Jim Clark is the incumbent in the race. Candidates Bob Bagley and James Metts did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. This story will be updated with information pertaining to the additional candidates upon receipt.
• Mobility improvements and long-range transportation planning
• Continue to cut wasteful spending and reduce the budget without cutting essential services
• Funding law enforcement and funding county road repairs and maintenance
What should the precinct do to address recent flooding issues?
There were 1,465 homes affected in Precinct 4 this past flood. It is unfortunate. In Precinct 4, we have a lot of low-lying areas and a lot of flood-prone areas. For some of these folks that have lived here for a long time, it is kind of a cycle. We had the Tax Day Flood, we had the Labor Day Flood and then we had [Hurricane] Harvey, the mother of all floods. The real problem that people don’t realize is flooding is an issue larger than county government. We are charged with addressing these issues, but the creeks, the rivers, the tributaries, they are just waterways where the water runs into and runs off. There is no state river maintenance system or state creek maintenance system. When these creeks become silted in, as a county commissioner, I can’t get off of county property and go down there and do something. We might have the cleanest ditches in the county, but when you get to the end of the ditch, if it's plugged up and the water can't run out, then it doesn't matter. We have to come up with a plan on the state level to clear these tributaries, rivers and streams out so the water can get out to the ocean.
How should the county budget be managed in future years?
I like to take a proactive stance. Cutting wasteful spending, looking for ways to reduce the budget and looking for ways to make processes better and more streamline. I want to be on the forefront of making things happen. I think being proactive in looking for those types of opportunities and those types of moneys to save the county. I think you have to take the budget line item by line item and disassemble it and put it back together. Zero-based budgeting may not be the most attractive thing in the world for a lot of people. I am not for cutting essential services or cutting things from the public that they expect the government to be able to do. But there are areas where I think the government does not do a very good job at being cost-effective and efficient. We just need to look for ways to cut the spending but not the essential services.
How should the precinct and county address expected population growth and its accompanying needs?
We need a cohesive effort on a countywide mobility plan, and Precinct 4 needs to be heavily involved with that because of the growth along Hwy. 59. The thing we are dealing with now that we have not dealt with is the exploding growth and population increase. Exxon moved here, and Hwy. 99 connecting I-45 to Hwy. 59; you can literally be here from there in 15-17 minutes. I think keeping a good balance of handling the population explosion that we are dealing with and allowing ourselves to continue with the infrastructure needed without raising taxes.
Montgomery County Precinct 4 Commissioner candidates Bob Bagley and James Metts did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. This story will be updated with information pertaining to the additional candidates upon receipt.