Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Nueces County Commissioner, Precinct 1

County CommissionerThe Commissioners Court conducts the general business of the county and consists of the County Judge and four Commissioners.The CourtAdopts the county’s budget and tax rate.Approves all budgeted purchases of the county.Fills vacancies in elective and appointive offices.Sets all salaries and benefits.Has exclusive authority to authorize contracts.Provides and maintains all county buildings and facilities.Terms of officeTerm length: 4 yearsTerm limit: NoResidency: Yes, of Precinct 1Salary: $81,050

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  • Candidate picture

    Robert G. Hernandez
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Carolyn Vaughn
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

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

What ideas do you have to support Small, Women, and Minority Business development in Nueces County?

How would you balance spending between rural areas and urban Corpus Christi?

Given that each County Commissioner has discretionary funds, how would you prioritize using those funds?

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.

What are your top three (3) priorities for Precinct 1?

I am a life long resident of Nueces County. I raised my children in Precinct 1 and now my grandchildren live and attend school in Precinct 1. I retired from Nueces County after 22 years and have been a small business owner almost my whole life. Through my experience with Nueces County I learned a lot about the way business operates. There is too much wasteful spending and unnecessary programs. I intend to bring a common sense, practice approach to county government. Nothing prepares a person more for being part of county government than living through it on a daily basis for 22 years.
I feel that we should provide opportunities by making the process more equalized when bidding for contracts with Nueces County. I believe the county should partner with organizations like the Small Business Administration to help sponsor training for small businesses, and women or minority owned businesses to help them acquire certifications which make them more competitive in the market. I also believe the County should have a goal, perhaps 20%, of all contracts to be awarded to those businesses. It is important to have these businesses thrive in our community.
I would ensure a balance by reviewing current need with past spending and future use. I believe you also have to look at the economic abilities of the areas. Prioritizing what is important to the community is also key. For example, spending millions of dollars on an airport in Precinct 1 which did not produce any revenue for the taxpayers, but only drained resources was irresponsible spending. I would spend money on youth facilities and other programs which build family and community involvement. The key is responsible spending and the balance will come naturally.
I believe the discretionary fund should but done away with and all tax payer funds should be put into the general fund. However, if the discretionary funds remains a line item on the budget, I believe there should be guidelines on what the funds can be used for. I would utilize the funds on projects which support youth programs and facilities. I would also use the funds to help sponsor programs within the schools of Precinct 1 to help with education and extracurricular programs. I believe investing in our youth is the key to helping our community grow.
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I believe Nueces County should be looking toward the future, and the future involves the construction of a desalination plant in our area. I know that other areas, like Gregory, are proposing such a facility. We need to get on board and start forward thinking. We cannot stay stagnant and just continue to operate with a "business as usual" approach. We need to be proactive and think ahead. We have to learn to work together and have joint ventures. The reality is that there is strength in numbers and clean water is everyone's concern.
1. Law enforcement - More and more people are moving into rural Nueces County away from the city areas. I do not believe the County has kept up with providing adequate resources for law enforcement. Resources come in the form of additional officers, equipment, training, and vehicles.

2. Roads- We have to repair the roads and some of the more dangerous intersections in the county need to be addressed.

3 Flooding / drainage- We have to stop all the flooding which occurs because of inadequate maintenance of the drainage system.
I help run VES Survey Intl. and have done so for many years. I believe my management skills bring me a business perspective that government entities can benefit from. I also served on the City Council for District 1 for 3.5 years. I believe that experience helps me understand how government runs and operates. I also served as Mayor Pro Tem and that in itself gave me the opportunity to see government in another perspective.
I think we need to support economic development within the county.
I believe the City of Corpus Christi basically takes care of the urban areas. The county focuses mostly on the rural areas that don't have the benefits the urban community has . The urban communities are mostly concerned about their roads and drainage problems. I would spend the majority of spending on the rural areas and try and work with the City of Corpus Christi to address any concerns that affect the county in the urban areas that we can find a solution together on.
I believe the county has a regional drainage problem. It has been ignored for a very long time and the entities need to get together and solve the drainage issue as a group. I think each group is trying to solve it but in the end they are working against other. We could save money solving the issue together.
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I think strides have been made to provide safe drinking water for the county. As you know the city is in the county and the city has worked very hard over the last two years to solve the water boils they had and in doing that and requiring backflow testing have resulted in better drinking water. I think finding more water availability for the county will be a continuing process we have to go thru. I also think the county and the city need to work together to make sure we have safe drinking water and water for irrigation and industry. We need to look at desal and ground water.
Regional Drainage Solutions Homeless Look at the possibility of combining county and city law enforcement to save money.