Smith County commissioner makes bid for re-election

William "Bill" McGinnis, Smith County Commissioner Pct#2
William "Bill" McGinnis, Smith County Commissioner Pct#2

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

SMITH COUNTY, TX - A Smith County commissioner has announced that he will be running for re-election.

William "Bill" McGinnis currently serves as a commissioner for Precinct 4. He was elected to the position in 2006. Before his election, he spent 20 years as Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner's Court. Prior to his time working with the county, McGinnis was in news broadcasting, specializing in government and political reporting.

McGinnis states his past, present and future goals as a county commissioner in the following letter:

William A. McGinnis
Smith County Commissioner Pct#2

When I first announced in 2005 that I was running for commissioner, I set several goals.

I set a goal to make it my business to interact with all of the communities and neighborhoods in my precinct and make sure they were given equal opportunities to share resources and strengths with Smith County. As of today, I have achieved much of that goal through our Smith County cooperative purchasing effort. I was at the forefront of the court's effort to fully realize the benefits of joining with our municipal and district neighbors to pool our resources and needs and join together to save taxpayer dollars for all of our citizens. This effort is based on proven business principles and in the future it will pay big dividends to those who participate.

I set a goal to better utilize 21st century technology to make our county operations more efficient and cost effective. This goal is well on the way to being realized. Our county law enforcement officials and officers are now better prepared than ever to combat crime in our county because the Commissioners Court has put up to date technology in their hands. Technology that ranges from far better communications equipment, to things like the recently  deployed infrared game cameras we are using to catch illegal dumpers who are trashing up our county. I was a very strong advocate of that pilot program and I am an even stronger advocate of expanding it. It's an extremely cost effective way of addressing this problem.

Our information technology department  has made significant steps forward with the support of Commissioners Court to make it easier for our citizens to conduct their business with the county online. They have also helped us to reach a goal that I have consistently advocated,  transparency.

Because of business practice changes I strongly supported and voted for, you can now easily see many of our  financial statements, our bills, our payments, our budget and many of the documents involved in the decisions we make, all on your computer in the privacy of your home.

And, we are now in the process of bringing you our Commissioners Court meetings in an online video format in an effort to better yet inform our citizens of what we, their representatives, are doing with their tax dollars every Monday.

In the Courthouse, we have installed new monitors in the Central Jury Room to better inform the public of county operations and functions. We installed similar monitors in the Smith County tax office for the same reason.

We have upgraded the sound systems in courtrooms to better serve those involved in the various trials and hearings. And, we are currently in the process of upgrading the information technology infrastructure in the entire Courthouse to ready it for the next generation of computers and various other high tech devices even though it may play a secondary judicial roll in the future.

When I took office as Precinct Two County Commissioner, I set a personal goal to be accessible to my constituents by being on the job every day and getting away from the Courthouse, out into the precinct where the people are. I feel I have achieved that goal. As I have said many times, now more than anytime in our county's history, the job of County Commissioner is nothing less than full time and then some! When I first announced that I was running for Commissioner I said, I would have absolutely no other obligations except my family and my faith! I have kept that promise and I intend to continue to devote all of my time to the job of serving Smith County's citizens when I am re-elected!

In line with that goal, when we expanded the Justice of the Peace, Constable and Tax Office facilities in Troup that serve the southern end of the county, I asked that a small unused office be set aside for my use. Having access there to our county internet and other resources graciously afforded to me by Judge Meredith, Constable Rust, and our Tax Assessor/Collector Gary Barber, makes it far easier for me to serve my constituents quickly and efficiently.

I would like to talk about the Paygo program. I have been a strong supporter of this method of improving and adding to our facilities since before joining the court. Utilizing a penny of the tax rate for facilities improvement  and  acquisition just makes good business sense. It has allowed our court to acquire facilities that are currently being converted to county office space and it has allowed us to correctly maintain and improve our existing facilities. Many of the innovative projects I mentioned a few moments ago, are paygo projects. Just like the citizens who provide our funding through their hard earned tax dollars, we have a plan, we're sticking to it, and we are paying for these improvements as we go. I'm very proud of that fact!