing a mask. Not very much! However, if someone feels safer or more comfortable by wearing a mask, then I support that 100% as they have the right and Freedom to Choose. If elected I will not mandate the employees of Harris County or anyone else for that matter to wear a mask.
When the pandemic got going, so did big Pharma trying to develop a vaccine. Normally, the pandemic happens first and then after many years of work and testing a vaccine is developed. Whenever you take a vaccine, its to avoid the illness for which you took the vaccine for i.e. Polio, Measles, Whooping Cough and so on. When I went through boot camp in the Air Force I must have gotten many vaccines for things I never even heard of. Everyone knows by now that the vaccine for Covid is a drug and not a vaccine. It neither keeps you from becoming infected nor transmitting the disease to others. Additionally, as all drugs this medicine does in fact have side effects. They are listed in the circulars that are provided by the manufacturers. However, if you and your doctor believe that the vaccine would in fact benefit, by all means take the shot. There is a large group of doctors and scientists around the globe that tell us that the drug/vaccine may be harmful if not immediately at least within the next three to five years whereby our death rate will increase for all diseases and ailments all triggered by the vaccine. At just the slightest chance that experts around the world are correct, would prevent me as your County Judge from mandating its use. I believe that every citizen not just in Harris County but the nation is entitled to all of the information so that they can make an informed decision to be vaccinated or not. For that reason, as your County Judge, I will publish well founded information on a special website for the citizens to rely on when they have questions about the vaccine.