By CHRISTIN COYNE
WILLOW PARK – The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night hosted a forum for candidates running for office in East Parker County, asking several questions of each candidate, including county judge candidates Mark Riley and Cary McKay, facing off in Tuesday’s local Republican primary.
McKay called for lowering taxes and better communication with Parker County cities, while Riley talked about the successful transportation projects he has led during his time in office and record of working with local cities so that it became a statewide model for TxDOT.
Some of questions asked of candidates and their responses are included:
Why are you running for office?
Riley: “I’m proud of my 23 years of service to this county - eight years as commissioner of precinct 4 and 15 years as county judge. During those 23 years, we’ve accomplished a lot. We’ve saved taxpayers money but we’ve provided services to the community.
“I think when you enter public office you are either looking for a job or you have a servant’s heart. And I’ve had a servant’s heart. And it’s not about the money. It’s not about the prestige or whatever. It’s about what can you accomplish each day for the citizens you work for. I’m proud of those accomplishments and I’ll continue to do that if re-elected.”
McKay: “Probably more than anything to get the taxes more in line with where we’re at right now. I want to stand up for the taxpayer. I think we’re paying too much in property taxes as we speak.
“And the other is to stand up for the property owner. I believe we’ve lost a lot of property rights over course of the last several years and I see that as something that we cannot do and that I would not do. I would always stand up for the property owner.