Job descriptionThere are five members of the Commissioner’s Court, which is the governing body of the county (not a judicial court). Term is four years.
Duties
  • Builds and maintains the county’s roads and bridges.

  • Sets county tax rates and approves the county budget.

  • Manages all county facilities; builds, maintains, and improves county facilities, including jails.

  • Provides for hospitals, public welfare, and veterans assistance.

  • Establishes voting precincts and appoints precinct judges.

  • Appoints county officials, hires personnel, manages county contracts and payments.
Annual salary$172,482

Who’s Running?

Kathy Braatz
Website: https://www.kathybraatzforcommissioner.com/
Email: kathybraatztarrantcountypct3@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathybraatztarrantcountypct3/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathyBraatzTX
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathybraatzforcommissioner
Democrat
Gary Fickes (incumbent)
Website: http://www.garyfickes.com/
Email: gfickes650@aol.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CommissionerFickes
Republican

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Kathy Braatz
I am an Army veteran, former military police officer, and have been a leader of many local political and civic organizations. I am not a career politician, instead, I’ve been a quality engineer for over 24 years, which involves taking a proactive approach and implementing measures before problems occur. I’ve been an activist, supporting and organizing for like-minded candidates in my community for the past several years. I have a unique perspective and experience that is well suited for serving my community that I deeply care about.
Gary Fickes
2. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Kathy Braatz
The Commissioner’s Court has enormous influence over policies that affect the lives of Tarrant County residents, especially in the areas of public health, election, criminal justice, economic well-being of residents and bringing well-paying jobs to the county.
The biggest issue that is affecting our community right now is the COVID-19 crisis and we need the strongest possible response to tackle this enormous public health crisis. As the deep economic impact of COVID-19 takes root, we need to make healthcare more accessible to those who need it and provide access to mental health - the county jail shouldn’t be the largest mental health provider in the county.
In the short term, making elections safe, accessible, and fair to every citizen in this pandemic environment is critical. In the long run, equal access to voting is so important - that means increasing polling locations and hours and expanding early voting for everyone.
Another key issue is reforming the criminal justice system to make it fair and equitable to minorities and economically disadvantaged.
Gary Fickes
3. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COVID-19 POLICIES ADOPTED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE? DO THEY STRIKE A GOOD BALANCE BETWEEN PUBLIC SAFETY AND PERSONAL FREEDOM? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Kathy Braatz
The response from our county leaders have been very slow, inconsistent and reactionary. The county was slow to impose stay at home orders and quick to open-up. There has been a delay in widespread availability of testing and lack of contact tracing. The county was also slow to impose mask mandates in spite of compelling evidence that masks help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There has also been a lack of leadership and coordination when it came to re-opening schools.
Gary Fickes
4. THE CURRENT PANDEMIC IS AFFECTING COUNTY BUDGETS AND SERVICES. WHAT BUDGET ITEMS WOULD YOU PRIORITIZE?
Kathy Braatz
Communities want safety and economic well-being, which means well-funded schools, higher home ownership, good paying jobs, small businesses having access to capital, and affordable and easy access to healthcare and mental health. In 2018, we spent around $13 million on public health compared to $194 million on law enforcement. What I am advocating is having a fresh look at the budget and seeing how we spend our taxpayers’ money in order to achieve safety and economic well-being in a holistic way.
Gary Fickes
5. TARRANT COUNTY ALLOWS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT TO WORK WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) OFFICERS TO CARRY OUT IMMIGRATION FUNCTIONS. PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS.
Kathy Braatz
When I get on the court, I will vote to repeal 287g. Immigration is under federal, not county jurisdiction. 287g promotes racial profiling and spreads fear among the immigrant communities. Residents should feel safe in reporting crimes, not fear that they will be deported
Gary Fickes
6. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Kathy Braatz
The Commissioners Court has enormous influence over policies that affect the lives of Tarrant County residents, especially in the areas of public health, election, criminal justice, economic well-being of residents and bringing well-paying jobs to the county. I encourage our voters to get to know the candidates for local offices and vote all the way down the ballot in the upcoming Nov 3rd election.
Gary Fickes