Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Williamson County Commissioner Precinct 2

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

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  • Candidate picture

    Cynthia Long

  • Candidate picture

    Kasey Redus

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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 Commissioner?

Background Native Texan, wife, mother, transportation leader. Former small business owner, city council & planning commission. Church & community volunteer.
Education BBA, Business Analysis-Texas A&M University. Numerous continuing education classes in county government, leadership, management, and transportation.
Williamson County voters have told us to stay ahead of the congestion by overwhelmingly voting yes for multiple transportation bonds. In response, I have led the charge to design a county transportation plan that addresses the explosive growth in Williamson County and we are delivering on that plan. We have built almost 300 lane miles of new roads and made improvements to 221 more. As a leader on CAMPO, I have brought millions of State and Federal transportation dollars to the County, keeping Wilco taxpayers from having to foot the whole bill for the improvements.
Partnership is key to addressing these issues. Government can’t and shouldn’t do it all. We are blessed with a vibrant non-profit and faith community that the county and other governmental entities partner with to address many of the health and human service needs. The collaborative approach has proven to be effective as we tackle the challenges. Needs are being met for domestic violence and other assault victims, foster children, veterans, abused seniors, individuals with mental health needs, among others. We have made great strides while acknowledging there is still more to do.
As a strong supporter of private property rights, I believe that government must respect those rights as government chooses how and what it regulates. The legislature has given counties some authority regarding how subdivisions are planned and built. We must ensure our subdivision rules are followed, that those rules protect the health and safety of the public and that new development puts as little financial burden on current and future tax payers as possible. Additionally, where and how we build roads is a way in which we can and do influence future development.
There are numerous important responsibilities of a Commissioner. Most important is establishing and managing the annual county budget that appropriately funds all county departments and setting the tax rate. I understand that every penny that pays for the county budget comes out of taxpayer pockets and I take that seriously. My ability to discern wants versus needs and say "no" when necessary has been key to a balanced budget and lowering the tax rate. Listening to constituents, answering their questions, connecting them to resources, and solving problems is also a very important duty.
Background Moved to Cedar Park 7 years ago when I bought a preschool. Before that I taught special education in residential treatment centers.
Education Graduated from university of Colorado w BA in Spanish literature Got teaching certificate through Huston-Tillotson.
Williamson County needs to plan ahead of its own growth and work well with our partners throughout the region. All modes of transportation must be considered, not just more roads, because we are quickly getting to the point, especially in Precinct 2, that we are no longer going to have the room to double our pavement with the doubling of our population. We need to appoint new representatives for our transportation boards who will show up to the meetings and work with other counties to stay ahead of traffic problems.
Mental Health is the number one health issue in our county and we need to address this head on. We have an award-winning department that handles mental health situations- the Mobile Outreach Team (MOT). They are especially adept at crisis situations. This department has recently been stripped of their overnight staff and I plan to bring the night shift back and help this team get the resources they need. The school districts rely heavily on these trained professionals, and we need to have the ability to help every student, especially in the current times.
Any plan for growth in unincorporated areas of our county must begin with a coordinated partnership with the area’s city and school district governing bodies. Many elements must be considered including: Is there enough water to go around for all those new rooftops and businesses? Will there be a safe place to locate a school away from cars that travel at high speeds on certain roads? Is there enough infrastructure built- roads, water lines, etc.- to handle the influx of growth? 1st Responders must also be a part of the conversation. More growth means more pressure on our emergency services
Overseeing the county budget is the most important responsibility of the County Commissioner. In order to distribute our tax dollars as efficiently and responsibly as possible in a non-biased manner, the County Commissioner should be able to listen attentively to county employees’ needs, analyze data presented, and understand county operations. Paramount to this, is creating and maintaining a trusting relationship with all residents and county departments.