“We’d like to be able to control our costs a little bit better,” he said of the current commissioners court. “We’ve done a pretty good job considering the insurance increases we’ve experienced over the past few years. (Also) the cost for materials to keep the roads maintained continually rises, so we’re just trying other ways to offset some of those things.”
Nicklas and commissioners have found ways to keep the county’s taxes as low as possible, while still meeting all necessary needs. Nicklas said Palo Pinto County’s tax rate is the 19th lowest in the State of Texas, with the 18 lower counties mostly either in oil producing regions or big cities. Palo Pinto County also has a lower tax rate than any county that touches its borders.
“Overall, we are doing extremely well,” Nicklas said.
Ernest Pechacek will do his best to unseat the incumbent Nicklas and establish his own legacy as county judge. After testing the waters of retirement, Pechacek decided it was time to “jump back in the water” of county government and try his hand at leading the Palo Pinto County Commissioners Court.
Serving eight year as Precinct 4 Commissioner, Pechacek’s calling card is his experience in county government. While on the court he worked with two different judges on budgets and courthouse operations and told the Index he believes he has the qualifications for the job.
“Based on my experience, I feel like I’ve got the qualifications to run for county judge,” he said. “I need to get back into it because I keep up with it and I thoroughly enjoy county government operations.
“I got quite a bit of exposure as to budgets, operation and all of the departments. It’s just a big job there at the courthouse and I think I’ve got good qualifications to jump back in the water.”