Meet Erath County Commissioner of Precinct 3 candidates

By Channa Parvin

Guest Writer

Justin Slawson, 41, is a first-time runner for County Commissioner Precinct 3. Slawson was born and raised in Stephenville, Texas. He owns AAA Roofing & Construction. He can be reached at (254) 592-1672 as well as on Facebook @JustinSlawson.

Photo courtesy from Stephenville Empire Tribune

What are your goals for the position as County Commissioner?

Slawson: My first goal is to lower budget funds, starting with the top expenditures. The entire budgeting system can be fixed and there is a lot of overspending. My main goal is to reduce Erath County’s budget.

What is your experience with preparing and authorizing budgets?

Slawson: I own AAA Roofing & Construction, residential and commercial. With any job that we do we have to give a quote and cannot go over budget. We are currently working in Rockport and we have a budget of $200,000 that we cannot go over. We stay within the quote and have to have some left over; we have to meet a very strict number each time we give a quote. In other words, I would like to create a Facebook page of Precinct 3 over budget hearing. I would like to get the communities opinions and Facebook reaches a lot of people whereas a web page is more outdated. I want to do anything I can to reduce the cost for taxpayers.

When managing public agencies, is it better to have more employees at a modest wage or fewer employees at a wage high enough to attract quality applicants?

Slawson: I believe it is better to have more employees at a moderate wage. I believe we can send five or so men out rather than three to a certain area to get different sections of roads fixed. I do support more workers verses less. I like the opportunity of giving the lesser worker more responsibility and I think people will step up. There’s a larger chance for someone to step up with more workers rather than there would be with less.

Joe Brown, 62, has been running as County Commissioner of Precinct 3 for 12 years now. Brown was born in Hico, Texas and currently lives in Stephenville. Brown has been a volunteer firefighter for 36 years and is a part of several other organizations. He can be reached at (254) 968-7126.

Photo courtesy from The Flash Today

What are your goals for the position as County Commissioner if re-elected?

Brown: My main goals if re-elected would be to make every road a little better than it was last year and to keep the tax rate the same as right now. We have kept it the same for eight years and lowered the tax rate last year.

What is your experience with preparing and or authorizing budgets outside of county commissioner?

Brown: No, I knew when I was doing this, I wanted to be all in. I dedicate my time as county commissioner. I don’t own my own business, but I could. I just didn’t want to be tied down when I could be doing things for the county. I am on the risk management board which is on the insurance and the risk management side as well as safety side for all 54 counties. I have to visit Austin, Texas for trainings… It has been an eye opener to see different insurances for different states and counties to see where our tax dollars are being spent. As County Commissioner, we vote for who budgets money and approve it and it was County Judge, County Treasurer, and County Auditor. So, my second year we started doing public meetings for eight to ten days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we listen to every department in the county to see what their needs are and at the end of the year we try meet their needs.

When managing public agencies, is it better to have more employees at a modest wage or fewer employees at a wage high enough to attract quality applicants?

Brown: Right now, for Precinct 3 we are budgeted for seven full-time employees and that has to be budgeted at the beginning of the year, so if I need someone in the middle of the year I can hire someone. I work with five full-time guys and one four men and myself and Dee Stephens consider ourselves part time. If our guy’s see us working, then our guys will work harder. I’ve always said, “you can lead better in the front.” I’m working with a shorter number of crew; we try to pay them a good wage to retain them. I’m doing more with less. I know if I pay them a decent wage and they know they are appreciated with what they are doing, I’m going to get good work out of them.

The Texas primary election is March 3, 2020. For more information visit for locations and times.

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