Candidate Q&A: Fort Bend ISD trustee KP George challenges incumbent Robert Hebert in Fort Bend County Judge election

Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert, a Republican, faces Democratic opponent KP George, a Fort Bend ISD board trustee. Voters must be registered by Oct. 9 to cast a ballot in the Nov. 6 general election. See where these candidates stand on local issues: 

KP George
Occupation: Board-certified financial planner

Experience: 24 years in the financial business and the last 5 years as a Fort Bend ISD board trustee.

Top priorities: Modernizing the county's emergency preparedness plan, creating a flood control district, total transparency in county government, better community engagement through citizen's committees with quarterly town hall meetings, and empowering youth

Phone number: 713-589-2256

Robert Hebert
Occupation: Fort Bend County Judge
Experience: 15 years in office
Top priorities: (1) Keep lowering the tax rate while balancing the budget (2) Pursue lawsuit filed against the [Army] Corps of Engineers seeking declaratory judgment preventing water from Barker Reservoir being stored on private property in Fort Bend County (3) Continue work of Fort Bend Recovers to assist those still hurting from [Hurricane] Harvey (4) Complete county-wide watershed evaluation and present a bond referendum to the voters for the required local match for projects identified by the study.

Phone number: 281-341-8608

As Hurricane Harvey recovery continues in Fort Bend County, what project(s) related to flooding do you think are most important?
GEORGE: Creating a flood control district for better flood management and a geographic feasibility study to better understand how we can address the flooding problems in the county.

HEBERT: One, we must prevent the Corps of Engineers from using private property to store floodwaters from Barker Reservoir. Two, we must continue helping those families still suffering from Harvey. Three, we must complete the current watershed study and then seek voter approval to fund a cost-effective flood hazard mitigation plan. Four, we must re-analyze the 100-year rainfall standard using Harvey data and adjust our permitting requirements accordingly.

Aside from Harvey recovery, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing the county and how would you address it?
GEORGE: One  major problem is the lack of understanding about the county government among the county's diverse ethnic community. I plan to create citizen's advisory groups by implementing town hall meetings to invite the public to voice their concerns and learn about county government and what it controls. I support responsible economic development. The current administration authorized the building of homes in flood plains in the Riverstone and Katy areas. I will request a geographic feasibility study, as mentioned above, to ensure that does not happen going forward.

HEBERT: The biggest challenge is always efficiently serving the needs of a rapidly growing population in the fastest growing large county in America. We have a very low tax rate that has been reduced every year since 2014 [and] reduced overall 13 percent since I took office. We give a 20 percent homestead exemption and a $100,000 over-65 exemption or disabled veteran exemption. These exemptions would be lost without competent budget management, and the tax rate would grow.

What made you want to run for this position?
GEORGE: I have seen firsthand the suffering of the citizens of Fort Bend County during Hurricane Harvey due to a lack of an emergency preparedness plan. My experience as a Fort Bend ISD board member helps me to understand how government entities work, and I would be able to implement what I have learned from FBISD at a higher level of government. My financial field experience has helped me to understand and manage a county budget.

HEBERT: I believe I'm the best qualified to work with our citizens, elected officials, our state legislature and Congress to achieve consensus for action and financial support needed to carry out a voter-approved flood hazard mitigation program. My graduate education in business and management, my successful record in business and public service, plus my record as County Judge, confirm my ability to get demanding, complex jobs done.

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


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