Are you a legal resident of the district you’re seeking to represent? Yes
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No
Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? No
Do you have any unpaid property taxes? No
Do you have any unpaid parking tickets? No
Do you have any other debts to a public entity? No
If elected will you work at the job full time? Yes
Will you continue to own or operate an outside business while holding this full-time public office? No
Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book? Yes
Will you keep regular office hours? Yes
Q. Why should voters choose you? What are your specific qualifications for the position?
A. As the first tax collector in Galveston County to earn State certification (Registered Texas Assessor Collector or RTA) I am the only qualified experienced and proven candidate. Certification takes five years and requires passing eight specialization courses and 12 hours of State exams.
Q. What are the issues in this campaign? What is your platform on those issues?
A. Four years ago I promised to increase service reduce cost and fight for tax relief. I delivered on those promises and today the GCTO is the most improved department in the County. We increased service by adopting a customer service attitude extending hours adding satellite offices and reducing mail processing time by months. Costs were reduced by lowering contracted collection costs 28% implementing technological improvements without increasing the budget and increasing interest revenues. Tax rates overall are lower than they have been in 20 years more governments are sensitive to taxpayer burdens the appraisal cap is now limited to 10% since last appraised and I teach classes to help taxpayers lower their appraised values. Over the next four years services will continue to be improved and expanded GCTO will become a profit center for the county and I will continue the fight for meaningful and sustainable property tax relief.
Q. If you promise to control or reduce taxes tell us how and be specific. For example how do you propose offsetting the inflation in government operating costs you cannot control (insurance utilities fuel costs etc.) by cutting costs you can control?
A. Reducing processing time for tax payments has increased interest revenues for the county substantially. I plan an aggressive collection consolidation effort which will reduce costs for both current and future customers. My team is continually implementing improvements that enable us to become more efficient thus reducing costs further (i.e. recent implementation of automated check production reduces personnel costs while increasing internal controls). We are working smarter which results in reduced operating costs.
Q. What government programs or personnel can be cut to reduce the increasing cost of government? Be specific.
A. Every year GCTO provides listings of cost saving measures to commissioners (available upon request). One example — reimburse commissioner travel expenses rather than paying monthly stipends.
Q. What specific actions would you take to make the office you seek more accessible to county residents and work efficiently with tax monies?
A. I have asked commissioners to install drive-through windows at future county facilities. Satellite offices in Crystal Beach and Friendswood bring services closer to customers and use few county resources and as government partners are added we hope to open additional satellite locations in other areas of the county. Substation partnerships at local grocery stores are another option.
Q. Tell us a about yourself. How old are you? What is your occupation? What is your highest level of education?
A. I began my real estate career 30 years ago (sales development and appraisal) served two terms on the CCISD Board seven on the GCAD Board. I have worked with the Legislature since 1994 on tax education election and government reforms and have developed good relationships with State leaders. Currently I serve on several statewide committees but am most involved on the Legislative and Security committees of my professional organization. The Security Committee focuses on identification and prevention of theft and fraud in financial systems and voter integrity.