The following is a compilation of the unedited responses from Mark C. Benton, Precinct 2 Randall County Commissioner to the 2018 Amarillo Pioneer Voter Guide Questionnaire. Benton is running for re-election in the March 6th Republican primary against police captain Tam Boatler.
Mark C. Benton
Construction Manager, commercial construction
Precinct 2, Randall County Commissioner
Please list any of your political, civic or non-profit experience.
Randall County Commissioner since 2010, former Scoutmaster and Quartermaster of Boy Scouts Troop 94, former board member CareNet, Sunday school class prayer leader, alumni of Leadership Amarillo & Canyon, current voting member of Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization.
What will be your top priority, if elected?
Continue the Commissioners Court fiscal restraint. The county tax rate has increased by less than 5 1/2 cents per $100 valuation in 10 years. Also, continue to work on improving the County's Road & Subdivision policy to deal with population growth.
Would you support Randall County switching from digital voting systems to paper ballots? Why or why not?
I do not support switching to paper ballots. Randall County taxpayers have just spent $1.5 million to replace all the digital voting machines. Funds were budgeted for three years to save up to pay for the new voting machines. The vote center system (allowing votes at any polling location) has been favorably received by residents. This system requires digital communications between all polling locations.
Is Randall County's tax rate too high? Please explain.
I do not believe the County's tax rate is too high. When compared to like sized counties, Randall County has a low rate. Randall's rate is less than 2/3 the property tax rate for Potter County. The Randall tax rate was held the same for fiscal year 2017/2018. Many of the sheriff office and fire department positions are held by volunteer members, helping to reduce the overall cost to taxpayers.
Are you supported by Amarillo Matters?
Why should voters choose you on March 6th?
Experience is an asset in all endeavors. Working with budgets, county departments, and citizens to get things accomplished efficiently is why I believe voters should re-elect me. The majority of Precinct 2 voters live within the Amarillo city limits, so voting and the tax office are how the County impacts most precinct 2 taxpayers. During my time on the Commissioners Court, we have added the vote centers system and new touch screen voting machines. We are currently completing renovations for a new Annex building so vehicle tags, property tax issues, and voting will be less congested than the current location. For hose outside the city limits, we have increased our efforts to maintain and improve roads the past few years. Being conservative with both taxpayers' funds and rules/laws are values most in Precinct 2 and Randall county will agree with. I ask for your vote in the upcoming primary.