For County Commissioner, Precinct 3
A Real Republican.
For County Commissioner, Precinct 3
A Real Republican.
Wake up Bexar County – time for the sun to shine and move the County in an open and honest direction!
County government must have a dissenting, experienced voice
– I am that voice.
We need a WATCHDOG each time wasteful spending and debt is considered and when aquifer protection is challenged for the benefit of public transportation, when redistricting occurs after the 2020 Census, and when the vast majority of the revenue collected from Precinct 3 taxpayers is to be spent on everything else but our Precinct 3 infrastructure. I have more experience in the Courthouse than any other candidate and for that matter, any commissioner.
Thank you for taking the time to vote in the Republican Primary this year in early
voting in February, on March 3, and those of you who mailed in your ballots. I’m
grateful for those who voted for me, and for those of you who voted for one of my
opponents, I respectfully ask that you consider voting for me in the runoff election to be
held on July 14th with early voting June 29th through July 10th. Anyone who voted in the Republican Primary OR WHO
DID NOT VOTE IN EITHER PRIMARY can vote in the Republican Runoff Election. Be
sure to tell all your friends who are eligible to vote!
Historically, the turnout for runoff elections is drastically lower than that of the
regular primary. This year, only 81,242 Republicans voted in the primary election, the
number voting from Precinct 3 was even less – around 41,000. We need a real
Republican to represent us on Commissioners Court. I am that person.
I have spent my life in public service. From the U. S. Army, retiring as a Lt.
Colonel, to St. Mary’s Law School on to work for the U. S. Justice Department as a
prosecutor of Mafia cases. I was the first Republican elected countywide in Bexar
County since 1865 as District Clerk. I subsequently served as a District Judge in a
court with jurisdiction over criminal cases including capital murders as well as in the first
court in Bexar County dedicated solely to juvenile criminal cases, then as an appellate
justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals, and finally as a Statutory Probate Judge hearing
cases concerning guardianships as well as estates with billions of dollars of assets.
My opponent owns a lobbying business with many government contracts paid for
with taxpayers’ money. The San Antonio Express-News wrote that she pledges “to
resign contracts with ‘a real or perceived conflict of interest’ with her role as a
commissioner.” Further claiming that she’s “put blood, sweat and tears into that
business,” and that she would keep an equity interest in that firm.
Well, while she spent a lifetime of self-service, I’ve spent a lifetime of public
As a federal prosecutor and former judge, I worked in the justice system that I
believe is vital to our way of life. We owe it to our children to, and may I quote President
Trump, “Make America Great Again” and to continue to “Keep America Great” by
lowering taxes, instituting ethics rules at the county level, paying off the county’s debt,
not trading protection of our water supply for buying more buses that no one rides, in
fact, the ones we have are rarely, if ever, full of riders. If elected commissioner, I will
spend my time concentrating on those statutory responsibilities of the county in
providing public safety, a fair judicial system, treating those with mental health issues,
along with building and maintaining county roads and parks.
Precinct 3 taxpayers provide the majority of the county’s revenue while getting
little in return for our infrastructure where the county’s population is growing the fastest.
We managed to defeat the proposed toll roads the city and county leaders planned for
northern Bexar County, while my opponent received $25,000 per month to convince us
it was a good idea. Now the “powers-that-be” are supporting abandoning the 1/8-cent
sales tax approved by voters each time it was up for renewal this century to provide
funding for the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program to purchase land over the recharge
zone where the water enters the underground caverns holding our primary source of our
drinking water. They have cooked up a scheme wherein the voters will not even be
given another chance to approve the sales tax for aquifer protection, but will eventually
require SAWS to pay higher and higher percentages of their revenue to the City for the
program that they will have to raise water rates to continue its own operation.
Additionally, since the City already receives a percentage of SAWS’ revenue that is
used for various city budget items, but they now will have to use the SAWS revenue for
the aquifer protection program creating budget shortfalls that will require city tax
increases to cover those budget items. And what do they want to do with that 1/8-cent
They will have an election later this year giving voters only the choice to use the
1/8-cent tax for the VIA public transportation system or NOT. The same transit system
that has had approximately the same number of workers riding the buses to work for the
last 30 years. In a commentary written by Randal O’Toole for the San Antonio Express-
News, Feb. 21, 2020, “according to the Census Bureau, in 1980, the San Antonio region
had about 400,000 workers, and about 20,000 of them took transit to work. By 2000, the
region had nearly 600,000 workers, and about 20,000 of them took transit to work. In
2018, the region had 950,000 workers, and the number who took transit to work was,
you guessed it, 20,000.” When will this stop? Throwing good money after bad to grow
a transit system, creating more dedicated lanes for buses by taking them away from the
lanes used by taxpayers driving their vehicles on the streets built with taxpayers’
money, and building more parking garages, for taxpayers to park their private vehicles
so they can ride buses, that sit virtually empty. Don’t believe me? Go look at the one
on the corner of Stone Oak Parkway and Hwy. 281 N.
