Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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February 8, 2014

Q&A: Navarro County Commissioner Pct. 2

In the March 4 Republican Primary election for Precinct 2 Navarro County Commissioner, incumbent Dick Martin is being challenged by Leon Tates. The candidates respond to questions submitted by the Daily Sun. They appear in ballot order.

Richard "Dick" Martin

Dick Martin, 73

Navarro County Commissioner, Precinct 2 (incumbent)

Kerens/Richland Chambers Reservoir resident

Relevant Work Experience: My 30-plus years of business experience with a major corporation in sales, marketing, communications and senior management, coupled with five years as a financial planner, has given me the necessary tools to excel in the diverse responsibilities of the precinct 2 commissioner. I have made a positive impact and contributions to the Commissioners Court and have proudly served the residents of Precinct 2 and Navarro County for the past three years.

Community Service: Currently serving on the Family Service Association board, Kerens Economic Development Corporation, Kerens Education Foundation Board, Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool Board, North Central Texas Council of Governments Emergency Preparedness, Meals on Wheels.
Previously served on Corsicana Development Commission, Kerens Library Board, Kerens Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club Board Member, Cofounder of STAR, docent, Pearce Collections at Navarro College.

Prior Political Experience: 2011-13 County Commissioner, precinct 2.

What is the most important part of the job you’re seeking: It is most important to provide a public service and a voice for Precinct 2 and Navarro County in the pursuit of the overall well-being of all residents. Safety is first and multi-faceted. Ensuring our roads and bridges are safe is a priority of the road crew of Precinct 2. The Commissioner’s Court’s priority is budgeting appropriately to provide crucial emergency services through the Sheriff’s Department, Volunteer Fire Departments and EMS responders.

What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I take the responsibilities entrusted to me very seriously. Before walking into any meeting, I have done my homework and am prepared to actively engage and make informed decisions about every matter that comes before the Commissioner’s Court. Having held this position for three years, I feel my experience, dedication to the job and successful track record make me the logical choice. I will continue to represent Precinct 2 with honesty, integrity and passion.

Are there aspects of the job you would like to see changed?
I would like to see our tax base grow to the extent that we are able to properly fund all of the agencies and at the same time reduce the Navarro County tax rate. A lower tax rate would make us more competitive in attracting new businesses to the county. The increased tax base would provide more revenue for the Road and Materials budget. The end result would enable us to proactively manage and maintain precinct roads.

Why are you running?
To continue the momentum of three years in office. We have upgraded equipment, and are rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure. With the upcoming Reclaimer acquisition, we can stabilize roads and make major improvements. I want to continue my work with the Economic Development Director to attract new business to Navarro County. And lastly, the courthouse restoration will continue to require major oversight by the Commissioner’s Court. When re-elected I promise to continue to focus my efforts and passion in contributing to the betterment of our community.

Leon Tates

Name: Leon Tates

Age: 40

Position/job sought: Navarro County Commissioner Pct 2    

Resident of Corsicana

Relevant work experience: 1. I have over 20 years of business experience with design, building, and construction background as well as serving the public daily. 2. I have work with and for our community for eight years, solving problems, building relationships, and standing on my word.

Community service: I have served the following community organizations: Navarro County Youth Expo, Boys and Girls Club of Navarro County, Carroll Elementary PTO, Kids Beach Club at Carroll Elementary, G.W. Jackson Rodeo Advisory Board and on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Prior political experience: No prior political experience

What is the most important part of the job you’re seeking? The most important part of the county commissioner job is being a servant leader and ensuring that tax dollars are managed wisely.

What makes you the best candidate for this job? I am the best candidate for the job because I have served the public for over 20 years, solving problems, listening to concerns, and getting the job done with a servant attitude. I am an operationally sound leader who successfully managed multi-million dollar budgets, over 100 team members, as well as assets and fleet.

Are there aspects of the job you would like to see changed? During my interviews with constituents throughout the precinct, budgeted labor dollars for road maintenance is the number one concern. As your county commissioner, I will work hard to find money in the budget to increase our labor force to meet the road maintenance demands in our precinct.

Why are you running? 1. As your County Commissioner, I will be a servant leader who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and put boots on the ground to get the job done. 2.  As your County Commissioner, I will be a voice for our precinct with no other agenda besides meeting the needs of constituents and making sure that tax dollars are fairly utilized throughout the precinct. 3. As your County Commissioner, I will stand with the men and women who serve and protect our children, our families and our county on a daily basis.

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