How Fort Bend County candidates will "improve mobility and flood mitigation"

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- This year's Republican primaries include three candidates for the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 commissioner's seat, which represents the Katy area and Fulshear at the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court. Early voting runs Feb. 18-28, and election day is March 3.

Community Impact Newspaper asked the candidates for their thoughts about what they hope to accomplish and what they will do to improve mobility and flood mitigation.

The winner of this race will proceed to the November general election against candidate Hope Martin, the only Democratic candidate who filed for the 2020 primaries for the position. Community Impact Newspaper only publishes candidate Q&A's for contested races.

In this Q&A, candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Their responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

*Indicates incumbent candidate

Wendy Duncan

Top priorities: traffic, flooding and taxes

Occupation: business owner, government official

Years in Fort Bend County Precinct 3: 18

Campaign contact information: 713-628-7228, wendyforcommissioner@gmail.com, www.wendyforcommissioner.com

Why are you running for this seat?

Fort Bend homeowners pay the second-highest county tax in the state of Texas, yet we do not have the road or flood control infrastructure to show for this tax burden. Twenty years ago, before the explosive growth in our area, county leadership had the opportunity to create and implement a long-range plan for mobility and flood protection. That plan was never created, and we are left with a patchwork of roads resulting in excessive commute times and not one ounce of additional regional flood management despite three significant floods in four years. I am running for Commissioner to improve our quality of life by addressing these issues.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish by the end of the four-year term?

First, I will complete all the bond projects that have been approved by voters many years ago, such as roads, the sheriff's substation and the library. I will build Daily Park on the land generously donated by the Daily family in 2016. Going forward, I will implement a long-term strategic plan for mobility, flood management, parks, trails and safety. This plan will be developed through a needs assessment, community input and professional consultation. From this plan, I will create two-year, five-year and 10-year goals with incremental objectives which can be adjusted as needed given new data.

How will you work to improve mobility and roads in the Katy area and Fulshear?

One thing is certain: We spend too much time in traffic! There are at least three areas in Precinct 3 that need immediate attention due to lack of effective planning: Cane Island Parkway, 1093 in Fulshear and Grand Parkway. These overcrowded roads have led to extreme commute times, children being chronically late to school and the label of one of the deadliest strips of highway in Texas. I will partner with the Texas Department of Transportation, cities, municipal utility districts, school districts and county engineers to develop a mobility plan, implement needed projects and communicate effectively with residents.

What will you do to forward flood mitigation and drainage projects in the Katy area and Fulshear?

Currently, we have no viable regional and local flood management county projects in Precinct 3. I know the solutions that will create a stronger, more flood resilient Fort Bend County. I have met with residents and government officials to develop real solutions for capacity and conveyance for our watersheds: Jones Creek, Bessie's Creek, Brazos River, Buffalo Bayou and Barker Reservoir. I have the experience because of my work with Houston Stronger, Barker Flood Prevention, Texas Water Development Board, Texas General Land Office, Willow Fork Drainage District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I am excited to serve the people of Fort Bend County with my knowledge and determination.

Glenn Harry Gustafson

Top priorities: massive accelerated development and flood control; reduce taxes and appraisal control

Occupation: businessman, electrical designer in the oil and gas industry

Years in Fort Bend County Precinct 3: 26

Campaign contact information: 713-569-3262, gustafsonforcommissionerpct.3@gmail.com, https://gustafsonforcommissioner.com

Why are you running for this seat?

2020 is the year for new leadership Fort Bend County Precinct 3. If elected, Commissioner Gustafson will make the homeowners, business owners and residents of precinct 3 his No. 1 priority not the subdivision developers. The voters of Precinct 3 saw how unprepared Fort Bend County was from Harvey, and this fall on the current commissioner of Precinct 3. Our first responders and volunteers did a fantastic job with what equipment and time frame they had to work with. If elected, Commissioner Gustafson will work with the Fort Bend County Sheriff Office, Precinct 3 Constable Office and Fort Bend ISD police to assure the best officers, equipment and security for our taxpayers and students is utilized.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish by the end of the four-year term?

If elected, Commissioner Gustafson shall have new stricter building plans, permits, inspections and fully operational flood control management system tied to the storm/drainage bayous, including monitor/flow rate instrumentation and making all the correct improvements for storm drainage and epic storm drainage.

