Breckenridge Texan

Candidate Profiles: County Commissioner, Precinct 4

February 19
16:30 2018

Below you’ll find the Candidate Profile Questionnaires that were returned to the Breckenridge Texan by the candidates for the office of County Commissioner, Precinct 4, listed in the order that they will appear on the ballot. At the end of this story is an editor’s note that explains how the questionnaires were distributed, compiled, etc.


Jamie Whitley


Jamie Whitley

Name: Jamie Whitley

What office are you seeking? County Commissioner Precinct 4

What is your current occupation? I own and operate an oil and gas company and have for the past 21 years.

Tell us a little bit about your family. I have lived in Stephens County my entire life, my parents also reside in Breckenridge, Linda and Randy Whitley.

What is your education/military service? I graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1991. I then attended Cisco Jr. College.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?

  • I have owned and operated (“personally”) heavy equipment for over 28 years.
  • I have owned and operated an oil and gas company for the past 21 years. I’ve managed the payments of Royalty to interest owners and managed lease-operating expenses.
  • I have ranch management experience; I have owned and operated my own ranch properties.
  • I listen well, and that has served me well in making sound decisions.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?

  • To ensure county roads are consistently well maintained for safety and ease of travel.
  • Work with law enforcement to provide necessary funding to clean up our county and protect our citizens.
  • To be a voice of reason and develop a “Team” mentality in working relationships with our county and city leaderships.
  • To be responsive to not only the people in my precinct, but to assist my fellow commissioners in helping all of Stephens County residents.
  • Having ran my own business for over 20 years, I want to bring my business skills that I have learned through not only living on a budget, but to manage a budget successfully for the entire county
  • Manage expenses: Analyze immediately precinct expenses for fast simple cost saving measures.
  • Actively research grant money opportunities to manage expense stability without passing cost to tax payer.
  • Response time, I will make myself available to the citizens of our community in a prompt manner and address the problems that arise.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?

  • I believe my leadership and management style will bring the necessary morale boost with county workers that is always welcomed.
  • I’m approaching this position as a full time job, fully focused on the needs of the precinct and county.
  • I will work with the other commissioners and county judge to make wise financial decisions for the taxpayers of the city and county.
  • Making myself available for the needs of the public.

 


Rodger Yoes


Rodger Yoes

Name: Rodger D. Yoes

What office are you seeking? County commissioner Precinct 4

What is your current occupation? Service manager at Carstens Motor Company

Tell us a little bit about your family. I am married to Angela Yoes, we have 4 daughters and one son.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?  Through this process I have learned that many of our citizens are not building on or improving their personal households, not because of the cost of doing so but, solely based increased property taxes. While taxes are one of the main sources of income, we need a more conservative approach with lower taxes applied to start attracting more businesses and citizens. As a result of doing so we get on a plan to lower the cost of living for everyone while beginning to achieve economic growth and more revenue.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?   I am proud to serve the community on a day to day basis and as county commissioner, I would be honored to continue to serve and represent the community on a personal and direct level.

 


Eric O’Dell


Eric O’Dell

Name: Eric O’Dell

What office are you seeking? Stephens County Commissioner, Precinct 4

What is your current occupation? I am currently employed with Stephens County, Precinct 4, and have been for the last 32 years.

Tell us a little bit about your family. For 35 years, I have been married to an amazing woman, Mary. We have made Stephens County our home for all of those thirty-five years. Together, we have faced many obstacles but have overcome them all. We have raised two sons, Dustin and Dillon. We have had the pleasure of watching both our sons graduate from Tarleton State University.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations? Member of Texas Cattle Raisers Association

What is your education/military service? I graduated from Woodson High School in 1977 and attended Cisco Junior College.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? I have made a career of working for Stephens County. I know how to operate and maintain all county-owned equipment. During my years of working for the county, I have attended many hours of safety training meetings at TSTC Breckenridge, and have also received my pesticide applicator license.

I know the laws pertaining to working between private land owners and county road ways. I believe this is a considerable advantage over my opponents.

I have been involved with farming and ranching my entire life. I know the importance of working and staying within a budget. I will use that knowledge to put my budgeted funds to good use while maintaining roads in Precinct 4.

As your Stephens County Commissioner, I will use my combined knowledge, of all the areas in which I have experience, to make the best decisions for the county. I will place the interest of the county and its residents first and foremost.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected? The most critical issue that I have discussed with the people of Precinct 4 is road repair. I will address those issues while staying within my limited budget. My extensive experience gained while working for Stephens County will be used to perform those repairs.

The county budget and taxes are also a very important issue on everyone’s mind. With the low oil prices, the county has much less tax money to work with. Until the jail debt is paid off in 2023, all officials will have less money to work with. I will work with other elected officials and members of commissioner’s court to have a budget that allows each department to perform their duties while trying to keep the tax rate low.

Citizens deserve a completely open, transparent, and ethical county government. I will listen to your concerns and be your voice.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office? I believe my greatest accomplishment is my family. I know what it takes to care for others. I know how to listen, and how to make decisions for the betterment of those around me. I know the hard work it takes to be successful. I am always looking for new ideas and better, more efficient, and cost-effective ways of completing tasks. I have strong work ethics, expecting myself and those around me to do the best they can do. Over the past thirty-two years I have experienced and feel I have a good understanding of what is required to function efficiently as a commissioner. I would be proud to serve as your County Commissioner.

