ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) – Currently two candidates are on the ballot for Precinct 1 of Taylor County Commissioners Court.
Newcomer and Abilene businessman Miles Owen and incumbent Randy Williams look ahead to election day to hopefully represent their precinct.
Both candidates shared their thoughts on the ongoing issue of a lowered budget, especially considering the Texas Legislature’s recent passing ofa a property tax cap of 3.5% through by Senate Bill 2.
“I want to take what’s money is available, and spend them more efficiently inside the governments that work inside Taylor County. It’s not about raising taxes. It’s not about getting more money from people. It’s about investing tax dollars that are there, at the current rate and putting them in the right place, re-allocating funds, moving things from one budget to the other.”
“Those are the things that people don’t see. Budget is very excruciating and extremely stressful, because we’re trying to provide services to our taxpayers, and we want to do it in the best and most cost efficient way we can do it, and sometimes that’s just not cheap.
Lately, the county’s agenda has been primarily improving conditions at the Law Enforcement Center, alleviating the overcrowding of female inmates at the Taylor County Jail through potential expansion and deciding the fate of the Old Taylor County Jail at 341 Pecan Street. Williams believes the court needs seasoned commissioners in order to make major decisions on ongoing projects.
“I don’t think this is a time to have quote unquote ‘fresh eyes’ on something,” said Williams. “I think it’s a time we really need to have experienced people looking at these issues and figuring out how we’re going to try to address them. “
Owens disagrees. He believes this critical moment for Taylor County necessitates a devil’s advocate, a role he believes he can play in the court.
“If I need to change things, if I need to be the one to be a rabble-rouser on the court or whatever it takes to get issues taken care of the proper way that fiscally conservative people would do, that’s what I’m gonna do,” said Owen.