Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Williamson County Judge

General Election: November 6, 2018Early Voting: October 22 - November 2, 2018

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  • Candidate picture

    Blane Conklin
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Bill Gravell
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    William (Bill) Kelberlau
    (I)

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Biographical Information

What are the transportation issues in your county and how do you plan to address them?

What are the health and human services issues in your county and how would you address them?

Because counties do not have zoning authority, how do you plan to address growth issues in the unincorporated areas of your county?

What do you consider to be the most important responsibility of a County Judge?

Background Coordinate benefits and insurance for 125,000 employees across the state in a $1.3 billion med plan. Commissioner, RR Historic Preservation Commission
Education PhD, University of Chicago
The biggest challenge facing Williamson County is our dramatic growth, and how to be intelligent in preparing for it. Our mobility and transportation needs are regional challenges, and we must work more closely with our regional partners to come up with ways to deal with those needs. Our set of solutions should not be limited to just roads and bridges, but light rail and other mass transit solutions should be considered. County government does not cause growth and development, but it is responsible for preparing for that growth by making sure we have the infrastructure in place to handle it.
We are experiencing a growing mental and behavioral health crisis. One of the unsung heroes of this effort is the Mobile Outreach Team. The MOT responds to calls for people experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis. Their work not only saves lives, it makes economic sense by keeping someone out of jail or the ER, which often costs the county. Another major issue is access to health care in the eastern part of the county. Wilco needs to work closely with and provide support to the network of public, private, and non-profit organizations working to address this problem.
I am for smart development that respects property rights, provides opportunities for all, and preserves the unique beauty and character of our county. Counties have extensive permitting and regulating authority. I would like to see WilCo use this authority to direct development away from areas that are prone to flooding, or that have significant agricultural value, for example. The county must ensure that water resources, emergency services, and transportation infrastructure is in place, and that developers help share in the burden of the cost for those improvements.
The County Judge's most important responsibility is to fairly represent all citizens with accountability, transparency, and honesty. The issues that face Williamson County are not partisan issues. They are about the quality of life we want for our children and grandchildren. Williamson County needs an executive who can who can reach across political and cultural divides, build consensus, and make the tough decisions for the people of this county. I bring the background, education, experience, and temperament to represent all the citizens of Williamson County in a fair and reasonable way.
Background Judge Bill Gravell is a community leader and lifelong resident of Williamson County. Named "Texas Judge of the Year in 2017.
Education Round Rock High School (Class of 1982) B.S. University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
The Williamson County Commissioners Court has developed a 50-year plan for addressing the transportation needs of our community. Our next County Judge needs to have the vision and foresight to stay on top of the growing transportation needs of this community and ensure that it’s residents have the ability to move freely throughout Williamson County and the Central Texas region.
Even before my time public office, I’ve believed that protecting vulnerable children is perhaps the single most important responsibility of our elected officials. That’s why I’m proud to have worked with state and local leaders to increase resources for Child Protective Services (CPS) and make sure that all Texas children are protected from abuse and neglect.
Our next County Judge needs to be able to manage the considerable growth we’ve experienced here in Central Texas, while still ensuring that the rights of homeowners and property owners are respected. That means being judicious with taxpayer funds, standing on the side of property owners when it comes to the use of eminent domain, and doing everything possible to keep taxes low and under control.
As our next Williamson County Judge, my main priorities will be keeping our community safe, enforcing our laws so Williamson County doesn’t become a sanctuary for illegal immigration, keeping property taxes as low as possible, safeguarding children from abuse and neglect, and making sure that our veterans have the resources and respect they deserve.
Background Mfg Eng Fin Trng Consult Chair Dir Pres CAPT USN Bdgt $B Strg Plan Church ldr, missionary Rotary ESD Comm/Treas Farm 6th gen Tex Patents Trusted
Education BS PAU:Chem-Math m EE MS SMU:Eng Mgt LAW, computer science NCIS sp agnt, Attache Senior Cmd Mgt AOCS AI OOD UCMJ EW NUC Wep crpyto TS-SCI CNWDI SIOP
The current transportation path started with a TXDOT CAMPO Road Plan adopted by Comm Court in 1999. A comprehensive analysis needs to be done for WilCo to determine after 20 years are we pursuing the right path for WilCo citizens? What corrections if any are needed? WilCo taxpayers are suffering under a massive debt load, highest Per Capita in TX. A parallel analysis needs to create an affordability strategy/plan. Put an end to citizens selling because of the tax burden. WilCo citizens for many years have experienced compounding tax increases that is dwarfing their increases in income.
WilCo has been passing piecemeal orders & programs that are not in sync with a WilCo citizen strategic plan. WilCo needs to adopt a mission statement that is focused on citizens, veterans, doctor-patient optimization and engaging community resources allowing affordable and efficient delivery. My father in law was a doctor, I am a scientist by education, I was a customer service manager that solved issues at the national level and I understand the team that needs to be formed to generate a comprehensive WilCo solution engaging doctor, city, county, and State Representatives.
The over simplification of the zoning question is not in sync with today's operating reality. Home rule cities ETJ authority with building codes, fire codes, ordinances and more. There are MUDs, SUDs, ESDs housing authorities and other jurisdictions with taxing and ordinance authority. Add in TCEQ and other Texas Agencies. Who owns the unincorporated areas and yes what about the citizens? Not to mention property ownership and Constitutional rights. My proven experience managing national operations in both military and industry will benefit this challenging environment and decision making.
Citizens. health, safety, Liberty and Posterity. Not just physical but fiscal and mental. Daily challenges come and go but what about a major event? What would WilCo do if the Texas GRID went down for a couple of weeks? Imagine just two weeks without electricity statewide. As a former ESD Commissioner, a current INFRAGARD member working with Texas Public Policy Foundation I have had this discussion with many legislators. This and other issues, we have to acknowledge the elephants in the room and deal with them. No more kicking the can down the road.

Citizens fiscal health is priority one.