 


Donnie Sechrest


Name: Donnie Sechrest

What office are you seeking? County Commissioner Precinct 4

What is your current occupation? Owner of Sechrest Constitution and Grease Masters

Tell us a little bit about your family. I have been married to Joan Sechrest for 38 years. I ha e two daughters, 2 sons in-laws and 3 grandchildren.  Both daughters and families live in Breckenridge.

What are your community involvements/civic affiliations? My involvement so far in the community have only been by  sponsoring children’s sports and the County Stock Show each year. I have purchased several commercial properties and trying to bring new businesses into Breckenridge.

What is your education/military service? I attended Odessa High School.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? I have owned and operated two businesses for the past 32 years. I employ 12 people in which 2 of them have worked for me over 20 years each. I feel I am qualified to do this job because of my experience in budgeting and managing both of my companies.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected? My number one issue is that we have lost a lot of jobs over the years with the mobile home plant,Breckenridge Exploration, Triple S and Bold ideas. I think one way to address them is for the County Commissioners, The Breckenridge Industrial Foundation,The city council and the Citizens of the city and county. We need to all sit down and work together.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office? I am most proud of being able to stay in business for 32 years.

 


Jim Blancq


Jim Blancq

Name: Jim Blancq

What office are you seeking? County Commissioner Precinct 4

What is your current occupation? Retired

Tell us about your family. My wife Penny and I have five grown children and 15 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

What are your community involvements, civic affiliations? Member of New Life Church where I serve as a deacon. Member of Ft. Griffin Special Utility District Board of Directors. Member of Wednesday Bridge Club at First National Bank, member of the National Rifle Association, member of Breckenridge Bass Club, member of Military Officers Association of America.

What is your education/military service? Two years of college. Have attended several courses at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada at Reno and numerous New Mexico State election schools and county government training courses. Military experience includes Navy flight training and Navel Aviation Electronic Technician Class “A” school.

My total military service was 32 years, including 23 years active duty and 9 years in the reserve.

What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position? 28 years of my Navy career were in managerial and leadership jobs. I was a patrol plane commander and commanding officer of a Naval Air Reserve unit. Additionally, after retiring from the Navy I accumulated extensive county government experience in small, New Mexico county similar in many respect to Stephens County. My country government experience included two years as a jailer/dispatcher/ 4 years as county clerk, two years as assistant county manager and eight years as county magistrate.

As jailer/dispatcher I became familiar with jail administration and law enforcement procedures, as county clerk I was responsible for county records and elections, as assistant county manager I prepared and monitor the county budget, handled public relations for the county, and acted as county manager in the county manager’s absence. Also, when I was county clerk I attended and took the minutes of every commissioner meeting for four years. As magistrate I heard all misdemeanors and, since we didn’t have a standing grand jury, I heard all felonies for probable cause. I also served as a volunteer fireman for 12 years. Based on the foregoing, I am confident I would be a productive county commissioner on day one. I know my way around the courthouse and around county government.

What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected? There are some serious issues facing the community over which I would have little control, the drug problem for example of these issues over which I believe I could exercise some control.

3 stand out:

1. County commissioner’s salaries. If elected, I would not vote for a a pay raise for commissioners and would not accept one if one was approved.

2. Efficiency in county government: I’ve never taken over a job where things could not be improved. I plan to look and listen and find out what is working and strive to improve it and find out what isn’t working and correct it.

3. Taxes. I would work relentlessly to find a way to lower taxes, or at the very least, keep them from rising. Don’t forget, if elected, I will be looking at about seven months before taking office. That will give me ample time to travel the state, visit with other county government officials, legislatures, federal agencies and root out possible sources of revenue that don’t require the citizens of Stephens County to pay higher taxes as it becomes more expensive every year to fund county government.

Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office? Actually there are two; first and foremost, I am happy to have been a Navy pilot who served his country for 32 years. Secondly, I am proud of what I accomplished as a county official having been elected twice as County Clerk and twice as magistrate. I am confident I left the county better off than I found it. Considering the foregoing and taking note of the fact that I am the only candidate with significant county government experience, it is with all due modesty that I say I believe I am qualified to be the county commissioner for precinct 4. As for as being the best candidate for the office that decision will be made by the voters of precinct 4 on election day.

 


Editor’s Note:

Each candidate in a contested Stephens County race in the 2018 Primary Election was contacted by phone and was presented with a list of questions via email or U.S. Postal Service or in person, depending on the candidate’s ability to receive the questions.

All of the questionnaires were exactly the same. We asked the following questions:

  • Name:
  • What office are you seeking?
  • What is your current occupation?
  • Tell us a little bit about your family.
  • What are your community involvements/civic affiliations?
  • What is your education/military service?
  • What training, experiences and characteristics qualify you for this position?
  • What do you think are the most critical issues facing the community and what would you do to address them, if elected?
  • Describe an accomplishment of which you are proud and how it helps make you the best candidate for the office?

The candidates also were asked to provide the Breckenridge Texan with a photograph.

Any of the candidates who do not have profiles listed here did not return the questionnaire to us. If there is no photo, we did not receive a photo.

If a candidate’s profile does not include a specific question, it is because they didn’t answer that question.

The only editing we did was to run a basic spell-check on the files and to put the questionnaires in a standard format.

If you have any questions about the profiles or our procedure, please send an email to:
news@breckenridgetexan.com.

For the Justice of the Peace profiles, click here.
For the County Commissioner, Precinct 2, profiles, click here.
For the County Treasurer profiles, click here.
For more information about the general election, click here.
To return to the 2018 Primary Election page, click here.
To see Sample Ballots for each precinct, click here.

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