By: Jessica Shorten
In a three-way race for County Judge, two-term City of Montgomery Mayor Sara Countryman is hoping her previous public policy and budgeting experience will make voters understand she is the right choice for the role of County Judge.
Countryman has the Mayor of Montgomery for four years, and served previously as a President of the Buffalo Springs HOA. In the private sector, Countryman has spent 18 years working the tech industry in sales from the executive to operations level. To Countryman, the job of County Judge isn’t that different from the duties she has handled in her private and public service duties.
“It’s what I do today, but bigger borders. It’s public policy and budgeting…as well as supporting our law enforcement,” stated Countryman. Over her four years Countryman has worked to institute a comprehensive plan which the City can refer to in order to effectively manage the growth of the City of Montgomery.
A comprehensive plan is also something Countryman wants to bring to the County Judge’s office, “I like to have a plan, I like to know where we are today, what does success look like, and how we work towards that.”
When it comes to Commissioners Court, there are a number of changes to the agenda structure Countryman would like to make. Referencing the agenda packets for City of Montgomery meetings, Countryman expressed the lack of supporting documentation and extensive consent agendas as breeding grounds for backroom deals.
“As an elected official in charge of taxpayer dollars, they need to have clear vision of how this county is being run, where money is going, and how the government is working on their behalf,” stated Countryman. “When you don’t supply an agenda which is transparent and with supporting documents, you are hiding the taxpayer’s business behind closed doors.”
Presiding over the Commissioner Court is but one of the many duties of a County Judge. From Emergency Management to juvenile matters, there are a number of entities the County Judge’s office has a role in, “I want to meet with each of those boards and entities to understand their function fully, understand my role within that, and what collaboration we can do.”
The biggest issue Countryman wants to tackle is the budget, “I’m seeing frivolous spending for one, and I’m seeing federal and state dollars coming down which are not being distributed to the taxpayers.” Referencing the CARES and ARPA funds which she believes were severely misallocated by the County.
“Our bills are rising, with law enforcement, with infrastructure…it’s frighting, we need to roll up our sleeves and create a plan,” stated Countryman.
You can view the full video of the interview below: