Primary Runoff Election: Kendall County Elections

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Early Voting is May 16-20
Voting Day is May 24, 2022

COUNTY JUDGE CANDIDATES

Shane Stolarczyk

Occupation: Judge Advocate General, USAF (Reserves);
20-year research lawyer; small business owner (all non-lawyer related businesses are located outside of Kendall County).

Years in Kendall County: Over a decade.
What motivated you to enter this race? This is an important time for Kendall County. With explosive growth, transportation issues, and continued federal/state overreach into local control, everyone wants to be a part of our County. And, I don’t blame them. The choices we make today as a County will impact us, our kids, and our grandkids. I don’t only live here, but intend to retire here and have my future grandchildren raised here. As I stepped up to serve our country in a pivotal time, now I want to step up and serve our County during this critical juncture. I believe my unique skill set is the perfect fit to address the challenges Kendall County faces.

Everyone is talking about water – how do you see that the County could address and manage the water that we have? As we have learned, water is the new oil. It is a valuable and desired asset that our County should preserve. Balancing property owners’ rights, with the ease of access afforded developers by the legislators in Austin, will take someone with my legal background to devote time researching regulatory authority to ensure that our County does everything possible to explore potential options. My 20-year legal career has helped hone my ability to analyze and uncover all avenues available to conserve resources. Also, my relationships with other local leaders bordering our County who participate in legislative actions, will ensure our County secures and maintains a seat at the table so that when we want to be heard, we will be heard. The current Court has approved funding for Cow Creek to complete a more detailed study of water reserves, which will further give the County valuable information that can be used as a tool to possibly gain more control over development and density down the road.

Traffic – what solutions do you propose? There are many options on the table to tackle our traffic and mobility challenges. The countless hours put in by our community members serving on the Kendall County, Boerne, & Fair Oaks Transportation Committee are not yet complete, and that hard-earned work product will help guide my position on traffic solutions. When there is no unanimous answer to a community dilemma, an essential part of the solution is the voice of the people. Our residents understand the balance of traffic woes with property rights. It would be a mistake to not seek out the voice of the people on such an important issue as traffic. Moreover, the only successful solution for a contentious issue, such as traffic, is one that earns the community “buy in.” We are all in this together, so we all need to listen to each other, even if we disagree as to the solution.

The word “growth” is talked about everywhere around town – how do we manage our growth yet maintain our “small town” way of life? Most of us can easily understand why all arrows point to Kendall County. It does not get much better than this for a place to live, work, raise a family, or retire. There is a distinct difference, however, from a city and a county. The freedoms fought for by our forefathers include the freedom to choose where to live, whether that be within city limits or to maintain a more rural way of life. There is no wrong answer, as this choice is what fits best for each family. My vision for the County is to maintain that distinction so that all living and moving to Kendall County continue to have the choice to live within a city or outside of a city. Urbanizing the entire county only takes away the freedom of choice we all should be able to enjoy.

The controversial “Gateway” – what are your thoughts to it? The “Gateway Loop” was voted down 4 to 1 by the Commissioners Court and a resolution was passed to end the issue. In light of this fact, we need to focus our attention on the recommendations of the Kendall County, Boerne, & Fair Oaks Transportation Committee to address our current issues. The proposed “Gateway Loop” will result in the forced taking of land from many property owners and every effort should be made to avoid this result.

County Judge is a demanding job – what makes you qualified to do it? Besides my civilian background, I believe my military discipline and leadership experience has prepared me for this position. Military officers hold high levels of responsibility and authority even at low levels within the military organizations and are ready to serve full-time. Our leadership skills and discipline are formed through a progressive and carefully planned sequence of training, educational, and real-world events—far more time-consuming than similar training in the private sector or local government. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my military service ensures our future leadership is based on a concept of duty, service, and self-sacrifice.

