Weatherford Democrat

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February 12, 2014

MEET THE CANDIDATES: The race for Parker County Judge

(Continued)

We have already limited tax rate increases and continue with the same tax rate. Individual tax bills may or may not increase based on appraisal changes (which are not controlled by Commissioners Court). Tax bills may increase because of the tax rate of other entities.

The general fund operating tax rate for the county is about 12 percent of the average tax rate for all taxing entities. Statewide, 82 percent of the 254 counties have a higher operating tax rate than Parker County.

Through sound business practices and a proven conservative approach to budgeting, we limit the tax while maintaining the expected level of service. Every budget has been scrubbed for unnecessary operating expenses. We cannot control unfunded mandates from the state which account for a large portion of our budget.

One of the biggest cost savings I was able to get approved was a change in our employee health insurance plan. We bought health insurance through an agency that cost us about $250,000 in commissions and administration fees.

Over the vehement objections of a former commissioner, I convinced the court to join a group with regional entities. Now, we pay no commissions and spend about $50,000 in administration fees. All monies paid by the county and employees now go directly to providing the benefits.

The transportation projects are one of the biggest economic engines we could have and with the positive growth we will continue to experience, we will have appropriate funds available to provide the expected services. If there is an economic downturn, we will do as we did several years ago. Cut expenses.

What are the duties and responsibilities of the county judge?

The county judge has multiple responsibilities beyond commissioners court. About half of my time is spent on judicial duties. These duties are an important part of the judicial process for our citizens and I am the only candidate qualified. I preside over Probate Court, which hears will prove ups, guardianships and mental competency hearings. I also am on a rotation schedule with the justices of the peace to set bond at the jail. A judge goes to the jail seven days a week, including holidays. This schedule was implemented after I became judge. The taxpayers have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars because every judge is committed to making the process the best it can be.

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  • CPS data.jpg Case overload

    Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • City to transfer bond funds to cover street project

    Per the recommendations of City of Weatherford staff, the Weatherford City Council Tuesday approved an ordinance amending the fiscal year 2014 budget to transfer monies from various bond funds into the general capital improvement projects fund. The reallocation of funds are from bonds designated to various street construction projects and will be consolidated into one more street construction project: the access road between Bethel Road and South Bowie Dr.

    July 23, 2014

  • Richard Adams Sr. Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges

    A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period. 

    Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 one trooper.jpg Living up to his name

    For a dog that has survived all odds, Trooper, a three-legged dog that is now seen at fundraisers and other Weatherford events, really does live up to his nickname, Super Trooper.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Macedo, Kelly.jpeg Couple arrested for stealing from elderly woman

    A Weatherford man and woman were arrested last week on charges that they burglarized the house of a woman in a nursing home, making off with books of checks and a rifle found by police during a traffic stop in May. 

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0723 one solar power car.jpg Powered by the sun

    About a half dozen solar-powered cars racing cross county began arriving in Weatherford late Monday afternoon. 

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cole Pritchard.jpg Becoming tech savvy

    Monday afternoon, Weatherford Public Library was home to local teens with a “techie” appetite. As a part of the library’s Young Adult Summer Reading Club, the library hosted a Teen Tech Challenge was hosted to inspire teens with desires of becoming animators and designers. Beyond just technology as a draw, those with a creative mind or a passion for storytelling were also invited.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0722 one puppy bag bikers.jpg A case for comfort

    Weatherford’s VFW Post 4746 R.D. Nelson Memorial and Guardians of the Children motorcycle club gave Hope for Tomorrow employee Heather Dezomits a helping hand Saturday when she introduced Operation Sweet Cases, a program designed to give foster kids a place to store their belongings as they travel from placement to placement.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Purple Heart recipients wanted

    Parker County Judge and Commissioners Court are encouraging all local Purple Heart recipients to attend commissioners court on Monday, July 28, at 10 a.m., as the court designates Parker County a “Purple Heart County.”

    July 21, 2014

  • 0720 one swim rescue 2.jpg Safety first

    As has become a yearly routine, Cherry Park lifeguards and first responders teamed up Friday to conduct a safety drill in response to a simulated drowning.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

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