Weatherford Democrat

February 26, 2014

Meet the March 4 primary election candidates: Precinct 4 county commissioner

Weatherford Democrat

Name: Fred Hammons

Occupation: King Ranch, transportation specialist; major restaurant franchise; general manager.

Family: single parent of three grown children; sons Michael, 27, and Jason, 23, and daughter, Angela, 25.

Education: graduate of Burleson High School. Attended Tarrant County Junior College and continuing education courses through Texas A&M University; graduate of Fort Worth Police Academy and licensed Texas peace officer, firefighter and EMT.

Professional affiliations: Fort Worth Police Officer’s Association; vice president of the North Texas Association of Public Employees; National Rifle Association; lifelong conservative Republican.

Community involvement: volunteered more than 13 years and 25,000 hours to the citizens of Fort Worth as a reserve police officer; volunteer Texas firefighter and EMT; actively involved in the Walsh Foundation for the past 12 years; FEMA disaster specialist; Hurricane Ike strike team member; Hurricane Katrina victim relocation team member.

What are your top three goals should you be elected to serve? Please be specific.

1. Ensure a smooth turnover of responsibilities of the Pct. 4 county commissioner’s office.

2. Meet with Pct. 4 staff.

3. Identify available resources and prioritize pending projects.

The transportation bond projects approved by voters in 2008 are nearly complete. What is your opinion on what has been accomplished and what, if any, are the next steps the county should take?

Like it or not, growth is inevitable. As a longtime resident of Parker County I, like many others, have particularly observed the rapid growth in East Parker County. I believe we have done an adequate job of being proactive in keeping up with the increased demands on our infrastructure but there are always ways to improve and be more efficient with our taxpayer dollars.

Earthquakes — and their possible link to injection wells used for fracking waste — have been an issue for some Parker County residents recently. Do you think the Texas Railroad Commission should increase the monitoring and reporting done at these wells?

With all the research done on the recent earthquakes in areas close to fracking operations, it’s easy for one to conclude there may be a link caused by wastewater injection. With that said, further research indicates that new regulations are to take affect in 2014, which hopefully will soon provide more definitive causation of the earthquakes.

Please comment on the $1.3 million road & bridge fund deficit brought to light in this year’s budget talks and the court’s decision to give up individual fund balances.

As a fiscal conservative my foremost thought is how can I be more efficient with our hard-earned taxpayer dollars and how can we mitigate the tax burden placed on the current generation of taxpayers and future generations.

Having worked many years in major construction/infrastructure projects and also as a heavy equipment operator, I know full well the amount of wear and tear placed on our roads and bridges. Furthermore, I’ve often found that if we do not properly maintain our roads and bridges we are likely to cause an undue burden of reconstruction and rehabilitation costs onto future taxpayers and that failure to be proactive and act is not fiscally responsible.

Do you have any strategies to limit tax increases as the county grows? If so, what are they?

While out on the campaign trail meeting my constituents, I’ve heard all too often about alleged inefficiencies, waste, fraud and abuse of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. With my track record of managing personnel, managing budgets, intrusive leadership and taking a fledgling major local franchise, operating in the red and now in the black with sustained increased profits for over a decade, I have no doubt I can turn things around, increase productivity and reduce budget expenditures and inefficiencies.