Considering your opponents, what quality do you have that you feel they do not? Or what experience do you bring that they do not? Both my professional and military careers have taught me the importance of discipline, integrity, and gathering all of the facts before making critical decisions. The issues facing our county did not happen overnight, and they most certainly will not be solved overnight either. The public deserves a candidate it can trust to diligently explore all options/solutions available and that will follow the letter of the law in protecting our County. With my legal qualifications, I will also be able to assist with the formation of the next County Court at Law to ensure its efficiency and can relieve some of the pressure on our court system by continuing the duty of handling probate cases and other criminal matters as needed.


 

Chris Taylor


Occupation:
Retired from Hewlett Packard as a Legal and Engineering Operations Manager. Prior to HP, I was the Operations Manager over 520 employees in the family Pecan business.
Years in Kendall County: I met my wife, Holly, in Boerne Elementary School in the 4th grade. We started dating at the Kendall County Fair and married at the Kendall County Fairgrounds and then named our first daughter, Kendall. We just had our first granddaughter who is the 8th generation of the Kendall County First Family Settlers. Holly’s great grandfather was Sheriff Sidney Edge, who died in the line of duty in 1948.
What motivated you to enter this race? Citizens in our county are concerned about mobility, about future water availability, and about losing our way, our heritage, and our charm. Things seem to happen haphazardly rather than by design. I believe strongly that my education and experience give me the assets needed to put us on a proper path of planning so that we act according to a plan rather than react to circumstances.

Everyone is talking about water – how do you see that the County could address and manage the water that we have? The State of Texas places a lot of restrictions on what counties can and cannot do. But we can work collaboratively with local cities, communities, and property owners to create a water plan for today and for the future.

Traffic – what solutions do you propose? Once again, planning is key. But we need a plan that focuses on the areas of high growth and a plan that is in line with our Hill Country character. It’s the citizens in the southern half of the county that are sitting in traffic, not the citizens in the northern half.

The word “growth” is talked about everywhere around town – how do we manage our growth yet maintain our “small town” way of life? Once again, counties are limited by the state in their ability to stop growth. I think the first thing that needs to happen is an honest conversation about what a county can and cannot do. No more false hopes and promises. But that doesn’t mean sitting around and reacting to everything that happens. The county needs to be involved with the Cities of Boerne and Fair Oaks Ranch, the other local communities and towns, the Boerne ISD, Blanco ISD, and Comfort ISD, and citizens’ groups, leading the conversation about what can be done and how to best do it.
The controversial “Gateway” – what are your thoughts to it? Pros/Cons? The Gateway Study was requested by TxDot from both the City of Boerne and the Kendall County Commissioners Court and then, quickly abandoned leaving the county with no plan in place for mobility. It was never formally accepted by either group, which is a shame because it demonstrates that a loop around the City of Boerne is not needed. What is needed is a plan for the areas of the county that have experienced high growth, e.g., the southern half of Boerne.

County Judge is a demanding job – what makes you qualified to do it? In addition to my work experience with HP, where I saved the company over $42 million without sacrificing jobs or quality, I also have a B.A. in Organizational Management from St. Mary’s University, an MBA from LeTourneau University, and a PGD in Strategic Management from the University of Portsmouth. I have served on various boards and commissions with the City of Boerne under three different Mayors, and I have over 15 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter.

Considering your opponents, what quality do you have that you feel they do not? Or what experience do you bring that they do not? I believe my strongest asset is strategic planning and creating operational efficiencies. In my later years at HP, I taught in many countries including North, Central and South America how to partner and collaborate with multiple entities and successfully achieve their goals and get results. In addition, I feel that my experience with previous natural disasters and man made disasters has prepared me to fill the role as the Emergency Disaster Director when needed.


COUNTY COMMISSIONER PCT #2 CANDIDATES

 

Leon Brimhall

Occupation:
Justice of the Peace, Pct 2
Years in Kendall County 35 years
What motivated you to enter this race? • Previously, I served as County Commissioner in Pct 2 and as Assistant Development Manager for Kendall County. When this position became available, I was interested and I believe I am qualified to serve again as County Commissioner; I wish to continue serving Kendall County & Pct 2.

