Over the last four years, I have attended almost all meetings of the Ellis County Commissioners Court. In that time, I have seen Judge Carol Bush always represent Ellis County in a professional manner. I have seen her act in her official capacity as director of emergency operations for Ellis County at a news conference after a tornado had just ripped through Ellis County, presiding over regular commissioners court meetings in her capacity as county judge regarding matters related to purchasing, development, human resources or other administrative duties, as well as acting in her official capacity as chief budget officer of Ellis county at workshops, working with commissioners to approve a budget and set a tax rate.

While all of the Judge Bush’s responsibilities are important, I would like to point out Ellis County’s financial success under her leadership as the chief budget officer of Ellis County. In that capacity, she has been able to put the revenues and expenses together while working will all department heads, including elected officials to accomplish what is in the best interest of the Ellis County taxpayer and at the same time, providing necessary services and resources that continue improving the quality of life in Ellis County.

I have sat through workshops and commissioners court sessions for the last four budgets between 2014 and 2017, and there have been times when Judge Bush and commissioners have had to make hard decisions regarding spending in order to protect the financial integrity of our county. Judge Bush has been the driving force in putting Ellis County in a solid financial position. I can say this with confidence because of the following:

In January 2016, Fitch (a major rating agency) issued a solid AA bond rating for Ellis County and a financial outlook of “stable.” October 2016, about $39 million of debt was refunded and Ellis County was able to get very low-interest rates because of its creditworthiness and strong financial position, thus saving taxpayers about $7 million in interest expense. In August 2017, Moody’s (another major rating agency) rendered an opinion of Ellis County being in a “robust financial position.” Ellis County’s current year (2017-2018) county tax rate was reduced to $0.39 per $100 valuation from $0.41 per $100 valuation. This makes Ellis County’s tax rate among the lowest of the low across the State of Texas.

Prior to this year, the tax rate had remained unchanged for six consecutive years. As a taxpayer and a property owner of Ellis County, this is very reassuring. While many people have contributed to this, it has been Judge Bush, who as the chief budget officer, has been the leader in achieving these results. For the record, Ellis County’s annual budget is over $60 million.

We all know that saying you are a conservative and actually producing conservative results are two entirely different things. Judge Bush has a record that has actually produced conservative results. Given her experience and record that has produced these results, why would you make any change based on a politician’s hyperbole. Have they ever been responsible for a budget anywhere the size of the Ellis County budget?

Judge Bush is a great communicator, a people person, one who is respectful of all and always a professional in representing Ellis County. Likewise, Judge Bush is a person of conviction, always putting principle over politics.

Please join me and vote to keep conservative Ellis County Judge Carol Bush.

- James Parks, Waxahachie, Texas