Williamson County Commissioner Precinct 3 Republican primary candidates Q&A

Valerie CoveyValerie Covey (incumbent)


Experience: more than nine years serving as a county commissioner, certified public accountant for more than 30 years


www.valeriecovey.com



Why are you running for county commissioner?


The Commissioners Court acts as an executive board of the county. The growth of Williamson County requires professional leadership and long-term planning skills that I would continue to help provide. I am honored to serve the citizens of Williamson County and want to complete some important transportation, infrastructure and mental health projects.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


We need to continue to plan for the growth and address transportation and infrastructure issues. For example, the widening of Williams Drive and Hwy. 195. We also face balancing the growing cost of providing needed county services with trying to keep the budget and tax rate down. I serve on the Mental Health Task Force, which helps deal with ever-growing mental health issues, especially relating to our veterans.



Why should people vote for you?


As a conservative I strive to keep spending under control while using your tax dollars responsibly. In 2015, I led the charge to reduce voter-approved debt by $10 million, saving taxpayers approximately $5 million and helped protect our AAA bond rating. I have an open-door policy, emphasize communication and am a problem-solver. I want to continue to serve this great county.









MATT HeatonMatt Heaton 


Experience: Central Texas business owner since 1997, Marine Corps veteran


www.facebook.com/heatoninwilco3



Why are you running for county commissioner?


Williamson County needs a fresh voice in Precinct 3. Our current commissioner has been in the county seat for 10 years and has yet to look for a promotion. Politics should not be a profession in Williamson County, and 10 years is too far removed from the realities of your own decisions.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


We are $1 billion in debt and still going. We are spending our taxpayer dollars with out-of-state contractors and businesses rather than growing our county through local resources. We are the fastest-growing population in the nation yet one of the most in debt per capita populations in the state.



Why should people vote for you?


Williamson County needs a fresh voice and a new set of eyes on our budget and growth patterns. Ten years is too far removed from experiencing the realities of your decisions.


Candidates' responses were edited for space. This Q&A includes only Republican candidate responses. The Democratic candidate is unopposed.

By Caitlin Perrone
Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.


MOST RECENT

The Williamson County and Cities Health District confirmed 37 additional coronavirus cases July 10, bringing the total to 3,654. (Community Impact Staff)
37 new cases of coronavirus, 1 death confirmed in Williamson County on July 10

Currently, 103 patients are hospitalized, 32 are in intensive care and 16 are on a ventilator.

The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus is Culex quinquefasciatus, or the southern house mosquito. This species has a flight range of about one mile. ​(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus near southwest Williamson County Regional Park

There have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County since 2017.

Williamson County sees 844 new coronavirus cases this week

Between July 4 and July 10, Williamson County also reported 9 additional deaths.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

USA FIT Georgetown is now open for registration. (Courtesy USA FIT)
National marathon training organization launches Georgetown chapter, invites all fitness levels to join

There are also educational seminars on important training; nutritional and racing information; informative newsletters; and social group events, such as after-training breakfasts, happy hours and more.

Former Cedar Park Police Department Chief Sean Mannix is pictured in this 2015 file photo. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Cedar Park police chief moves to Burnet, driver's license offices reopen: Most popular news this week from Central Texas

Read the most popular Central Texas news from the past week on Community Impact Newspaper's website.

Williamson County reported 175 additional cases of coronavirus July 9. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
175 cases of coronavirus, 2 deaths confirmed in Williamson County on July 9

The Williamosn County and Cities Health District reported 23% of hospital beds and 9% of ICU beds are available.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

Reported coronavirus cases jumped nearly 400% over the past month in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Reported coronavirus cases jump nearly 400% over past month in Williamson County

Coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations also saw the largest increase in the past 30 days.

The two-story building will be located at 1340 W. University Blvd., Georgetown. (Rendering courtesy Practice Real Estate Group)
New 17,000-square-foot medical office complex planned for Georgetown

Practice Real Estate Group Development’s newest medical office project is planned for University Boulevard in Georgetown.