Everyone is talking about water – how do you see that the County could address and manage the water that we have? County first, then Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District. Detention ponds, water catchment system, making a small lake, cutting cedar with incentives for county residents on their property, scale back on swimming pools & watering yards. It’s always an issue. Bringing in water from another source.

Traffic – what solutions do you propose? The cheapest is to put up gates on any road coming to Boerne (just kidding). The improvement of roads and ROW may be to extend roads for better traffic flow, improve bridges & low water crossings. Improve FM 473 for east/west bound traffic; make Hwy 46 a 4-lane highway.

The word “growth” is talked about everywhere around town – how do we manage our growth yet maintain our “small town” way of life? Two things that will stop growth is (a) recession and b) lack of water. In 1986, when my son & I moved to Boerne, one-half of downtown Boerne was empty; there was a large multi-story iron building north of Fair Oaks Ranch Pkwy & east of I10 due to recession. The effects of lack of water is yet to be seen. Overall, we need to keep and maintain the small town/county feel for the reason people come, then move to our county. (Parades, KCFA, Berges Fest, Comfort 4th of July fireworks show, etc.)

The controversial “Gateway” – what are your thoughts to it? Pros / Cons? It was mainly created by the city. The Gateway project was originally a ‘nice entry’ into Boerne. Is it necessary?

County Commissioner is a demanding job – what makes you qualified to do it? I have previously served our county as County Commissioner, Pct 2 with success as well as having served as Assistant Development Manager. Currently, serving as an elected official in my 12th year, I have a thorough understanding of the county government’s functioning.

Considering your opponents, what quality do you have that you feel they do not? Or what experience do you bring that they do not? • The quality I possess that makes me stand above my opponents is the fact that I have 16 years extensive county government service. My role as Assistant Development Manager was dealing with water wells, septic systems, subdivision rules & regulations, divisions of lands, floodplain, FEMA, and TECQ on pollutions. As JP, I collaborate significantly with the judicial system, our sheriff’s office and the Magistrate at the county jail. I have served our county for 16 years, whereas my opponents do not possess a county government background. I know my experience is key to the success as Commissioner in Pct 2.

 

Andra Wisian


Occupation:
Former television journalist. Currently, creative media consultant and rancher.
Years in Kendall County 29 years

What motivated you to enter this race? Nearly 30 years ago, my husband, Kirby, and I chose Kendall County as an ideal community to start a family. We liked the friendly people, the traditional way of life, and the Hill Country beauty. We have a great passion for this unique area and the very special people who live here. As our county faces a challenging time with rapid growth, fragile water resources and increasing traffic issues, I want to play a key role as County Commissioner to ensure we keep our quality of life and to help with the solutions. I am running to keep the irreplaceable character and culture of Kendall County for future generations.

Everyone is talking about water – how do you see that the County could address and manage the water that we have? The depletion and contamination of our water resources is worsening. An overallocation of our water supply, coupled with increasing drought conditions, leaves us vulnerable to a water shortage. Also, nutrients, wastewater effluent, and pharmaceuticals are polluting groundwater and streams and rivers. County commissioners need to actively engage the leadership of all local governmental entities—the City of Boerne, BISD, and Fair Oaks Ranch—to strategically plan growth so that we will have a sustainable water supply. Additionally, we need to continue to support our Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, which helps regulate the spacing and production of wells and monitors aquifer conditions. We must take a proactive approach to get the authority to require developers to have proven, adequate water supplies prior to subdivision development. Finally, we must emphasize education about water conservation practices such as rainwater capture, native landscaping, and brush control.

