COUNTY JUDGE Carol Bush
1. Top Three Platform issues?
The top three issues facing the county are the budget, maintaining adequate law enforcement and addressing road, bridge and drainage issues.
We must keep taxes low. The people do not want a tax increase and cannot afford a tax increase; and, I am one of the people. This means the county’s budget must be scrutinized continuously. As your County Judge, I continue to look for more efficient ways to operate, reducing expenses without sacrificing service; and, I collaborate with other elected officials and department heads to do the same. It is also important to seek out programs that benefit the residents of the county without adding to operating expenditures. A recent example is the Coast2Coast program the Commissioners’ Court and I recently adopted. It is a no-maintenance, no strings-attached prescription card discount program that is open to all residents. It will be readily available at participating pharmacies at no cost to the user or the county; and, use of the card generates a rebate to the county.
Another budget challenge facing the county is the unfunded or underfunded mandates from the state and federal government. These mandates undermine our bottom line so alternative funding sources must be explored and the lines of communication must remain open with our legislators in order to enlist their assistance.
Maintaining adequate law enforcement is critical. Our Sheriff’s Office does an outstanding job; and, as the county experiences growth, law enforcement must be prepared to handle crime which is the sad corollary to that growth. Ellis County is prepared in that regard due to the bond program approved by voters in May of 2007. This project will expand our jail by 248 beds, which will allow us to accommodate more inmates when the need arises and generate revenue by contracting with other entities to handle their inmate overflow.
Maintaining our infrastructure is the third issue and is key to the public well-being; specifically the construction and maintenance of our bridges. Law enforcement and medical emergency responders must be able to access people in need and school buses must be able to safely transport students. We as a Court implemented a road inventory program a few months ago from which the Engineering department is currently gathering information that will allow us to assess the overall county road picture and implement a strategy for making improvements. Ellis County experiences drainage issues as development continues in areas of Duncanville and Dallas. The Court is working with our two county engineers to identify those areas most adversely affected by drainage issues and to build a plan to tackle the problems created by our neighbors to the north.
2. Why are you seeking this position?
I am running for County Judge because in the course of doing the job for the last year, I have truly embraced the challenge of making a tangible difference. There is still much to be done; and, I would welcome the privilege of representing the people of Ellis County in the days ahead. I am you…so I am your voice. I am a parent and a wife, an attorney, a previous assistant district attorney and county court at law judge, a mediator, a businesswoman, a community volunteer, a voter, a taxpayer and a resident of Ellis County. I am a person who has chosen to work and raise my family in a charming small town; a person who cares about the future direction of the place she calls home.
3. What are your goals for the first three months in office you would like to see accomplished?
As County Judge, my goal has been consistently to administer the business of the county with no other agenda than to promote the best interest of its citizens. I believe in listening to the people, being fiscally conservative, supporting law enforcement, promoting economic development, streamlining operations, stretching our resources, facilitating the smooth operation of our departments and the Commissioners’ Court, providing a healthy work environment and offering quality customer service to all of our constituents.
A4. Tell the readers a little about yourself.
My family resides in Waxahachie. I am married to the wonderful Brad Bush, and we are the proud parents of one son- Adam, and one daughter- Hannah. Adam is a student at Texas A&M University, where he is currently a junior and a member of The Corps of Cadets. Hannah is a Waxahachie High School Senior Honor student and athlete and has been accepted to University of Texas at Austin.
Education: St. Mary’s University School of Law: Juris Doctorate
Trinity University: B.A. Political Science
Professional credentials/certifications/commendations pertinent to the office of County Judge:
Member of the State Bar of Texas
Member of the Ellis County Bar Association
Southern Methodist University: Alternative Dispute Resolution/ Mediation Training
Prior pertinent experience:
· Current County Judge
· County Court at Law Judge 1996-1997
· Private Law practice
· Mediation practice (Being a trained mediator enables me to apply that skill set to the office and the Commissioners Court. It is invaluable in consensus building.)
Hobbies: Running, Skiing, Reading, Writing
Campaign Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Any additional comments?
I place a high value on communication; I am here to listen to the people. As the presiding officer of the Commissioners’ Court, I truly welcome public participation. I prefer the public to be involved. That input assists the court in making decisions that reflect the public mindset.