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February 10, 2016     The Burnet Bulletin
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February 10, 2016
 

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Bumet, Texas Burnet Bulletin Wednesday, February 10, 2016 PaN 5A News From Page 1A Department of Public Safety (DPS), "Starting in DPS and attending DPS academy, I worked and retired from DPS. You made me your (Justice of the Peace) Precinct 1 Judge, where I did run a budget, ran a staff and managed a court, which gave me a greater understanding of the criminal justice system. I magistrate in the jail and I have a lot of ideas on how to fix that jail." "I have been the chief of police for the last 13 and half years," Wilson said. "I took it from being the old term 'Ghetto Shoals' to Granite Shoals. We went from being worst in the county and the lowest paid with the highest crime rate to now being the lowest crime rate, highest paid and best trained." The candidates were asked ideas on lowering, maintain- ing or minimizing the county budget. "Burnet County has kind of outgrown the sheriff's department, so holding the budget down is going to be tough," Boyd said. "I think, after going through budget cycles, it's going to take three to five years for the sheriff's office to catch up to the COunty.," "As far as saving money, we are 'rank heavy' in the sheriff's office," Wilson said. "Two chief deputies for a sheriff's office our size and the ranks continue. We need to lower the high end ranking. That will save thousands. I also plan on making one Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 candidates (from left) Lynn Sheffield and Michael Horton take the stage with incumbent Roxanne Nelson, while Justice of the Peace candidates for Precinct 4, Frank Reilly, Larry hear about when a new sheriff comes in, is you have to clean house," said Boyd. "I don't necessarily agree with that policy. I think you put people to work. With the Bumet sher- iff's office there is a lot of people retiring, and some of those are needed, but there is not going to be a bunch of people being fired when I take over the sheriff's office." Boyd added: "There are some good folks over there. We just need to put them back to work." In a two-minute closing period, Wilson said, "I am not doing this for a pay increase.. I am actually taking a cut in pay. I have it made over there (in the Granite Shoals Police Department.) But, it is time to be your next sheriff. There needs to be some good changes. I could care less about being in the paper or being at events. What I would Burnet County Sheriff candidates Calvin Boyd (above, left) and J.P. Wilson (above, right) sit in the "hot seat" to answer questions posed during the local candidates forum last Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Burnet Community Center. Hosted by the Burnet Chamber of Commerce and the Burnet Bulletin, the event explored candidates' view- / ) CHRISTI BERTELSON/BURNET BULLETIN county unified dispatch sys- tem." Wilson's comment led a question about rumors that have surfaced regarding con- solidation of the sheriff's department and municipal police department resources. "There is a time that we may have to do that," Boyd said. "For financial reasons, there may be a time we have to have one central dispatch. Now, whether that is going to be at the sheriffs office or Marble Falls, remains to be seen." "I believe the county judge has already talked with the chief of police in Marble Falls and that is already being discussed," said Wilson. "Communication is key. When you have a major event on the north side of Burnet County that may require south county units t0 assist, it takes two, three, four, five minutes for the other dispatch to get on the phone and radio down to the south to send units." Both candidates agreed that the sheriff's office should be more aggressive in finding illegal narcotics in Burnet County and taking care of its citizens. One of the final questions from the audience again was spurred on by rumors about possible terminations and facility changes that could fol- low with the election of a new sheriff. "It' is time for perform- ance," Wilson said. "I don't play the good o1' boy system." He added that he would take over the responsibility of reg- istered sex offenders. "As sheriff, I would have the right to take that away from one of the chiefs of police and I damn sure will. I will take it over and I love doing my surprise inspections at five or six in the morning," Wilson said. "One of the things you Berkman, Debbie Bindseil and Bill Worley, also share the stage to dis- cuss issues of local interest during a candidates forum hosted last Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Burnet Community Center. really like is to bring commu- nity policing back to the com- munity." "I have been a resident of Bumet County for 27 years," Boyd said in his closing. "I raised a family here and I am watching grandkids grow up here, so this county is very special to me, and that's one of the reasons I want to be your sheriff. This is some- thing I have wanted to do for a long time and it was a big decision to resign from being justice of the peace. I want to be your next Bumet County Sheriff and I appreciate your vote." Constables First to take the stage were the candidates for constable: Precinct 1, Leslie Ray and Chris Bieze; Precinct 3, Jimmy Ballard and James Bryant, and Precinct 4, Chris Jett and Steve Harris. They were asked if they would make any changes to the respective offices they were on the ballots for. "The current constable runs the office pretty smoothly now," said Precinct 1 candidate Ray. "I do think there needs to be a little bit more control in some neigh- borhoods at certain times." "What I understand is there aren't a lot of warrant services going on," said the Precinct 1 opponent Bieze. "That is one of the things I would push for." "I think the community needs to see more exposure," said Precinct 3 candidate Bryant. "We need to have more patrols and be on the look out for DWIs." "I brought this profession- alism to Precinct 3" said incumbent Ballard. "Before me, there wasn't a constable. I did all the training myself and I have been there for 20 years." "I am going to focus heav- ily on community policing and community outreach," said Precinct 4 candidate Harris. "When I became consta- ble, what I wanted to do was make my office valuable to the citizens of Burnet County," said Jett, Precinct 4 incumbent. "I do control low coverage areas. I assist agen- cies in the county with high priority calls. And, recently, the constables have taken on nuisance property investiga- tion, where we are getting junky properties cleaned up." Asked in an audience question what portion of the budget they would change and why, only Bryant pro- posed a