Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Nueces County Judge

County JudgeDescription of Office Presiding officer of the Commissioners Court. Represents the county in many administrative functions. Serves as budget officer in counties with fewer than 225,000 residents. Most have broad judicial duties, such as presiding over misdemeanor criminal and small civil cases, probate matters and appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court. Serves as head of emergency managementTerms of ServiceTerm: 4 yearsTerm limits: NoResidency in Nueces County: YesSalary: $101,388

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  • Candidate picture

    Barbara Canales
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Mike Pusley
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Describe your credentials and life experiences that qualify you to hold this office.

What are the most important duties of a County Judge?

What are your three (3) top priorities for public infrastructure maintenance and expansion in Nueces County, and what will you do to support them?

Aside from building additional roads, what steps can the County take to advance improved mobility in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county?

How would you rate the capability of Nueces County to provide water for drinking, irrigation, and industry in the next 20 years?

Explain your answer.

I personally know Corpus Christi, our rural and coastal areas, and all places in between. I’m a petroleum engineer, an attorney, a small business owner, a Commissioner for the Port, and I serve on many boards (United Chamber, Bays & Estuaries, South Texas Military Task Force, and more). My years in Port leadership have taught me the importance of better governance for the public good. I understand Nueces County’s needs, strengths, weaknesses, and potential. As your advocate-in-chief, I’ll pursue higher paying jobs, smart economic growth, and better county services.
To bring leadership, efficiency, and new economic growth to Nueces County (by management of its budget, and oversight / governance of its unfunded mandates (e.g., homelessness, indigent care (including behavioral health care)), veterans services, coastal and inland parks, the courthouse, the jail, and more). Nueces County’s budget – through good leadership – must be managed to maximize benefits from and use of our taxpayers’ dollars.
My top three public infrastructure priorities are: (1) a county-wide GIS (Geographic Information System) to allow Nueces County to be a “smart” county; (2) better drainage for so many parts of Nueces County; and (3) support new infrastructure for the Padre Island community that is ready for a booming economy. To achieve these goals, I will pursue state and federal grants, and advocate for public-private partnerships. If the county can more strategically utilize its resources while simultaneously reaching out to its entrepreneurs, then we can accomplish projects otherwise beyond our reach.
Aside from building additional roads, better drainage is the most important issue for our county so that we may promote greater mobility. Better drainage of our rural areas will allow farmers better access, allow our residents better access to emergency services, and give access to properties not otherwise suitable for development. Residents’ increased mobility and access to all parts of the county make our properties more developable, and thus more valuable.
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For years, our city, county, industries, and residents have struggled with water issues. I give a ‘below average’ rating because we seem to study the issue, but we need action that anticipates future demands. Better leadership must demand development of not only surface water resources, but also ground water resources and desalinization technologies. The county has economic development authority and can provide incentives, but there must also be collaboration with the City which serve as the utility for most of our industry and residents. We need to take action now.
I am a life long resident of Nueces County. I have over 25 years of elected and appointed experience including serving the past nine years as the Nueces County Commissioner. I also served nine years as an elected member of the Tuloso-Midway Board of Trustees and for six years as an appointed member of the Corpus Christi Planning Commission. I have a BS Degree in Geology from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and worked in the Oil & Gas exploration business for 40 years. My elected experience as well as my business experience provide me with the skills and knowledge to carry this community forward.
In Nueces County the County Judge is responsible for the day to day operations of County Government. One of the most important of those responsibilities is developing and presenting the County budget to the Commissioners Court during the County's yearly budget process.
Working with the City and Port of CC to develop a long range solution to our water needs. I will form a task force to come up with a solution. Drainage - we must come together as a community to begin to address the many storm water drainage issues that exist in Nueces County. I worked to bring many new drainage solutions to Precinct One and will do the same with Commissioners and City officials to bring about additional needed changes While roads are not a big an issue for the County we still need to make sure we continue an aggressive maintenance program for our roads and bridges
We have to work with TxDot and the various City's in Nueces County to understand and address where we need to increase funding for handling the increase in traffic congestion, like the Northwest Blvd area. As populations grows in a specific area we all need to work together to understand how best to address the demands that will be made on our infrastructure. Much of this can be addressed working closely with the MPO, TXDot and the RTA to make sure our strategic planning is closely following our community expansion.
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Nueces County, the City of Corpus Christi need to come together and develop and long range water plan that should include desalination as part of the solution. I am a very strong supporter of a desal solution and will make this a number one priority during my term as County Judge.