“We have to budget better. We have to get together and come together as your budgets count. And I will work with these elected officials in their offices, literally in their offices, understanding exactly what they do so when they bring their budgets in they actually do matter.
“But I also want to see, like I’ve said before, to unite the cities. Let’s make sure we bring people together. I want to plan for transportation and let’s get on the East Loop and get on it as quickly as possible. But also, plan for water. We must plan for water and that means as the judge to have a platform to bring the councils together and work with them and use that to our benefit for our future.”
Do you see any other options for a water supply that should be investigated for East Parker County cities? How would you be an advocate for water solutions for East Parker County?
Riley: “I’ve attended water meetings in the region and conferences... The county can’t dictate to any city about anything. I don’t care what it is. We can’t dictate. We can be partners but our statutory authority is limited.
“I think what a lot of people, especially new people, don’t understand about county government is it’s not like city government in any form or fashion. And the power we have only comes from what the Legislature gives us and the constitution. It’s either statute or specified in the constitution. We can’t just go out and do something because we think it would be a good idea.
“Now, that doesn’t keep us from partnering and supporting and, as I said, like independent water supply companies, if Walnut Creek Water Supply, for example, in the north part of the county. If they want to apply for a state grant to improve their system, the county has to be the pass-through for those funds. That’s the way that process was set up. So we support those grant applications.