County Judge Sam Biscoe, leader of the Travis County Commissioners Court for more than 14 years, plans to retire in December 2014. I am considering running to succeed him as County Judge.
As County Commissioner of Precinct 2, I have been deeply honored and gratified to serve the diverse communities brought together by the lure of Travis County’s history, natural beauty and inclusive manner. We celebrate our past. We share our present prosperity. And we plan for a future that all of Travis County’s children will be proud to inherit.
But, with a population growth rate among the fastest in the nation, Travis County is at a crossroads. Our unemployment rate is below the national average, yet our poverty rate exceeds the national average. Our increasing demand for water outstrips our supply. Our transportation network is outdated. And our history, natural beauty and affordability are strained by competition for land. Our Governor and a majority of the Legislature add to our challenges by pushing responsibility for many state services onto local governments such as Travis County, driving up local property taxes.
We will face these challenges with new leadership over Travis County government in January 2015. We will need a proven leader with the experience, vision and judgment to steer us confidently to our goals:
• Preserving and protecting our environment and green spaces;
• Addressing our limited water supply;
• Reversing our rising poverty;
• Responding promptly to crime, fire, flood and medical emergencies;
• Transforming our choked transportation network; and
• Restoring progressive tax equity to an increasingly regressive system.
Should I run for County Judge, I will bring to the race 14 years of public service on behalf of the people of Travis County. I have served for six years as County Commissioner for Precinct 2 and eight years as a prosecutor and civil attorney in the County Attorney’s Office. I have served as Chair of the Community Action Network, Vice-Chair of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, a member of the Policy Board of the Conference of Urban Counties and a member of the Executive Committee of the Capital Area Council of Governments. I am also an adjunct professor at UT’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
In considering whether or not to run for County Judge, I must also weigh the requirement under the Texas Constitution that I resign as County Commissioner. The filing deadline for this race is in December 2013. Unless and until I resign to run, I am fully committed to serving Travis County in my current job as County Commissioner of Precinct 2.
My next montly event will be a lunchtime Chat & Chew at Stiles Switch BBQ (6610 North Lamar Boulevard) today, Monday, February 18th, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. RSVP on Facebook for the lunchtime Chat & Chew at Stiles Switch BBQ.
I am also hosting a "Pints for Progress" Happy Hour at Black Star Co-op (7020 Easy Wind Drive) on Wednesday, February 27th, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. RSVP on Facebook for the Pints for Progress Happy Hour at Black Star Co-op.
I welcome your feedback as I continue working for a more just, safe, mobile, and prosperous future for Travis County.