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To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the November ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all candidates to answer the following questions. We edited answers for clarity, not substance or grammar, and we did not fact-check responses. We restricted responses to 200 words for each question.
Read other candidates’ answers here.
Link to campaign website:
Education background/degrees earned:
St. Mary’s University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2005; University of Massachusetts- Boston, BA in Political Science 2001 Cum Laude
Current occupation, employer, or job title:
Attorney, owner Law Office of Christine Hortick
Previous elected offices held and/or sought:
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
As a congressional aide to Sen. Edward Kennedy, I learned the importance of service. I am a sole-proprietor small business with my own law practice for almost 15 years. During that time I have represented clients in civil and criminal matters. My focus for the last decade has been on representing children and parents in Children’s Court. It is in doing this work that I have seen firsthand many of the issues facing Bexar County. I have almost 20 years of combined experience advocating for members of the community. The courthouse and the county jail make up approximately 40% of the county budget. As a practicing attorney, I already have a working knowledge of these areas. If elected, I will close my law practice so that I can work as a full-time county commissioner. Closing my practice ensures that I will be able to dedicate the time necessary to represent the residents of Precinct 3 and not have any business conflicts of interest with the county. This distinguishes me from my opponent in two very important ways.
What three issues do you feel are most important to voters in Bexar County?
While campaigning, I’ve heard loud and clear from residents of Precinct 3 that they are most interested in investing in infrastructure, supporting local economic development, and reforming our property appraisal system. With Bexar County growing by an estimated 1 million people in the next 20 years, we need to be forward-thinking and do our best to anticipate our growing needs. It is crucial that we guarantee that resources are adequately reserved and distributed to create new infrastructure that alleviates traffic and drainage issues. Economic development takes a multifaceted approach. It is crucial that we support our local businesses while at the same time work to strengthen and diversify our local workforce. We do this by expanding and developing programs that encourage residents to better themselves. That can range from lessening the burden of college tuition through Alamo Promise so more people are able to take advantage of a higher education, to expanding existing employment training programs like TX FAME. Providing the public with information as to why their tax bills are so high lays the groundwork for developing a plan to reduce our tax burden. Real property tax reform requires the court to work in tandem with our state legislature.
If elected, what would be your top priorities after taking office?
My priorities include a focus on overall economic recovery and improving access and treatment options for those in our community who are dealing with mental health issues. Our community has been greatly affected by the pandemic, especially economically. Now more than ever Bexar County should be looking to help people and businesses get back to work. That means fostering programs that provide job training opportunities and lead to true career opportunities. Assistance should be provided to help small businesses keep their doors open so that they can continue to support their employees and provide goods and services to the community. In recent weeks a spotlight has been placed on mental health and the need to improve how those with mental health issues are treated. Those of us who work in the judicial system have known for years that more needs to be done when it comes to improving treatment options for residents. This requires an investment to produce positive results. The court has an obligation to work with local stakeholders and assist in funding efforts to increase the number of health professionals available and increase the total number of beds for those requiring inpatient care.
How has the coronavirus pandemic shaped your priorities?
The pandemic has forced communities around the world to reevaluate their priorities and Bexar County is no different. At this time it is unknown how great the financial impact will be on the county’s revenue. Worst-case estimates point to a loss of up to 20 percent. We won’t know until late spring of 2021 how significant the loss will truly be. At that time the tax assessor will be able to determine what percentage of property taxes have been paid. Concurrently, we get annual appraisal information so revenue for the following year can be estimated. This uncertainty makes it critical that discretionary spending be reduced as much as possible. Moreover, it emphasizes the need to review current operations to ensure that redundancy is eliminated and processes are run as efficiently as possible. Diversifying and strengthening our local workforce is a part of my campaign platform. Getting people back to work that have lost their jobs due to COVID and providing assistance to small businesses has become increasingly important. Small businesses make up the economic backbone of our community, creating meaningful jobs and career opportunities, and serve as the engines that drive local spending.
For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in office? What would you change?
For non-incumbents: What, if anything, would you do differently from the current officeholder?
As commissioner I would do more to strengthen the relationship between the office and constituents. Many residents are unaware of the commissioners court or the role it plays in local government. It is imperative that residents know that they have an elected official that they can reach out to when they have questions or concerns about county matters. I will be accessible and responsive to residents as a full-time commissioner for Precinct 3.