Kyle B. Barrett
Spouse, children and/or other family: Parents, former Bowie County Commissioner Precinct 3 Dale Barrett and Sherry Hammonds Barrett. Sisters, Sherri Stokes, Terri Giles and the late Kerri Barrett.
Years a Bowie County resident: 38
Highlight your top three degrees and/or educational achievements: DeKalb High School graduate, attended Texarkana College, Leonard Hawes School of Real Estate, Ethos Sales and Training.
List your current job/employer and your top three occupational achievements: Farm, ranch and estate property Realtor with ReMax Preferred Texarkana, owner of Special Events on the Boulevard, rancher and owner of Hideaway Ranch, former employee of TXU Energy in the Large Commercial and Industrial Service Department, former vice president of Nationwide Flood Research, former vice president of MME.
Why are you running for office? My desire to improve Bowie County and Precinct 3 is the main drive behind this candidacy. The love I have for the county and citizens in it is indescribable. Bowie County has a strong hold on my heart and I am extremely passionate about seeing positive changes for all who live and work here.
What are your top three goals if elected? It will be my mission to represent the people of Precinct 3 and be a fair, unbiased voice for all citizens of Bowie County. I desire to be a full-time commissioner who will maintain our roads and make sound budgetary decisions that will continue to move Bowie County forward and ensure opportunity for all citizens.
What are the three most important issues facing the county? Ongoing operation of the county must be maintained at the same or higher level of service without a tax increase; aging infrastructure of the courthouse, correctional center and other county-owned buildings as a result of deferred maintenance; improve neglected and deteriorated county roads.
What are the most important issues specific to your district? Consistent maintenance of county roads, adequate manpower in order to maintain the precinct and the reopening of the county barn in Hooks to better serve the east end of the precinct while continuing quality service to citizens on the west end equally.
How do you propose addressing those issues? Addressing the issues is both simple and complex. A forensic audit can quickly point out budget flaws and needs, and then it will be up to me as the commissioner to address those flaws. As in every aspect of the position, you have to have a budget that is sound and workable to achieve the goals. Allocate the money in a manner that is fair and equitable to all. Fair and equal treatment to all.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase or a bond issue? As a county landowner and business owner myself, I would be hopeful of avoiding an increase in taxes or bond issues. For me to vote yes on either, there would have to be overwhelming and compelling evidence that a need existed and is supported by the constituents of Precinct 3.
Where do you believe the county stands financially and what, if anything would you like to see changed? Currently, Bowie County is on firm financial ground. It will take a strong resolve of the county commissioners to stay the course and focus on budgetary issues to maintain good ground. I look forward to working with the fellow commissioners and judge to keep Bowie County fiscally sound for many years to come.
How can commissioners help this region attract industry and create an atmosphere to retain existing jobs? It is important to maintain a proactive partnership with entities such as AR-TX REDI, Chambers of Commerce, while keeping local high school and college graduates here at home. Bowie County is the fairway between Dallas and Little Rock, with so much growth and expansion that can be utilized for future generations.
What is our opinion on pay increases for county employees? If you support this, where would the money come from? If elected, I will sit down and review in depth the salary structures across Bowie County as well as counties our size in order to remain competitive and maintain hardworking, loyal and dedicated employees. I will work with fellow commissioners and the county judge to ensure salaries are fair and equitable for all.
What is your opinion on the county contracting with a company to operate the jail? Do you believe the company or the county should operate the jail? Criminal justice and housing of inmates is expensive and it is an expense that is not going away. This expense is not a unique situation to Bowie County but to every county and state as a whole. I am in favor of exploring all options concerning jail operations.
James Boyd Strain
Bowie County Commissioner,
Spouse, children and/or other family: I have been married to Regina Ivey Strain for 43 years. We have a daughter and son-in-law, Brandi and Brant Allen, a son and daughter-in-law, Casey and Katie Strain, and six wonderful grandchildren.
Years a Bowie County resident: 63
Highlight your top three degrees and/or educational achievements: DeKalb High School Graduate. Many years of technical training, such as budget, inventory, investment, finance, inspection, quality control, supervision, leadership, Lean Team, and several hours of continuing education through Texas Association of Counties (TAC).
List your current job/employer and your top three occupational achievements:
Bowie County commissioner, Precinct 3. On the Commissioners Court, we were able to pay off a loan early to restore the county's credit rating, pay down and refinance a bond, thus saving the taxpayers approximately $9 million. Upgraded county facilities and repaired several county buildings.
Political affiliation: Republican
Why are you running for office? Being a lifetime resident of Bowie County Precinct 3, I am dedicated, committed, and willing to serve all the citizens of Bowie County. Also to put my years of experience to work for this great county.
What are your top three goals if elected? Out of 254 counties in Texas, strive to make Bowie County one of the best. Endeavor to keep the tax rate low while providing quality service to the citizens. Through strategic planning address the challenge of unfunded mandates placed on our county. Keep our county financially sound and maintain a healthy fund balance.
What are the three most important issues facing the county? Jail operation, indigent health care, unfunded mandates.
What are the most important issues specific to your district? Funding, materials, and weather conditions.
How do you propose addressing those issues? Seek ways to grow the tax base. Be a good steward of all funds, strategic planning, maintenance, acquisition of quality materials and availability of materials. Prayer.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase or a bond issue?
To support a tax increase, only after exploring all options and only as a last resort. A bond issue, only as a last resort and voter approval.
Where do you believe the county stands financially and what, if anything would you like to see changed? The county is in a good position financially, but we must be very prudent, conservative and efficient in all services.
How can commissioners help this region attract industry and create and atmosphere to retain existing jobs? Being a county that is financially sound, working together effectively and providing the best possible services. Also, offering assistance in acquiring services, structures, site availability, funding and an educated workforce.
What is our opinion on pay increases for county employees? If you support this, where would the money come from? We have a dedicated workforce committed to serving all citizens of Bowie County who deserve to be compensated for their hard work. To accomplish this, we must grow the tax base and streamline services, while offering quality service.
What is your opinion on the county contracting with a company to operate the jail? Do you believe the company or the county should operate the jail? Currently Bowie County is in contract with LaSalle for the operation of jail services. The county needs more information of the jail issues. I will look at all options presented, then seek what is cost efficient and provides the best services, either Bowie County operated or privately contracted.