Candidate Profile: Lyndon McDonald, Candidate for County Judge

Lyndon McDonald has lived in Culberson County/Van Horn for more than 52 years. He is running against incumbent Carlos Urias. 

He was an Adult Probation Officer for more than 28 years. He also served as Emergency Management Coordinator for almost 19 years. Been in and associated with the Van Horn Volunteer Fire Department for 41 years. He has assisted with, been in, and worked for many sponsored community service events almost as long as I have been in Van Horn.

Why Am I Seeking The Office of County Judge?
Having been in the courthouse for 28 plus years and working with the Honorable Judge, John Conoly, for most of those 28 years, it became a desire to seek out this office.  Out of respect for Judge Conoly, I decided not to run until he retired, even though I retired before he did.  He retired and I ran for this office and lost out to a run-off election by about 22 votes.  The Commissioner’s Office Pct. 3 came up for election and I ran and won and then lost my bid for re-election four years later.  Through the democratic process, the county judge position is up for election and I am in a position to seek out this office once more.
What Is Part of My Agenda?
•To continue to represent the taxpayer, make sound decisions in your interest and be a good steward of your hard-earned money.  I will listen to what you have to say.
•To start where I left off as a commissioner and continue to maintain a close working relationship with the oil/gas industry, ranchers, farmers, citizens of Van Horn/Culberson County and any and all agencies that assist or work with or in Culberson County
•Will continue to do my best to not have to raise taxes by keeping the budget in line and balanced.  Capital outlay line items can be established for future purchases.
•I have read, “If one can’t learn, re-learn, and then learn again,” this person may have more problems than they want.  I believe these to be experiences.  As your past commissioner, I learned, then re-learned, and have learned again from my experiences and I am going to continue to keep learning and re-learning.  
•My record as your past commissioner stands for itself.  There are always two sides to every story.  I did nothing less than try to represent the taxpayer to the best of my abilities.  I tried every time on all issues to do my homework and talk to my constituents.  I had no personal agendas and still don’t.  My decisions were based on a business level and had absolutely nothing to do with personal issues.  I have the commissioner’s court minutes, memos, letters, e-mails, law, phone calls, attorney general opinions, and conferences to back up my decisions. 
I fully supported the TDHCA HOME grant and will continue to do so to help replace some of the older homes.
•I was working with Cielo Wind Power and will try to renew this contact as well as seek out other interest to establish in our county. 

What is my most significant event as a Commissioner?
In January of 2009 when I entered office, the 2006-2008, and the 2008-2009 budgets had not been balanced or reconciled.  The County had borrowed approximately $750,000 a few years earlier as the budget was going into the red.  During my first two years of Office, ‘09 and ‘10, I am proud to state that under Judge Molinar and with the voting majority of the commissioner’s court in conjunction with the county auditor’s office, the county treasurer’s office, and the outside auditors, we brought the budget under control. 

Budgets for each department were revised and separate line items were put into place along with many other controls.  The budget went from an accrual accounting method to a cash flow method.  Because of these changes and controls put into place, the $750,000 note was paid off, the budget balanced, and taxes were not raised.  I am convinced that the current budget is what it is because the voting majority of the ‘09 and ‘10 court did what they had to do to reconcile and balance the budget.  In ‘09, the fund balance was approximately $450,000 and when I left office at the end of ‘12, the fund balance was about $2.2 million without raising taxes.  My attitude about the budget is, “If we spend less than what we take in, then we should always be OK, barring any unforeseen disasters.”  Due to the foresight of our county auditor and with the backing of the ‘09 and ‘10 Commission’s Court, a rainy day fund was established and this is the fund that helped purchase the new road grader and loader.

If Elected?
I will continue where I left off as Commissioner and do my best to re-establish a good liaison with the gas/oil industry.  This industry is in Pct. 3 and I spent a lot of time at the north end of the county talking with, coordinating with and working with these people.  They appear to be the future tax base for Culberson County, the hospital and the school.  I will also continue to keep the lines of communication open with the taxpayers that are outside the city limits, those that are absentee land owners, such as Guadalupe Park, Blue Origin, the local citizens and those that live in the remote areas of our county.  County Government is not just for those in the City Limits, it also includes all the taxpayers living in the other parts of the County.  
Why Should I Be Elected?
I have been in Van Horn/Culberson County for 52 plus years and have been actively involved in all sorts of community events. I worked hard to take care of the taxpayers as a commissioner and I will continue to do so if elected county judge.  I can relate to the pulse of the taxpayer.
What Would I Say To The Voters?
What I have already stated above and I also believe that when the sun sets at the end of each day in a public official’s life, it all comes down to money.  Was it used wisely to benefit the most it could?  I believe that I took care of your money as a commissioner and I will continue to do so if elected county judge. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a “good court” or a “bad court”.  The democratic process moves forward on a majority vote rule. It is a fact that all levels of government work off the majority vote rule. Sometimes one is in the majority, and sometimes one isn’t.