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Candidate Profile: Susan P. Baker - The Galveston County Daily News : Politics

September 23, 2014

Candidate Profile: Susan P. Baker

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Posted: Friday, October 24, 2008 12:00 am

Part 1

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?

NO

Will you keep regular office hours?

YES

Part 2

Q. Why should voters choose you? What are your specific qualifications for the position?

A. Voters should choose me because I care about the residents of Galveston County. I’ve spent most of my life here. I see us as one big family with our differences but still devoted to helping each other be successful and better our community. Graduate of Ball High School (1967) University of Houston at Clear Lake (1976) and South Texas College of Law (Houston) (1981). Licensed by the State Bar of Texas for 26 years. 18 years on the bench disposing of almost 30000 cases of all kinds through jury and bench trials. 9 years active practice of law handling all types of cases 3 years as arbitrator 2+ years Adult Probation Officer. The issues are the protection of the community reduction of crime reduction of the number of repeat offenders and moving cases through the system quickly. This can be done through communication with others in the public and private sectors to achieve our goals.

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Q. What are the issues in this campaign? What is your platform on those issues?

A. Prior to taking the bench I was a founder of the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County. Since that time I fought alone to get us courthouse security taking up the issue with commissioners court until they acquiesced. I caused the creation of the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program wherein volunteers are trained to advocate for abused and neglected children. Under my direction we reformed the juvenile delinquency processing systems to get kids cases to court quicker instead of allowing kids to continue to commit crimes without their problems being addressed. ... I was long an advocate of the process to assist the courts in moving cases. I served on the Mediation Board for the entire 12 years I was on the bench. Having solved problems before by creating programs I know I can do it again.

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. A judge can exercise leadership in the community to work with agencies to create programs with the goal of reducing recidivism (repeat offenders) and taxes.

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Q. What government programs or personnel can be cut to reduce the increasing cost of government? Be specific.

A. A judge may exercise leadership in communicating with other elected officials on ways to process cases faster and more efficiently. For example a judge may work with the sheriff and the jail to move defendants through the system more quickly to free up beds.

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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. The courts are open to the public but a judge may not discuss cases without all parties being present. A judge however sits on several different county boards. The judge may exercise her creativity to process cases in new and innovative ways. The judge may additionally communicate with other elected officials to ascertain whether there are different ways of doing things that would be more cost effective.

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Q. Tell us a about yourself. How old are you? What is your occupation? What is your highest level of education?

A. 59; Judge Sitting By Assignment; Doctor of Jurisprudence