Source: Montgomery County Gazette
WILLIS, TX – Robert Walker is a life-long resident of Montgomery County with four generations behind him. As owner of Walker Farm & Feed, he has worked with the community on many levels and is ready to serve in the role of Precinct 1 Commissioner.
Walker has spent his entire life living and working in Montgomery County. After graduating high school, Walker took several courses at Sam Houston State University; and while attending the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Academy, he earned his TECLOSE certification. Afterwards, Walker worked with his father in the construction business and built homes. Over time, Walker started and operated several businesses, including Walker Farm & Feed, which he currently owns. Walker is also active in the community and enjoys assisting youth programs at the Montgomery County Livestock Show. Walker also hires local high school students to work at his feed store, where he trains them in necessary life skills in both business and practical farm solutions.
Walker explained the purpose behind running for Commissioner stems from his community involvement, stating, “I have a vested interest in seeing that our county continues to represent our values as we experience tremendous growth.”
Walker feels his extensive work in the private sector will assist him with tackling issues related to budgeting and taxes, which he identifies as top issues in not just Precinct 1, but Montgomery County as a whole. “In the public sector, officials can increase taxes in order to make the budget balance. In the private sector, that is not an option,” said Walker. “Just like every other homeowner and business owner, I’ve had to tighten my belt and make tough decisions.”
If elected, taxes and spending are at the top of Walker’s priorities, “I think the taxpayers of Montgomery County would like Commissioners to find ways to reduce property taxes. To that end, I would be in favor of zero-based budgeting practices, budget workshops with experts in the industry, and attracting business development which would reduce the burden on residential property owners.”
While Walker wants to ensure the budget is properly managed, he explained that law enforcement is one area which must have its needs answered first. Walked explained, “I believe we can always cut corners in other areas, but this is not one. If there is a need for more law enforcement that means our community is growing, and Commissioners Court should answer that need.”
However, Walker would like more involvement from the residents of Precinct 1 when it comes to road construction, stating, “I would like to see more community awareness when these important issues come up and to add resolutions to our ballots at the voting box to get an idea of what measures Precinct 1 residents would support.”
Precinct 1 is experiencing its own growth, and as such, Walker is looking forward to seeing big developments within the Precinct thrive, especially the Conroe-North Houston Airport. Walker explained he is a big supporter of the airport and would like to see it grow to handle commercial domestic flights in the future. Walker explained, “I believe it’s a positive part of our community and that Montgomery County should continue to develop the airport. I believe it will eventually create a lot of job opportunities and business development for our county.”
As for the Deison Technology Park and the Conroe Park North Industrial Park, Walker is excited to see those developments expand and bring jobs to Montgomery County. While the Commissioners do not have any direct jurisdiction over the Deison Park, Walker does want to see it grow in a beneficial way for not just Conroe, but the County as a whole. The Conroe Park North Industrial Park, however, is under the Commissioner’s jurisdiction, and as such, Walker wants to focus on bringing in businesses which will bring jobs and help Montgomery County grow on a physical and economic level. Walker explained the airport is also an added benefit for businesses housed in the Industrial Park, as the airport provides access for products and freight to easily ship via air cargo.
Walker is supportive of tax abatements in Montgomery County, citing the fact they help promote local job growth and provide tax relief upon fulfillment of the abatements. Walker stated, “Commissioners should do all they can to continue to attract this sort of development.”
As for the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park, Walker explained that while he does not advocate for using taxpayer dollars on nonprofits, the Veterans’ Memorial was an exception. Walker stated, “We owe everything to our Veterans, and it is our duty to commemorate their service and sacrifice.”
With the 2018 election cycle being particularly vicious on the local level, and the 2020 cycle only
expected to get worse, the only thing candidates and their campaigns can do is work to run as clean and
ethical a campaign as possible. Something Walker wants to ensure.
When it comes to campaign finances, Walker stated, “If a person cannot draw a line between their donors and their ability to make sound business decisions, that says a lot about their character – which will undoubtedly be uncovered in one way or another.” Walker explained he is accepting contributions from engineers and PACs, but will not allow those donations to sway his opinion in his decision making.
“If I were to be elected as Commissioner, their contribution to my campaign would not be a factor in selecting vendors. In addition, the county engineer’s office handles creating a list of engineering firms Commissioners are allowed to use. There is a system of checks and balances in place,” said Walker.
With some businesses experiencing personal attacks during the 2018 cycle, many are wary to openly support candidates. Walker stated, “I believe in everyone’s free choice to do business with whom they want to do business with, and that may mean they won’t support a business who supports a political opponent. I would not ever advocate anyone boycotting a business for supporting my political opponent, and I would not want anyone on my campaign team attacking anyone verbally or otherwise.”
Some have made issue with Walker being a cousin of the retiring Commissioner Mike Meador, who has also endorsed Walker’s campaign. However, Walker emphasized his decision making will be based on finding cost-effective solutions for the needs of Precinct 1 and he has no intentions of hiring any family members.
Robert Walker will be facing candidates Billy Graff and John Davis for the Republican nomination in March, 2020. You can view the interviews with Graff and David at these links: