What you might want to know about the county budget from Rockwall County Commissioner, John Stacy

Rockwall, TX (September 18, 2023) – For those that do not know me my name is John Stacy and I serve as the Rockwall County Commissioner for Precinct 4. This Precinct consists of Royse City and most of Fate, comprising the northeast section of the county. I am writing this article today in order to discuss the county budget. I want to first say that in this county almost all city and county governments pass their budgets in October, and they have many public hearings and postings for the public to hear and participate in the process. I am always open to speaking to any member of this community on the county budget.

The amount of public involvement in all budgets of local government is very low. This is understandable as the meetings are long and everyone is busy. With that in mind I wanted to walk through my personal thoughts on the County Budget. County Government is a unique government. The Judge and Commissioners set the budget, and they are the representatives of the people in the process of the budget. The unique part of county government is that the State of Texas mandates what counties must do. This places the County Commissioners between the state mandated responsibilities and serving the people who elect us to these seats. This is accomplished by remaining focused on the role of county government which is centered around the Criminal Justice System. This is the Jail, Sheriff, District Attorney’s Office, the courts, and the clerks. I do not want to forget the important role of county government to administer elections. It is very important to have open, secure, and transparent elections, which we do in Rockwall County.

The focus of this budget is preservation. We want to maintain our level of county services as the population in the county continues to grow. We want to make sure we have the resources to stand up to developers as they want to continue to pressure us to build within the county. We want to strategically position the county to be able to grow within the no new revenue rate into the future. In other words, we want to position the county so that the Commissioners can lower the tax rate to offset the increase in appraised values of our property. This budget puts $2.9 million increase into our public safety. The amount of the tax increase to the county is $2.8 million over the no new revenue rate. This budget is focused on getting the public safety to the proper funding level to serve our citizens. The rest of the budget is focused on setting up the county for the growth that continues to come and the needs of the people in the county. The investment in the Public Safety Infrastructure alone is more than the increase in tax revenues set by the rate above the no new revenue rate.

The last part of this budget process that I would like to denote is the raises to elected officials. I am the only commissioner who voted against raises to the elected officials, and I will not be accepting any raise with this new budget. When elected I promised that I would not vote myself a raise, and if I lost that vote I would not accept a raise. I will continue to uphold my part of that promise.

If you have any follow up questions, feel free to email me at jstacy@rockwallcountytexas.com or call my office at 972-204-6040.

Submitted by John Stacy, Rockwall County Commissioner Pct 4