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Three people are seeking the County Commissioner job for Parker County Precinct 4: Dusty Renfro, Mason Wallis, and Jorden Wood. All are running on the Republican ticket.
Renfro is owner of GRIDIRON CAPITAL, LLC, a commercial real estate investments and development company. He has been a principal with NAI Huff Partrners and director for NAI Stoneleigh Huff Brous McDowell. Renfro has also served on the board of directors for BBVA Compass Bank, Weatherford.
Wallis is president of FRWS Inc., and has owned a sand and gravel business and was an equipment dealer.
Wood is an investor in real estate, oil, and gas and is serving on several boards of directors, including the Brazos Electric Co-op in Waco and Tri-County Electric Co-op in Azle. For eight years he was owner and general manager of Physical Therapy and Rehab in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Waco.
Here are the responses offered by the candidates to a questionnaire from The Community News.
Why do you want to be County Commissioner for Precinct 4?
Renfro: I want to serve my community and make it a better place for our children and the good people of Parker County.
Wallis: The reason I am pursuing the position of county Commissioner is to serve the citizens of Parker County Precinct 4 in an efficient manner to meet the challenges of our ever changing social and economical conditions by ensuring accountability and providing opportunities. My goal is that in the future, Parker County can be a model community that is second to none to those counties who are experiencing the same type of growth pattern.
Wood: I would like to serve the people of Precinct 4 and I believe I can and will do a good job as County Commissioner. With my qualifications and my background in managing boards that operate with large sums of money, and my background in working with large groups of people, I know I can benefit Precinct 4.
What qualifications do you have that would make you a good county commissioner?
Renfro: I am a graduate of The University of Texas (BBA) and was a two time Academic All-American. After nearly 10 years in the Commercial Real Estate Investment and Development business, I have developed extensive experience working with TXDOT and many cities across North Texas including several cities in Parker County. My education and commercial real estate career have equipped me with strong relationships as well as irreplaceable knowledge and experience in the following areas: a) The creation and management of large multi-million dollar budgets, b) Economic Development c) Finance, d) Accounting, e) Business Management, f) Contract Law, g) Real Estate Taxes, h) Construction, i) Traffic & Demographic Analysis, j) City and County Ordinances.
Wallis: My qualifications consist of a variety of expertise in the construction industry, planning, design, management of materials and of both budgeting and personnel. As a local business owner in the industry for the past 21 years, I’ve gained experience and specifics training in the right of way acquisition process as well as management of government personnel. I have “feet-on-the-ground” experience in highway construction, general construction, residential and commercial projects. As owner of a materials business for 12 years, I acquired a unique knowledge of materials and of meeting the specs of specialized projects by supplying road material to TXDOT (Texas Dept of Transportation) and other state and national level entities.
Wood: I am qualified for the job because I have years of effective experience serving on boards and councils, and in my professional work. I have served on the board of directors for First State Bank in Wylie and Abilene, and the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. I am an investing partner and general manager for Physical Therapy Rehabilitation and Wellness Centers in Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio, and Waco. In my professional experience I have developed 2,000 residential lots and built 800 homes. I am a longtime fundraiser and supporter of PGA Golf Tournament events and the Salvation Army to Feed the Homeless. I have been, and will continue to be, a strong supporter of our law enforcement and emergency services in the county. Locally, I have organized the Annual Kids Fishing and Hunting events. I have attended numerous meetings and events to inform myself of the plans for the areas, as well as the citizens’ concerns and their hopes for the future. I have the proven capability of organizing deals and achieving successes by bringing people or groups of people together, and this kind of experience would benefit the citizens of Precinct 4.
If elected, what would be the first two things you would seek to accomplish and why?
Renfro: I will strive to reconnect the County with the Economic Development Departments of every City in Parker County. We must focus a collective effort to bring new industry to Parker County. With new industry comes commercial development, more tax revenue for the County and eventually could lead to a lower tax rate. We must be proactive in our approach to entice new industry into Parker County by going after companies the people of Parker County need and want including, but not limited to, new restaurants and entertainment venues. The County must offer quality roadway improvements and economic development incentives when necessary. It should be considered an investment in the future of Parker County that will pay high returns over the long term and provide much needed tax relief to our citizens.
I will initiate long range planning for roadway maintenance and construction through the identification of new development and long range traffic count expectations. We must conduct traffic studies that include all of the different variables affecting the potential traffic patterns in Precinct 4 and the surrounding areas. This will give us a good picture of where the interconnections between the cities should be constructed that will best serve the citizens and our emergency response teams.
Wallis: One of the first issues that I would address would be to foster a more unified relationship within the county and city offices as well as with the commissioner’s court, to bring Precinct 4 citizens the quality representation and service they deserve.
An additional goal would be to establish and implement an automated system so that Precinct 4 citizens would be informed of current events, burn ban warnings and all emergency issues. In addition, as commissioner, I would work with all levels of government to preserve and protect individual rights and property.
Wood: Our sales tax revenue is down, and I have some ideas that I’ve learned from being on boards in other counties and I want to implement these ideas in Precinct 4. This precinct is the powerhouse when it comes to generating sales tax dollars, yet Precinct 4 receives the least amount of funds because the funds are divided up by the number of county road miles in a precinct. I can use my abilities in negotiation to gain more of the money for Precinct 4.
One of the first things I would do as Precinct 4 County Commissioner is immediately improve Bankhead Highway between Willow Park and FM 1187. That’s our most dangerous road in Precinct 4. There have been fatalities on that road, and if we can save one life or prevent one accident, then these things must be done. There’s a blind spot in the road, and I will straighten that out, as well as other dangerous curves. Plus, I would widen the road in some areas, rework some of the steep shoulders, and stripe it. If I were commissioner today, I’d be out there doing these things on Bankhead Highway today.
A lot of our roads in Precinct 4 are dangerous, and I would work to widen bridges and improve the safety on those roads. This work can be done with existing budget funds.
In a few sentences, what would you like to tell the Parker County Precinct 4 voters?
Renfro: The County Commissioner position is an executive level office and we deserve executive level education, qualifications and experience serving our best interests. It is time for new leadership with new creative ideas to help us overcome the hardships of a tough economy. I am a very independently minded conservative that will serve the community with all of my soul. I will maintain the heart of a servant and base my decisions on what is right for the good people of Parker County. I respectfully request your vote during early voting (Feb. 16th through 26th) or on election day (March 2nd). Thank you for your consideration.
Wallis: On both the national and local level, citizens are looking for honesty, integrity and common sense from their elected representatives. Conservative voters are looking for a return to government by the people, for the people. In Parker County, as Precinct 4 Commissioner, I will serve my constituents with honesty, integrity and common sense. Residents of Precinct 4 only have one vote on the Commissioner’s Court; I will make that vote a conservative one.
Wood: I feel that I am highly qualified to address the issues facing our precinct and I look forward to working hard to find common sense solutions in a cost effective way. I would sincerely appreciate your vote.