Election Q&A: Collin County Precinct 3 commissioner

Learn more about Darrell Hale and Dianne C. Mayo, the candidates for Collin County Precinct 3 commissioner, ahead of the November general election. (Community Impact staff)
Learn more about Darrell Hale and Dianne C. Mayo, the candidates for Collin County Precinct 3 commissioner, ahead of the November general election. (Community Impact staff)

Learn more about Darrell Hale and Dianne C. Mayo, the candidates for Collin County Precinct 3 commissioner, ahead of the November general election. (Community Impact staff)



DALLAS-FORT WORTH



Collin County commissioner, Precinct 3







* indicates incumbent







Darrell Hale* (R)




Occupation: county commissioner; entrepreneur


Experience: military officer; telecommunications executive; business owner






Why are you running for office?



DH: I have an obligation to serve. It is not a formal one but one of honor. I had the benefit to go to West Point and gain knowledge and skills that enhanced my internal drive into what it is today. I feel an obligation to serve and give back to my great nation and my country what it has given to me. Layer this onto what the good Lord has given to me, with a great wife and four fantastic children, and how could I not find a way to give back? I have been given a lot of blessings, and I owe it back.



What are the biggest challenges facing the county?



DH: Collin County’s biggest issue is continuing growth. Planning ahead for infrastructure growth to support mobility and county government is the critical function of government that we must address. We must continue to work on US Hwy. 380, the Collin County, and an as-yet-unnamed and unplanned [north-south] highway to augment US Hwy. 75 for additional mobility. The next few years will involve working with [the Texas Department of Transportation] to nail down alignments and secure right of way with the least amount of impact to citizens as possible. We also will have county infrastructure to build as part of our master plan created years ago. We will have additional expansion to the jail [in the near] term as well as a future additional administration building for work space. We will lastly have to expand the [Collin County] Courthouse to support the inevitable addition of district courts when the caseload warrants it and the state approves the addition.



How do you plan to address these issues?



DH: We already are addressing these issues by tackling the jail expansion, and we have proposed and taken action on a $600 million road bond that was passed. We are moving ahead on acquiring right of way and also building out county-city projects. Last year, $27 million of the $36 million allocated was dedicated to Precinct 3.



What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



DH: We have issues with joint boundary roads being consistent sore points with constituents. The roads routinely are split lengthwise, down the middle and in combinations. We need to address the ownership of maintenancem and I have begun work to address this with a few cities by the creation of a special “swap” [interlocal agreement] to allow ownership of the road maintenance so there is ability to act quicker and maintain without confusion to the citizens or the government entities as to who is responsible.



What are some new ideas or programs you would like the county to explore?



DH: We need to take a look at requesting additional veteran service officer grants and assistance programs for veterans as we head into the next year.









Dianne C. Mayo (D)




Occupation: licensed escrow officer at a title company


Experience: 11 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administered $61 million farm ownership and farm operating loans for farmers and ranchers; six years in telecommunications and communications as an escalations manager providing high-level customer resolutions and sales; three and a half years for a title company operating in escrows and closings






Why are you running for office?



DCM: I am running because I want to bring balance, fairness and justice back to the Commissioners Court. One-sided systems, on either side of the aisle, tend to lead to complacency and a lack of transparency and can, at worst, foster graft, cronyism and corruption. We need to have both sides represented here in Collin County, and unfortunately, we don’t have that now.



What are the biggest challenges facing the county? How do you plan to address these issues?



DCM: The immediate issues we have are COVID-related, including health care and evictions, which could turn into a homelessness surge. In the early days of [the] COVID-19 [pandemic], I called for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and was shouted down. It later became policy, but that is ending now. We need to ensure our renters and our landlords, both of whom are hurting, can be helped over this downturn. We need, in the long term, to examine the deficits in our assistance to our citizens to keep them housed, especially but not solely in times of crisis.



What would be your top priorities if you are elected?



DCM: My top immediate priorities are to help Collin County’s citizens and small businesses succeed through the pandemic. Too many family-owned businesses are sinking, and too many people are unemployed. We need to safely get people back to work and back in business. It’s much less expensive to taxpayers to help their friends and neighbors over a temporary slump than to provide for them in the event they become among the homeless population. People are my priority, and I want to put Collin County’s citizens first.



What are some new ideas or programs you would like the county to explore?



DCM: I think we need to ensure we prioritize health care and mental health and look into programs that can expand what we have at the county level to give Collin County the same kind of coverage as other large counties in Texas. This pandemic has really shined a light on how little we do for our citizens in terms of health care here, and we can and must do better.



By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the McKinney edition.


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