I want to thank Terri Hall and the Texans for Toll-free Highways for their
“Tom Rickhoff has the hearty endorsement of Texans for Toll-free Highways and is A+
rated with Texas TURF. He’s a champion for the taxpayer and common-sense
transportation solutions that won’t add to the tax burden of hard-working families. With
so many threats to our freedom to travel by the current leadership in Bexar County,
Rickhoff will be a voice for efficiency and congestion relief for all taxpayers, not just
those deemed politically correct by entrenched leaders and special interests pushing an
The Commissioners Court continues to create debt without the permission of
voters. To what end? A series of “legacy” projects including building a studio for the
local Texas Public Radio station by renovating the Alameda Theater on Houston Street
to the tune of at least $12 Million as part of the on-going San Pedro Creek project being
built in conjunction with the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio River Authority;
however, the lion’s share of the funding comes from the County.
The county is in debt, yet the Commissioners Court continues to give money to
charities, the symphony, the parking garage built for patrons of the Tobin Center, and
other programs that have nothing to do with county business. All this while our public
safety for residents of the county who do not live in a city is lacking – the law
enforcement departments of the county need more personnel and equipment. Our
courts and supporting departments need more personnel and technology to deal with
the growing number of cases both criminal and civil. The departments dealing with
mental health also need more personnel and facilities. All these needs are required by
law to be dealt with by the counties…our county has strayed far from its duties while
using taxpayers’ money to make county leaders look good.
It’s time someone put a stop to this kind of behavior. That someone is me, Tom
Rickhoff. I have not only more experience with county government than my opponent,
but also Ellen Pfeiffer, Celeste Brown, John Casares, Kenny Vallespin, and Weston
Martinez – all former opponents in this race – now support me in this run-off election.
What does our Commissioners Court do better than any other government in Texas? Put us in greatest debt and without our permission in order to fund legacy projects.
Bexar County is $3.8 billion (that’s nearly 4,000 million) in debt with our homes and businesses being used as collateral. There is no plan to pay this debt, only plans to keep borrowing more to pay the interest. All commissioners will be gone in several years leaving this debt behind. There is always an economic downturn. When it comes, the $1.7 billion in county income — all based on inflated appraisals and taxes abatement-owning project owners don’t pay — will collapse, and basic county needs will suffer. Every tax abatement is largely paid by a Precinct 3 homeowner.
San Antonio and Bexar County are unique…our charm is drawing more and more families and businesses here. We don’t want to be Austin or any other city, we want to be ourselves.
RESTRICTED REPUBLICAN VOTES
Additionally, Republicans have been gerrymandered into Commissioner Precinct 3 to prevent them from electing another Republican, thus limiting the Republican vote on Commissioners Court for the next decade. Most county revenue comes from property taxes on our homes and businesses, but it is all spent downtown in “urban renewal” while infrastructure in our precinct is neglected – our roads. That is, we provide the revenue, and they return very little. There is only one fiscal conservative in all of City/County government.
Now they have chosen a candidate who is their lobbyist working hard on advocating their downtown vision. She has publicly stated she: “will not give up her baby” meaning her lobbying business, while she serves as commissioner. She is accepting contributions from the very sources that led to the ethical challenges that beset Commissioners Court. Vendors seeking county contracts.
OUR AQUIFER IS VITAL TO COUNTY’S GROWTH
We are blessed with abundant, clean water. The City/County wizards have joined forces to abandon the “vital aquifer protection” funding to shift it to downtown mobility – rider-less buses – while 90% of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Bexar County is already developed due to politicians’ neglect, and this is dangerous. If we don’t have enough water to drink, no one will be here to ride buses.
SAWS revenue includes rates paid by virtually everyone in Precinct 3 including those not living in the City. Who says those living outside the City do not pay city taxes? Those who collect taxes are loath to give them up. If the “aquifer” sales tax is shifted to VIA and if another tax-collecting or rate-collecting entity takes over aquifer protection, then we all will be paying more, new taxes and/or rates in addition to the existing sales tax. What the wizards are telling us is, “Don’t look behind our curtain, because you might see the new taxes coming.”
Celeste Brown Endorses Rickhoff for County Commissioner Precinct 3
Although we fell short to continue into the runoff for Bexar County Commissioner Precinct 3, the journey to make Bexar County Better continues!
I remain steadfast in my mission to fight for women, the military, and the underprivileged citizens of Bexar County for a safer and more just community.
In this runoff election, we must elect the candidate who has the integrity to fix corruption and the experience and professionalism to find solutions for our massive debt problems at the County level.
It is for these reasons that I formally endorse Tom Rickhoff for Bexar County Commissioner Precinct 3!!!
Again, thank you all for your support and I appreciate all of you! Very Sincerely, Celeste Brown.
We want to hear from you
With the highest county debt in the State by far and the highest effective tax rate in the nation, while awash in revenue, should the county pay down the debt, reduce the tax rate, or both?