1. What are your qualifications for this office and why are you seeking this office?

1. What are your qualifications for this office and why are you seeking this office?

I hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics and business and once managed western US operations for Echosphere Corporation (DISH). I successfully served three terms as Sherman mayor and have built, turned-around and managed numerous companies. I’m a life member of the NRA and regularly attend Sherman’s First United Methodist church where my family and I are members. I want to make Grayson County a better place for my wife and children, and for yours.

2. The Texas Open Meetings Act requires business that comes before the Commissioners Court, in both open and closed sessions, to be publicly posted in sufficient detail to alert the public to issues of interest to them. What would you do to improve the commissioners’ compliance with this act?

Government must be open and transparent. From Benghazi, to NSA surveillance, to the IRS’s unfair targeting of conservative organizations, a veil of secrecy hangs over Washington. We cannot allow it here in Grayson County. I am concerned about issues like reducing employee pensions, where decisions seemed to be made before the public meetings began. The legislative process is like making sausage, it’s not pretty to watch, but the end product is usually good. Under our law, citizens have the right to watch, to be informed and to engage elected officials. We must always defend their ability to participate in the governing process.

I will immediately put "public comment" back on the agenda of the Commissioners’ Court meetings. I support telecasting the Commissioners’ Court meetings on cable and internet. This allows the public to observe, at their convenience, without incurring the cost of employee overtime associated with evening meetings.

3. Would you support creating a Grayson County Mental Health court similar to the Drug and Family Law courts and /or establish a position for a Mental Health officer? Please explain.

The benefit to taxpayers and safety of the community should control this decision. We have two county courts with mental health jurisdiction that do an excellent job. We have compassionate churches and excellent nonprofits including Four Rivers Outreach, Texoma Community Center (formerly MHMR) and House of Hope. I support exploring with the district attorney, judges, sheriff and other interested persons a more robust mental health diversion program. Diversion programs allow non-violent offenders who meet program criteria such as suffering mental health issues to be placed on intensive supervised diversion/probation rather than going to jail. Abstinence from alcohol and illegal drugs, random drug testing and participation in rehabilitative programs can all be part of a customized program. This allows the county to make use of its existing resources rather than incurring the cost of another specialty court. Obviously, jail remains as the ultimate option to protect the community.

4. Do you support the establishment of a Veterans Court in Grayson County? Please explain.

I believe a Veterans diversion program is a better use of resources for the same reasons explained above.

The greatest challenge facing our community is rebuilding the economy of my youth. Grayson County was once home to many industries paying living wages with reasonable benefits. Some say those days are gone, but I am unwilling to accept a future in which Grayson County is a poorer version of the Dallas suburbs. With fresh air, ample power and water and the best airport outside the Metroplex, we can compete with anyone, but we must control spending and expand the tax base.