change. "Assuming that your civil process isn't taking 40 hours of your week, if you have extra time, or if you have a desire to hire reserve deputies, or even part-time paid depu- ties, you are going to have to Calvin Boyd, resigned to run for sheriff in the fall. Retired State District Judge Guilford "Gil" Jones has filled the role of Precinct 4 JP, since the retirement in May of Edward Cutchin. All were asked about qualifications. "I personally have no unique talents for Justice of the Peace," said Precinct 4 candidate Worley. "But I do have some experience at mak- ing decisions, as a command- ing officer and officer in charge, doing 25 years in the Navy." "I have been privileged to be able to work the in JP Precinct 4 office for 10 years," Bindseil said in con- trast.. "With that comes expe- rience of all aspects of the job." "They are looking for someone with people skills, and for 45 years I have dealt CHRISTI BERTELSON/BURNET BULLETIN points and strategies before an audience of nearly 300 interested citizens looking to become better informed voters. For those who are interested in candidates' quali- fications and more, see the "Know Your Candidates" sec- tion included as a bonus in this week's edition. increase the budget, to take care of some of the extra bur- dens coming into Burnet County," said Bryant. Jett led closing statements: "This has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I look forward to continue to do it." "My main goal here is to bring the public servant back to this office," Harrissaid. "It is a matter of the people see- ing the patrol car and recog- nizing that it is a constable that is inside that vehicle.". "I have over 18 years of law enforcement experience," said Bieze. "I am the current Chief of Police in Cottonwood Shores. I have dealt with all the courts we have in Burnet County." "I believe in this county and I want to do my part to help this county continue to be a good place to raise your children," Ray said. "I have been able to work hand in hand with the Precinct 1 con- stable and it's allowed me to gain the knowledge to fill this spot." "I have about 34 years of policing and security," Ballard said. "I have been with been with the county for 23 years, 20 of them being the constable for Precinct 3." "I am an investigating hypnotist, I've got you right now" Ballad joked. "I have done a lot of stuff, so that makes me a well- rounded person. After a while, people in office have a ten- dency to become complacent and I think that is what my opponent is," said Bryant. Justices of the Peace Burnet County Justice of the Peace candidates are: Precinct l, Lynn Sheffield, Michael Horton and Roxanne Nelson, and Precinct 4, Debbie Bindseil, Frank Reilly, Larry Berkman and Bill Worley. The Precinct 1 seat became vacant when with public," added Berkman, also running for Precinct 4. "I have been a school teacher and business owner. I have had to make decisions con- stantly." "I currently serve as a municipal judge in Granite Shoals; I have judicial experi- ence," said Reilly. "As an" attorney, I am able to issue warrants, which is something that will help law enforce- ment." "I have worked in Burnet County for the last six years in a judicial capacity, and I am now serving as your Justice of the Peace of Precinct 1," Nelson said. "I look forward to serving the citizens of Burnet County.". "I have spent 23 years in law enforcement in Texas," Horton said. "I have worked both sides of the aisle, prose- cution and defense." "I have been in law enforcement for 40 years," said Sheffield. "The last 13 years I have been with the dis- trict attorney in Burnet County, I am also the deputy constable for Precinct 4, so I think I am very well qualified (to serve Precinct 1)," said Sheffield. Nelson was asked directly about why she had earlier said she would not run for office when she was appointed by the Burnet County Commissioners' Court to ful- fill Boyd's unexpired term in JP Precinct 1. "When I said I had no intention of running for this position, I meant it," Nelson said. "However, after taking Office and being contacted by Whitworth and Sam Cox for Precinct 1 and Billy Wall, Linvel Baker and Darrell "Butch" Turner for Precinct 3. "First thing would be to try to tighten everyone up a little bit," Whitworth said. His opponents agreed emergency services were top priority. "I think we need to look at emergency services, and make sure those departments are adequately funded," Luther said. Precinct 3 candidates Turner and Wall, particularly looked at emergency medical * service priorities, with Wall adding roads being important as well. Baker said he would not change anything about the budget. Along with qualifications laid by each candidate was a pledge to make commissioner a full-time job. ,As a commissioner, we have to address the growth in this area," said Cox in closing. "We need to embrace growth but also control it. And jobs, we need good paying jobs here." "I will work hard for Burner County and I will make your tax dollars go as far as I can," Whitworth fin- ished. "I was born in Burnet County, and a lot of you raised me or I grew up with," leaderS, i were Luther's closing time ~ Peraihdel "i chose to stay here effort Spent discussing and raise my family, and a lot with those community leaders and my family and praying, I decided at this time for this job I was the best qualified candidate." Asked if justice of the peace would be a full-time job, candidates agreed that the position for JP would be a pri- ority, with the exception of Worley. "No, it is not a full-time job," he said. "I have three jobs now. I will be there when I am needed. I will do what I need to do to get things done, but I have three jobs now." County Commissioners Qualifications and budget changes were primary ques- tions aimed at Burnet County Commissioners' Court candi- dates-Jim Luther Jr, Glenn of you stayed here because of what Burnet County has to offer. Those are the reasons I am running for commis- sioner." "As your next commis- sioner, I am going to be out there doing everything I can to be that full-time commis- sioner I told you I was going to be, and set a new standard for Precinct 3," Wall said. "I was born and raised in Burnet County and I have always had a love for Burnet County. "I am going to do my best to make the roads better," Turner said. "I am not a politician," Whitworth declared. "I am a concerned citizen that says we need to step up as individuals to help our county." 6th ,A, nnua,1 BURNET COUNTY REPUBLICAN CLUB BUENEr COU/4TY FAIEGROUI @ SlO o AUCTION to benefit Burnet County Republican Women DDA11 SAMFLE THEII . CHILl - THEN VOffl TAKE PAF, I IN OU . I;q QPENTIAL Off I"IOKET i 0M OUE. FAVOF, ITE CANBII/ATE OF, PAY AT THE BOOK FIll ON FACBOOK FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT MJ AVERY @ MJAVERY@SWI3ELL,NET