“My First Ninety Days as Your Precinct 2 County Commissioner”
By Gregory Parker, Candidate for Precinct 2 County Commissioner
The first 90 days of a newly elected official’s term can set the stage for the following 3 plus years. While there are numerous issues that need to be addressed, listed are just a few that I believe to be critical for setting the stage for real change for Precinct 2 and for Montgomery County as a whole..
Return the Constitutional Authority back to the entire Commissioners Court.
Upon taking office, the current Commissioner chose to abdicate his constitutional authority of oversight of department heads to a single person, the County Judge. This would be like Congress giving up its authority of oversight. This single action has eroded the very foundation of the checks and balances in Montgomery County. Further, it has led to rampant nepotism and a lack of communication by department heads with their Commissioners. When I take office, I plan to immediately take back the constitutional authority that was given away by the current Commissioner. I believe this will ensure the proper balance on Commissioners Court and among department heads. This will also repair the disenfranchisement of precinct two citizens that previously had no voice and were powerless to stop the widespread nepotism that is currently unchecked in County departments.
Mobility and Local Roads
The current Commissioner , at best, has a makeshift plan to handle precinct roads and there seems to be little or no long-range planning. I plan to seek a County-wide mobility plan which will take into account population trends, ESD and Law Enforcement goals, etc. I also plan to seek an end to the sweetheart deals for construction and engineering companies. I believe this current “good-ole-boy” process has kept Precinct 2 and Montgomery County from obtaining needed state and federal funding. This lack of funding creates more tax and debt strain on the good citizens of our county and has opened the door for Commissioners to seek toll road solutions at the expense of their constituents.
I also plan to prioritize local roads like Old Hockley and Superior Roads. The current Commissioner has been with the county more than 16 years but has failed to address these much needed local road improvements. During this election cycle when local residents of each road and myself toured those locations, the current Commissioner suddenly claimed that he is addressing Old Hockley by doing core samples. As of this writing, no one has been able to corroborate the current Commissioner’s claim or find any evidence of such coring.
Moreover, the local roads that are being addressed in Precinct 2 are being built with substandard materials and appear to be prioritized based on political necessity rather than any actual maintenance plan. I plan to stop this political cronyism by prioritizing roads based on a solid maintenance plans and conditions. I will also work to get Branch Crossing, Gosling and the Woodlands Parkway Extensions permanently removed from the HGAC thoroughfare plan.
First let me say that it is unacceptable for any resident to be cut off from their home after just a few inches of rain. Yet, that is what the residents of Superior and other roads face every day. The response from the current Commissioner and his supporters goes something like…. “Well you knew what you were getting into when you bought that place.”
I believe as Commissioner I should not provide excuses but make sure we are doing all we can do to make sure the County government is not part of the problem. I will work toward a thoughtful, short term and long term Flood Mitigation Plan to prioritize which areas are most at risk. I will maintain ditches and culverts (clear of debris, correct depth and size) on county easements and county land. I plan to prioritize funding for ditches and culverts, bridges, etc.. I also plan to seek an update to the flood plain data, which was last updated in 1969 and also utilize the Emergency Watershed Protection program to purchase flood plain easements for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention.
While there are numerous issues that need to be addressed, I have only listed a few. There will be a lot of work to be done but with your help and your vote, we are setting the stage for real change for Precinct 2and for Montgomery County as a whole.
Early voting is underway through May 18th and Election Day is May 22nd. Vote for real change and a better plan for the future. Vote Greg Parker for Precinct 2 Commissioner. Your vote matters!