Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner

Thurman Bartie’s Position and Kevin McCarthy’s Responses

I just can’t help myself.  I have to comment on this from Bartie’s website.  My comments in red… and yes, I’m being kind of snippy here, deal with it.

1.  Roads & Bridges
Bartie will maintain the roads and bridges of Precinct 3 and appropriate wisely the statutory fund dedicated to this cause.
 It’s good to know that you would do the job that is expected of you.
2. Public Works
Bartie will properly maintain ditches and waterways within precinct 3. Will approach the need of services in rural areas according to availability.
It’s good to know that you will maintain ditches, though I really don’t ever expect to see you with a shovel.  Rural areas are a part of the county.  If you don’t do jobs in the rural areas at the same priority as jobs within PA City Limits, then you are putting the needs of one area above the needs of another area and that’s not right.
3. Tax Rate
Bartie will maintain the tax rate and strengthen the economic growth and development.
This one ticks me off.  Don’t maintain the tax rate… LOWER IT.  Here’s what I want to accomplish if I’m elected.  One, reduce all department budgets by 5%.  Two remove the $25 million emergency fund portion of the taxes.  We haven’t used it right?  No emergencies right?  With those two things, the tax PAYMENTS should be lower.  If the county raises property values again, then the tax RATE should be waaaay lower.
4. Park System
Bartie will maintain  the park system within the precinct (Umphrey State Park, Keith Lake Park, work to reopen Sea Rim State Park).
Do you know what “State Park” means.  That means that the state is responsible for it.  Quit trying to make us pay for other things.  BTW: You can scratch Sea Rim off the list.  Texas has the money to fix it now.
5. Coastal Erosion
Bartie will further study coastal erosion and seek a cost effective method for eradication.
Coastal erosion is a fact of life along the Texas coast.  You can’t stop it.  You can do some short-sighted things to limit erosion in one area, but it always causes more problems in other areas and more long-term problems.  Don’t ask an environmental company, ask a couple of scientists at Lamar or A&M Galveston whose life is studying the Texas coast.  They’ll tell you the same thing.
6. Employment
Bartie will work closely with industry and the Texas Workforce Commission to assist South and Southwest County residents with gainful employment.
There are lots and lots of available jobs right now.  OK, the jobs aren’t making $20/hr at a refinery, but they are jobs.
7. Public Health & Welfare
Bartie will further support the County Health Care system; Indigent Care and  Veteran Benefits
Aren’t Veterans Federal?
8. Intergovernmental Relations
Bartie will work with all governmental agencies from Sabine Pass, Fannett, to Port Arthur for a better quality of life for all citizens.
Something I can agree with.
Bartie will work with both the U.S. Congressional and Texas Legislative Representatives to rebuild Hwy 87.
 WHY!?!?  Highway 87 is dead, just let it go people.  Please.  (See Coastal Erosion)  I would rather see some efforts spent towards the HWY 69/ 365 area to improve that (I know it’s in progress) and 365 between 69 and West Port Arthur Road improved.  The intersection there needs some work too.  

Bartie will  work in harmony  with all City Officials, County Officials and Regional Officials for a more effective government. I’m not so sure about this one.  Can you work in harmony, Bartie?  It seems to me you’ve had issues with working with people in the past.

Bartie doesn’t mention one of the 3 fundamental jobs of a county commissioner and it’s one that he should be well aware of… that is maintaining the county courthouse and courts.

I really think that Bartie will get the Democrat nomination.  But he has the same problem that a lot (all?) of the other candidates have, except me.  He wants to push for more government doing more things at a huge cost.

I’m the only candidate who WILL NOT agree to a budget increase.  In fact, the proposal I outlined above for the next county budget cycle is the minimum that I will vote to accept.  Will I win, probably not, but I will fight for it.  If I fight for it this year, then the other precincts can elect others who will fight for lower taxes as well.

P.S. I will allow one exception on the department cuts.  Mosquito control gets one year without a cut, since they have had budget cuts recently.

P.P.S. I think I did pretty good and didn’t bring up any of the major problems with Bartie at all.  This is all (well, almost all) based on his position.

March 9, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign, Jefferson County, Libertarian, Politics, Port Arthur, Texas

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