Terry On Issues

I believe that our democracy is founded on citizens caring about citizens. We are all in this together.
I believe that our government should protect and offer same rights to everyone through the provision of public services.
I believe that the Public sector is the foundation for the Private sector.  This includes:

  • A fair justice system to provide protections for all our citizens. 
    The Commissioners Court has oversight of all the judicial services of the county.  The Family Court is undergoing substantial public scrutiny for alleged corruption and racketeering.  A public organization, the Texas Association for Children and Families, has even obtained legal counsel in this investigation in their pursuit of the truth.
     
  • A clean and sustainable environment with protections to sustain it for future generations.
    Clean and available water for residents, recreation, and industry is always a challenge in Central Texas.  Water management is critical for balancing the needs of the public while protecting our environment for future generations of Texans.  Exploitation of the water table in Williamson County to provide additonal water resources is uncertain with great risk to the public, especially for  those families and business who rely on wells to provide their water source. 
    Additionally, air and water are not constrained by geographical boundaries. We must work with our neighboring communities, states, and countries of the world to support growth in a viable, cooperative manner. 

    Safety for the public and environment is an oversight of the Commissioners Court as well. Thoughtfully planned growth for the county includes environmental protections.  Mankind was tasked with dominion over all living things since the beginning of history.  This is a responsibility of extreme importance for our future.  The absence of anyone with a strong science background doesn't allow the current court to assess any environmental endeavors with appropriate skepticism.
     
  • A sound infrastructure for travel and trade.
    Good roads, bridges, railway systems public airways and airports, and ports are critical for personal movement and commerce. The public and businesses depend of them.  However this county lacks a comprehensive public transportation system which integrates bus routes with rail service, and Travis County services, to reduce the use of cars for many residents.  A comprehensive transportation system is critical for linking all parts of the county allowing those without vehicles and with limited funds to reach destinations such as medical care.  A member of the Commissioners Court does sit on a regional transportation board yet no visible progress has been made.
        
  • Appropriate oversight for commerce for the protection of all of us.
    A framework of protections includes more than borders, safety from invasions, and crime. It covers regulation over commerce as to protect we, the People, from corporate corruption and greed.  This includes wise spending of our hard-earned tax dollars by the ever-growing county budget, especially when contracting for services.  The Commissioners Court is a major economic driver in Williamson County with a very long list of contracts with businesses to provide county services and meet county needs. Prudent and appropriate spending by the court is an absolute expectation of the Public.

Our county debt is totally out of line with both our growth rate and population.  This  is supported by data posted by the Texas Comptroller.  The current court will bost of great debt ratings, however times are good.  What if 2008 is repeated?  What about the future for our children?  We are highly taxed to support current spending and debt payments.

Wilco's Tax-Supported Outstanding Debt Compared with the Other 22 Texas Counties that Have Populations Greater than 200,000 with 2013/2014 data

County Name   Tax-Supported    Tax-Supported   Population   Population Growth
                       Debt Outstanding     Debt/Capita                         

Harris                 $2,410,324,204             543          4,441,370              2.00%
Dallas                    $111,350,000              44           2,518,638             1.30%
Tarrant                   $317,820,000            163           1,945,360             1.60%
Bexar                  $1,432,475,000            772          1,855,866              1.90%
Travis                     $660,879,987            574          1,151,145              2.50%
Collin                      $391,410,000            442             885,241             3.10%
El Paso                   $216,320,000           260              833,487             0.30%
Hidalgo                   $151,665,000           182              831,073             1.50%
Denton                   $614,975,000            816             753,363              3.30%
Fort Bend               $441,905,000            645             685,345              4.70%
Montgomery           $421,115,000            811             518,947              3.80%
Williamson              $849,554,942         1,736            489,250               3.80%
Cameron                 $132,460,000            315           420,392               0.50%
Nueces                      $97,555,000            274           356,221               0.90%
Brazoria                     $90,265,000            267           338,124               2.00%
Bell                          $113,865,000            346           329,140                0.80%
Galveston                $279,663,434            890           314,19 8               2.20%
Lubbock                     $58,490,000            199            293,974               1.30%
Webb                         $75,322,000             282           266,673               1.10%
Jefferson                    $45,080,000            179            252,235              -0.02%
McLennan                  $18,250,000              75            243,441               0.70%
Smith                          $30,280,000            138            218,842               1.00%
Brazos                        $92,910,000            444            209,152               2.20%

Listed above are all Texas counties with populations larger than 200,000. According to the latest census data, three of the fastest growing counties are also the fastest growing – Williamson, Montgomery, and Fort Bend Counties – in Texas and in the U.S. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-56.html


The Commissioners Court has shown disrespect for individuals' rights to privacy, and to the residents of the county, through asking job applicants illegal questions and now has spent over $500,000 of our money in settlements and legal fees in attempt to defend themselves in court for these actions. Additionally, on December 15, 2015, they voted to acquire additional legal services for Judge Dan Gattis' defense in the same legal battle. This is not prudent spending for the people of Williamson County. Two days of trial were held in October before Federal District Judge David Ezra. His will make a ruling on this case at any time.

  • Support of Texans for achieving the American Dream for all our residents.
    This includes livable wages and affordable housing.  Our evaluations keep going up along with our tax bills.  We don't want to be Austin, nor reflect the California culture.  The county is one of the largest employers in Williamson County.  They could be leaders in Texas in supporting hard-working Texas families through innovative programs which team county leadership with the private sector and keep our county's housing affordable for us all.
     
  • Free, quality, public education for our families and businesses count on it.
    A Quality education system is fundamental to sustain a vibrant workforce and to drive innovation.
    Our businesses rely on it.  Our families require it.  While the Commissioners Court has no direct control over education, they do have the bully pulpit to draw the public's attention to the failure of the state legislature to fund support for education funding rather than letting the citizens of the county shoulder it through ever increasing property taxes.