Q&A: Palo Pinto Commissioner, Precinct 3

Feb. 13—Get to know more about the two candidates running for Palo Pinto County Commissioner of Precinct 3, Jim Pollock and Brent Fuller.

Responses are listed in the order each candidate will appear on the ballot.

Jim Pollock

Quick Bio: I was raised in Santo. I have been a resident in Palo Pinto County for 56 years, my whole life. After high school graduation I went straight to work in construction, specifically building homes. A few years later, my life would change by getting a job at TXDOT back in Gordon, getting married to my wife Carol, and moving to Strawn. This is where Carol and I built our life and have resided for over 31 years. My greatest joy though was having our three daughters. They have given me two son-in-laws and four grandchildren who all keep me on my toes. If you know me, then you definitely know that I am involved with my community and surrounding community's activities outside of work.

Spouse & Family: I have been married to my wife Carol for 32 years this May. She has been a teacher at Strawn Elementary for the last 28 years. We have three daughters: twins Cidney & Cori and our youngest, Jamisan. Cidney married Creed Alexander of Stephenville and they have a daughter named Lottie. Cori married Dyllan Rhyne of Ranger and they have three children — Arden, Walker and Clayra. We have a wild bunch that always has fun and enjoys laughing together. I'm extremely proud of my kids and all they have accomplished.

Current Job & Relative Experience: I am currently the Palo Pinto County Commissioner of Precinct 3. This past year, I received a phone call notifying me of the job position. After going through the interview process, I officially retired from TXDOT and was appointed on May 1, 2023.

Before becoming commissioner, I worked for TXDOT for 31 years. During my time at TXDOT, I climbed the ranks from equipment operator, then to contract manager and inspector, back to the road as crew chief, and then to assistant supervisor. I operated every piece of equipment, managed as many as 20 employees, planned budgets, executed contracts, worked roads, and carefully strategized future projects. During my time there I was responsible for millions of dollars in contracts and responsible for writing and allocating funds of a Multi-Million dollar budget. I have extensive experience on preparing and leading a team on emergencies, snow, ice, flooding, wildfires, and all types of traffic accidents. I regularly worked with law enforcement, first responders, fire departments, contractors, mayors, city employees, and motorists. My knowledge of repair and maintenance materials proved to be vital when decisions had to be made. I also operate my side business, JP's Construction where I build barns, barndominiums, carports, and many other small businesses.

Education & Community Involvement: I attended Santo ISD (K-12) where I received a high school diploma. My upbringing set me up with a great work ethic.My dad, JW Pollock, was in the military for 20 years, and we were encouraged to always Do Work. He worked at the County in Santo where he was the foreman when he retired after several years. I had a lot of hands-on learning experience after graduating. I went into construction, specifically building houses for a few years. Later, I got the job at TXDOT in Gordon. Over the years of working at TXDOT, it was mandatory to complete Continuing Education, so I was constantly learning.. I have gained endless knowledge on how to perform roadway maintenance and all the equipment that comes along with that. Outside of work I am involved with my community and surrounding community's activities. Over the years I have coached my daughters' little league sports for 15 years, served on the Strawn ISD School Board for 8 years, made a hand at TD's Processing during deer season, and helped with numerous Palo Pinto Livestock Shows. I consider this to be "involved" rather than an accomplishment or accolade.

Q: Describe the needs/traits of your coverage area and how they differ from the rest of the county. How are they the same?

The needs and traits of my part of the county do not vary much from the other parts.

We all are concerned with good road and ditch maintenance, brush control, protecting the routes that the school buses travel, and performing all administrative duties to the best of our abilities. Working for the state has offered me great insight. I know that there are programs offered by the state that help fund road repair and fully plan on utilizing this.

Q: In a growing county, what role can you play in ensuring adequate needs (water, roads, broadband) are met?

Open communication between the people and the commissioner will play a key factor in making sure that all needs are met. I am always open for a phone call from anyone in the county. It is vital that the commissioner finds and listens to the needs of the people within his precinct, then through communication find the best option for the county as a whole. Working together will ensure that we are certain to have an adequate supply of water for the residents of Palo Pinto County. Finding a common goal and then executing a solution will increase unity. The State of Texas has a broadband development office that is run through the Texas Comptroller. This is to help bridge the divide for rural broadband.

Q: Any final thoughts on why residents should vote for you?

The job of the county commissioner calls for hands-on service delivery as well as policy-making budget decisions. While making sure that county roads & bridges are maintained, commissioners vote with the county judge to set the budget for all county departments and adopt a tax rate. It all boils down to providing physical services to residents while ensuring the county is good stewards. I will work hard to make sure Palo Pinto stays in the black while preparing the budget. All I know is hard work and have only the best interest of the citizens of Palo Pinto County in mind. I maintain a good working relationship with other city entities as well as the public.

Brent Fuller

Age: 55

Occupation: Previous owner of HF Oilfield Supply

Education/background: Mineral Wells High School 1986 graduate, attended Tarleton State University

Relevant experience for this office: I owned and operated my own business in the oil and gas industry for 15 years. I have experience leading people, making yearly budgets, and overseeing purchasing.

How long have you resided in the county? 44 years

Q: Describe the needs/traits of your coverage area and how they differ from the rest of the county. How are they the same?

I believe that all four precincts in Palo Pinto County have the same needs. All four cover rural Palo Pinto County and they all have coverage areas in Mineral Wells. The whole county needs better roads, more law enforcement, and lower property taxes.

Q: What is your experience with writing budgets and running a road crew?

I have dealt with a business budget for several years dealing with the purchasing of inventory for three oilfield supply stores in Texas and New Mexico. I have never run a road crew, but it's no different from running a business. People are people, everyone has a job task and at the end of each day, every employee needs to be productive and accountable for their actions.

Q: In a growing county, what role can you play in ensuring adequate needs (water, roads, broadband) are met?

The key to a growing county is a proper infrastructure. I believe we can petition the TCEQ to secure more water rights to the Brazos River. We can also look into buying or leasing more water rights from individuals who own them. I have a strong belief in preventative maintenance programs. I want to get all the roads in my precinct in good working condition and then have an aggressive maintenance program to keep it from getting out of hand. I believe most of southern Palo Pinto County in Precinct 3 needs better broadband and cellular service. We need to look into the Department of Agricultures Reconnect Program which provides loans and grants to build broadband infrastructure in eligible rural areas in Texas.

Q: Any final thoughts on why residents should vote for you?

I believe that government is a business and should be run like one. I believe my 15 years of running my own business make me the best candidate for the job. I believe that the commissioner's court needs a strong leader who is very personable and a good communicator who has business sense and common sense. I will bring these qualities to the commissioner's court if I am elected Precinct 3 County Commissioner.