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It's Time to Invest in Travis County!

by: Ramey Ko

Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 03:19 PM CST

(Thanks also to Travis County Treasurer candidate and long-time BOR community member Ramey Ko for taking the time to share his thoughts.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

After much thoughtful consideration and encouragement from activists and community leaders across the county, I am excited to announce that I have officially filed to run for the office of Travis County Treasurer. I have had the privilege of serving my community in a variety of ways, and I hope to take this opportunity to take that service to the next level. As an attorney, I served victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Texas Advocacy Project. More recently, I served as an Associate Judge of the Austin Municipal Court and as a lecturer at the University of Texas. As a member of the Austin Public Safety Commission, I have worked on budget and policy issues concerning police, fire, and emergency medical services.

I am running for Treasurer to bring Travis County finances back to the people. I am running because I want to ensure that the office of the Treasurer serves as the strong steward of taxpayer dollars it was intended to be and restore the appropriate balance to county government. As Treasurer, I will work to make certain that our shared investments reflect our most deeply held values of fairness, equity, and empowerment.

Travis County is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity. From high tech to the arts to green construction, our community is a beacon for innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. Our unique quality of life makes us home to people across the spectrum - from recent college graduates looking for employment opportunities to young families wanting a safe, diverse community to raise their children, to retirees seeking to enjoy a laid-back culture with endless options for activity and recreation.

Growth also poses substantial challenges - increasing demand for public safety and other services, rising cost of living and property values, and greater strain on transportation and other infrastructure. Additionally, not everyone in our community has shared in our prosperity. As a result, many hardworking families in Travis County are unduly burdened by property taxes and rising fees. Without responsible fiscal leadership, the American Dream is in danger of becoming a nightmare for many of us. Fortunately, we have the ability to change this situation. Working together we can make the promise of opportunity for all a reality in our community.

While the position of Travis County Treasurer is often overlooked, the office is entrusted with the important task of serving as the chief custodian of all county funds. It has an important duty to taxpayers to handle their money prudently, making sure it is spent appropriately and judiciously.

But serving the public as Treasurer should be about more than just handling money and writing checks. It's about proactively working to improve efficiency and save taxpayer money by employing available technology and collaborating with other county offices. It's about establishing ties between government and the community, so that no one is left out or left behind. I look forward to restoring the faith of Travis County residents in the Treasurer's office by establishing a new standard of responsibility. With your help, I am confident we can accomplish this and much more. Visit my website and join the fight to bring transparency and accountability to Travis County finances.

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