Calvert is seeking his third term on the Bexar County Commissioners Court. He is a native of San Antonio and attended St. Mary’s Hall and Tufts University.
Hear from the candidate
What do you consider the top challenge facing the county and how would you address it?
Increasing education to transition people into jobs in the information economy. I lead the court in funding free junior college and vocational training at our community colleges. Homeownership and maintaining the integrity of neighborhoods. I will support the city’s housing bond expansion to $150 million in 2022. I will increase the county’s support of owner-occupied rehab, credit repair and more. Work with schools to help families with mental health.
With the election of a new county judge, what three priorities would you like to see the commissioners court focus on?
Climate change and how our infrastructure, emergency management and health care systems get ready for climate change and climate disasters. Second, transitioning people to jobs available in the information technology economy when their jobs become obsolete because of technology and cheaper labor in other parts of the world. Third, expanding home ownership for all and housing security for those experiencing homelessness with more permanent supportive housing.
Do you think the commissioners court’s efforts at reducing the property tax burden have been sufficient? If not, what else should be done?
The county is about 17% of your tax bill, and I have voted to lower your taxes nine times in seven years in office. Fifty-one percent of your tax bill is school property taxes and that is controlled by the Texas Legislature. The Legislature has reduced funds for schools; consequently, that has increased homeowners’ share of school funding. I propose the Legislature use rainy day and surplus funds for schools and lower homeowners’ share of property taxes.
What steps should the commissioners take to address longstanding problems at the county jail, including staffing, capacity and safety issues?
I have approved funding for 136 new sheriff’s deputies. We need to recruit, train and put these deputies on the streets ASAP. Although we spend 63% of the county budget on law enforcement, longstanding problems continue because we don’t have enough detention officers. In fact, we are spending $12 million on overtime for detention officers caused by a vacancy of 230 positions that have been fully funded by Commissioners Court. With regards to capacity, we need to address issues of recidivism; therefore, I have sponsored reentry programs so soon-to-be-released inmates have access to education, housing, employment, mental health and behavioral training resources.