Traffic – what solutions do you propose? All local governmental entities need to work together to strategically plan growth. For example, new developments should require dedicated land for multiple ingress/egress roads within neighborhoods. Additionally, I would like to see secondary roads and improved intersections/turn lanes put to better use to move traffic through and around Boerne to move through traffic more efficiently on State Hwy 46, FM 3351, and IH10. As for traffic out in the county, I propose to make Precinct 2 roads safer and more efficient. For example, Ammann Road is heavily traveled by folks coming and going to Fair Oaks Ranch. If shoulders could be installed on Ammann using existing right of way, this would make travel safer. Also, Ammann has crumbling material on the two 90-degree curves. Repair and improved shoulders of these would facilitate better mobility.

The word “growth” is talked about everywhere around town – how do we manage our growth yet maintain our “small town” way of life? Irresponsible growth is putting a strain on our natural resources, infrastructure, roads, and schools. This growth is an unfunded mandate that burdens existing taxpayers. All governmental entities—the County, the City of Boerne, BISD, and Fair Oak Ranch—must do a better job of communicating and working together to strategically plan for growth. Additionally, we need to have conversations with landowners and explore, promote, and incentivize land stewardship to slow land fragmentation. For example, there are many conservation tools that could be used such as conservation easements, land trusts, conservation subdivisions, and landowner alliances. Finally, we need to again approach our state legislators to give the County the ability to manage growth such as managing lot sizes, requiring developers to prove a sustainable water supply, and require developers to pay infrastructure cost recovery fees. We can’t stop growth, but we can better manage it and promote responsible growth vs. irresponsible growth.

The controversial “Gateway” – what are your thoughts to it? Pros / Cons? I was opposed to the gateway plan that the Commissioner’s Court voted down in October 2018 and I am still opposed to this plan. The Gateway proposal did not address transportation problems, would have generated more congestion in the future, and would have used eminent domain to take citizen’s property. In addition, the plan would have been environmentally harmful to our aquifer recharge area.

County Commissioner is a demanding job – what makes you qualified to do it? I am a fiscal conservative and believe in Texas values of faith, family, and community. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and am a successful small business owner—media consulting and ranching. As a servant leader, I have been an ethical and positive-minded person working on positive results for our community. I have served for more than 25 years as a volunteer in the community, including spearheading the effort to build the Kendall County Youth Ag & Equestrian Center, home to more than 400 4-H and Jr. Livestock youth—the future of our country. I bring a unique skill set to the job: communication proficiency, experience as a business owner, and a manager of large projects and budgets. As a business owner, I understand business plans and watching the bottom line. I am experienced in completing projects on time and on budget. Governor Abbott appointed me to the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, which has more than 200 employees and a $70 million budget. So, I am well-versed in large budgets and employee management for a large organization.
Considering your opponents, what quality do you have that you feel they do not? Or what experience do you bring that they do not? With diverse experience in communications, small business, and project management, I bring a unique skill set to the job. First, with a strong communication background, I am adept at researching, analyzing, and presenting information to facilitate problem solving and decision making. All of us could do a better job of communicating in private and public life. That includes communication from commissioners to citizens. In the recent past, commissioners have come up with some very forward-thinking and amazing ideas, but few citizens heard of these great ideas. So, the Court does need to implement timely and effective communication with citizens.
Secondly, I have a good track record in finding and securing grant money. For example, I successfully landed a $500,000 Texas Parks & Wildlife grant and helped secure more than one million dollars in private funding for the Youth Ag & Equestrian Center. As the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority representative from Kendall County, I was asked by Commissioner Don Durden to help find grant money to pay for the removal of the old bridge at the James Kiehl River Bend Park. Funding has been identified and I am optimistic that it can be secured. This will save the County several thousand dollars. Finally, I am not afraid to address complex issues and solve problems. I know how to bring people together for successful outcomes. I embrace the core values of integrity, respect, courage, commitment, excellence, and selfless service. I will bring the fresh perspective of a non-politician to the table.