If elected, Commissioner Gustafson shall reduce budget waste, lower the tax rate and balance the budget each year. If Elected, Commissioner Gustafson shall implement a special reduced tax rate for all our military veterans, police, fire and emergency medial services responders who are homeowners Precinct 3, this includes no change to the current homestead/65/disabled veteran exemptions.

How will you work to improve mobility and roads in the Katy area and Fulshear?

A complete review of all congested traffic intersections that are bottlenecks. Add more dedicated turn lanes, smarter lane stripping and smart traffic signals. Add more turn/straight lanes at heavily traveled intersections, encourage more cooperation with city Of Katy, TxDOT and city of Fulshear. If elected, Commissioner Gustafson will have a comprehensive heavy traffic flow/repair plan for: Grand Parkway, Pin Oak Road, FM 1463 and Cane Island Parkway. And this includes the bottleneck flyovers. My question is: Why did the current commissioner build roads for five year ago traffic?

What will you do to forward flood mitigation and drainage projects in the Katy area and Fulshear?

If elected, Commissioner Gustafson would move full speed on heavy preventative Maintenance/Repair of all Precinct 3 bayous, creeks, culverts and storm drains. Then, he will tackle our Buffalo Bayou issues of widening/deepening with all the proper monitors/flow rate instrumentation installed. The Brazos River will be simultaneously studied and reanalyzed for improved Flood Control/Management. He will determine the required projects currently needed for the 10-year flood plan and 20-year epic flood plan for Precinct 3. Once we know the projects needed, he will give each project a priority number and schedule, and then make each subdivision aware of their area-project. If major projects require additional funds not in the budget, a bond election would need to be implemented.

W. A. "Andy" Meyers*

Top priorities: continue to lower taxes, safe and secure community, improve roads, flood control

Occupation: Fort Bend County Commissioner Precinct 3

Years in Fort Bend County Precinct 3: 43

Campaign contact information: 832-338-1199, commissionerandymeyers@gmail.com, andy@andymeyers.com, www.andymeyers.com

Why are you running for this seat?

I've been blessed to serve as the Precinct 3 county commissioner through a period of tremendous growth. But important work remains. As the most conservative and experienced Republican elected official in the county, I work daily to protect the taxpayers and to maintain responsible government, of, by and for the people. I led efforts to lower the tax rate 30% and grant the maximum homestead exemption. I initiated the first successful mobility and flood mitigation bond programs. I secured passage of legislation preventing Houston and developers from collecting more sales taxes from our over-taxed residents. That's true leadership.

If re-elected, what do you hope to accomplish by the end of the four-year term?

A further reduction in taxes. Pass legislation to redirect the $18 million in sales taxes now going to Houston to help fund a safe and secure community with more law enforcement patrols, more roads and better flood control as well as to free residents from Houston's control. Complete the mobility projects listed below already begun and start U.S. 36A and Roesner Road to I-10. Work with the emergency service districts to expand fire protection and expand the emergency medical services I began 20 years ago. Obtain the federal funding for flood mitigation we applied for and to improve flood mitigation further.

How will you work to improve mobility and roads in the Katy area and Fulshear?

I work daily with multiple entities to improve mobility, coordinating with TxDOT to get FM 1093 completed. The Grand Parkway widening and frontage roads, widening of FM 1463 and FM 723, Westpark Tollway to Grand Parkway direct connects are all underway now. Peek Road connection to the Grand Parkway, the Texas Heritage Parkway and FM 359 realignment have also begun. Fulshear-Gaston and Roesner road expansions are scheduled in 2021. I'm endorsed by current and former city council members of Katy, Fulshear, Simonton and Weston Lakes because I work diligently with them on our community mobility needs.

What will you do to forward flood mitigation and drainage projects in the Katy area and Fulshear?

I am a former chairman of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the region's planning authority, and current Chair of H-GAC Flood/Water Resources Committee. With my relationships, I am the only elected official in the county in a position to influence the county's best interests as H-GAC oversees distribution of federal and state dollars for flood mitigation projects and other programs to serve and protect county residents. Last year, I orchestrated a change in the 2019 Bond Proposal from facilities to an $83 million flood mitigation bond program, which leverages $265 million of federal and state dollars for flood mitigation.