Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 30, 2013

Sanders seeks second term as County Judge

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — County Judge Richard Sanders announced on Tuesday that he will seek a second term in the 2014 election. 

Sanders is a longtime Athens resident, who was a home builder and real estate developer before serving as the East Texas regional director for Congressman Jeb Hensarling. He was elected County Judge in 2010, succeeding David Holstein.

Sanders said he believes the county has made progress on several fronts during the last three years.

“We’ve had some tough issues we’ve had to tackle, like a tight budget because of flat-tax revenues,” Sanders said. “We’ve been able to pass a budget without raising taxes.”

Sanders is also pleased that the county has now moved several offices into the new Henderson County Courthouse Annex at little cost to the taxpayers.

“It provides a better place for people to pay their auto taxes, get deeds and marriage licenses,” Sanders said.

Another important advancement the county is making is the implementation of the Odyssey judicial software. After intensive study by the county IT committee and the Commissioners Court, the county voted to make the move to an integrated system.

“We’d like to get all of the data merged over as soon as possible,” Sanders said. “We’ll have better, more user-friendly software,” Sanders said.

Sanders has been learning the many facets of the office during his time at the helm.

“You have to make a lot of decisions,” Sanders said. “I think my conservative outlook, my preference for limited government has helped.”

Sanders said the four county commissioners have worked together with his office to try to achieve what is best for the county.  He commended them, as well as the department heads who have cooperated to help the county through some tough economic times.

“The county has a chance to be out of debt by 2016,” Sanders said. “Not many counties can say that.”

Sanders’ long-range goals include bringing more business opportunities. A gas-fired power plant. a major corporation, planned for the west side of the county, is the type of project he likes to see.

“It will mean jobs and tax revenue for the school system and city,” Sanders said. “It’ll take some of the tax burden off the homeowners.”