Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner candidates answer questions about mobility, flooding mitigation

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Voting for the March election begins Feb. 20, and there are several positions to vote for in Montgomery County. The following Republican candidates for Montgomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner have answered several questions from Community Impact Newspaper about their candidacy and what actions they would take if elected.

Charlie Riley

Top three priorities: Mobility, safety and finances
Occupation: Precinct 2 Commissioner
Years lived in Montgomery County: 47 years
Phone number: 936-760- 6954
Email address: info@charlieriley.org
Website: www.charlieriley.org/index.html

1. What challenges do you see occurring as a result of the growing population of Montgomery County?

Rapid growth means the county must provide more services to the influx population, which could mean more taxes on individuals. On the other hand, businesses pay higher taxes than personal property owners and use less services. Therefore, we must continually strive to promote Montgomery County and attract new businesses. As we increase our industry and commercial businesses, we decrease the financial burden on personal property owners.

2. ​ How would you address mobility in Montgomery County and what are the
county’s biggest transportation issues?

Montgomery County is a great place to live, and therefore, very attractive for families to move to. With the county population growth increasing, we must keep up with transportation projects in order to appropriately handle the inflow of new homes and rapid population growth. I am currently addressing mobility in Montgomery County. We currently have 16 road projects underway from the list that was submitted for the bond election. Notable projects are the completion of the Research Forest [Drive] widening, the widening of Egypt Lane, adding turn lanes at Gosling [Road] and [Hwy.] 242, and several neighborhood projects that ease congestion on residential streets.

3. What are your plans for flood mitigation in Montgomery County ?

As Precinct 2 commissioner, I have completed many preventive flooding measures that greatly reduced the flooding we typically see. Some roads and homes that typically flood did not flood during Harvey.

We have identified three parcels of land owned by Montgomery County in Precinct 2. We are looking to create detention ponds to reduce flooding in these areas. We estimate up to 350 feet of water can be stored between these three parcels. All of these properties are in the Spring Creek area, which will alleviate flooding downstream.

Greg Parker

Top three priorities: Mobility, Accountability and Spending
Occupation: IT Project Manager
Years lived in Montgomery County: 5 years
Phone number: 830-221- 5220
Email address: info@parker2018.com
Website: www.parker2018

1. What challenges do you see occurring as a result of the growing population of Montgomery County?

As Montgomery County grows, I see mobility, accountability and spending to be the top challenges. Accountability is the key linchpin for responsive government, and is imperative if we are to effectively address the challenges we are facing. I believe commissioners need to take back the authority to deal directly with department heads.

When it comes to controlling spending, I believe the key strategy would be zero-based budgeting, which will provide transparency and eliminate frivolous spend-ing. I am certainly open to cutting and/or improving departments and stopping evergreen contracts.

2. ​ How would you address mobility in Montgomery County and what are the
county’s biggest transportation issues?

Montgomery County Precinct 2 has a makeshift plan to handle precinct roads. There is little or no long-range mobility planning. Montgomery County needs a countywide mobility plan. I plan to complete the road projects on the 2015 bond and select a road operations manager based on knowledge of road construction, not political association.

Additionally, I plan to reduce road maintenance cost over time by building higher quality roads. It is common knowledge that roads last longer with a quality base. I plan to stop our crews from putting asphalt on top of a bad base.

.3. What are your plans for flood mitigation in Montgomery County?

I believe it’s important to keep our ditches clear and dug out. Given that I am certified in emergency management through FEMA and a former flood plain administrator, I would like to see the county engineer’s office become more active in the process. I plan to push for better coordination with agencies, such as the [San Jacinto RiverAuthority] and [The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency].

I plan to push for investments in flood control reservoirs using grants and require developers to design roads to accommodate a 25-year flood rather than just 10 years.

Brian Dawson

Top three priorities: Taxes, mobility, spending
Occupation: Regional Sales Manager
Years lived in Montgomery County: 11 years
Email address: idawsoncampaign@gmail.com
Website: www.votebriandawson.com

1.What challenges do you see occurring as a result of the growing population of Montgomery County?

First and foremost, mobility will be a challenge. To address this challenge, we must start with a comprehensive mobility plan both for Precinct 2 and for the county as a whole. We cannot continue to try and tackle our mobility challenges with a shoot–from–the–hip attitude.

With the rapid growth Montgomery County is experiencing, crime is also a concern. It is imperative we work closely with our law enforcement to ensure they have the tools and means necessary to keep our community safe. Also, one of the biggest challenges the county faces are the perpetual hidden tax increases from appraisals.

2.​ How would you address mobility in Montgomery County and what are the county’s biggest transportation issues?

When I announced my candidacy on July 6, 2017, one of the cornerstones of my announcement is my plan for a comprehensive mobility plan. As commissioner, developing a mobility plan for Precinct 2 will be one of my top priorities. In conjunction to the Precinct 2 mobility plan, I will also work to garner the support necessary to expand the plan countywide. Having a mobility plan will better position Montgomery County to address our transportation needs and challenges. This tool will clearly identify and prioritize infrastructure projects based on needs, and not the whims of an elected official.

  1. What are your plans for flood mitigation in Montgomery County?

I would use my position as commissioner to work closely with the [Federal Emergency Management Agency on funding for buyouts of repetitively flooded homes. I would also work with HUD and FEMA to secure funding for flood gauge monitoring systems, a flood warning system for low-lying areas and for funding for the hardening of infrastructure against future flooding. I will also work with other local, state and federal agencies to secure funding for the construction of retention and detention facilities in flood-prone areas.

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