The most hotly contested race on Galveston County’s primary election ballot this year pits one of the longest serving elected officials against a political newcomer who says she has the backing of other top county leaders.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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(22) comments

Don Johnson

This race SHOULD be about issues. Who is best qualified to run a $1/2B per year revenue generating operation with 51 people in 4 full time offices?

Facts are - there were far less than 360 people included in the turnover report. Of those, 36% were seasonal/temporary employees, 5% retired, 3% were rehired and 43% left for higher pay (validating the finding of the salary consultant that county employees were 30% under market which was impacting retention).

The remainder never showed up for work, passed away, or were terminated for cause (such as failing to report to work, theft, bullying or discrimination). If only two were unhappy when they resigned – that is amazing! The letters of resignation - not exit interviews – tell the real story. Of the exit interviews she received second hand from an open records request, one person had received multiple recognition for performance at staff development day programs and left because she found a less demanding job.

We hire for attitude and train for skill and everyone receives on-the-job training meaning they are actually working within a few hours of walking in the door. My team continues to receive training and cross-training the entire time they are employed. I think citizens are less concerned about turnover rates than they are about receiving great service.

My office generates $3.2M in fees for the services provided and the budget is less than $3M. That means the Tax Office is self-funded and in no way impacts funding for road and drainage projects. I would say the taxpayers of Galveston County are getting pretty darn good bang-for-buck!

Peden stated she intends to fire the entire management team. She wants to fire the folks who make it happen for the citizens of Galveston County? That clearly demonstrates her lack of knowledge and experience of an extremely complex operation and the term limits reference - another lie.

I ran to increase service, reduce cost and fight for tax relief and I have fulfilled those promises.

Don Johnson

The above was actually submitted by Cheryl E. Johnson through the subscription of Don Johnson.

Rodney Dunklee

League City has really changed since we moved here in the early 90's with no League city parkway, hospitals and comerce around I-45 & 646, and a population sign reading 15,000 residents. We went to the same space in the north county annex to get plates and pay taxes that serves five times the population with faster service and shorter lines. Our local Driver license office could learn a lot from Cheryl's leadership in handling growth and providing excellent customer service. She should be getting a trophy for excellence rather than facing a primary challenge because of party infighting. Thanks Cheryl for being a great leader and responsible public servant.

Theresa Elliott

Cheryl Johnson is one of the most professional, responsive and effective public officials we have in office. Her knowledge of the issues and commitment to continually improve efficiency will be hard pressed to replace.

Gary Miller

Theresa> Good idea would be vote for keeping Cheryl this year then vote for her replacing Henry next election. Cheryl has improved every year, Henry hasn't.

Joshua Moore

Yeah and leading her offices through fear and micro-management. You people gobble her up as some great leader, but when do you really pay attention? I bet it sure would be nice to have a job to only show up 3 days a week for, all just by community organizing in a well to do part of the county. Pfft. I see the worst performance for my tax dollars compared to other places I have lived. That includes city and county wide governments. Don't even get me started on the roads in this area.

Don Johnson

You are so very wrong sir. I work between 36 and 58 hours a week. I do not lead through fear as that would not be leadership. I suggest visiting a county tax office and seeing for yourself.

James Lippert

FACTS are what matter in this important election. The Fact is that Ms. Peden failed the People by NOT appearing at last week’s Public Debate at the College of the Mainland. This fact speaks volume in regard to Ms. Peden's character. The fact is Mrs. Johnson showed up at the public debate and gave a very good accounting of her past actions and her aspirations for Galveston County. Yes, facts do matter in politics.

Carol Dean

Peden has NO talking points other then the lies she reads off of her pushcards. She also resorted to paying a ridiculous amount of money to have her name "checked" on a face ballot that is part of Steve Hotze and Jared Woodfill's "Pay to Play" method of advertising candidates.

BTW, so did Jason West, another "chosen" candidate of Mark Henry's and very likely Ken Ckark's as well.

Some of the questions that Peden has NOT answered are: Where do you and your husband have your Homestead Excemption registered, Galveston County or Wisconsin? Also, Where are you legally registered to vote? Voter registration is required to be updated for even a move of residency within a county.

Come on, Jackie, Inquiring minds want to know the truth!

Ray Taft

Cheryl Johnson by far is the best candidate for the county’s tax assessor-collector. She is knowledgeable about the position, experienced, competent, and above all she has proven that she is for the people of Galveston County.

As Galveston County grows, we do not need a newcomer who claims there is problems but does not intend to stick around to deal with the problems they claim are there (“Peden said she would serve only two terms if elected.”).

Despite Peden’s suppositions, there is no way Pedan knows what is going on inside the Tax Assesers office. She is not there. Two disgruntled ex-employees are not reliable sources. Heresay from anonymous sources is worthless in lieu of Johnson’s excellent record of service to the citizens of our county. Pedan claiming that working as an election worker revealed things to her is proof positive that Pedan’s motives are purely political.

It is a plus that Johnson stuck it out and consistently does a great job. Cheryl Johnson should definitely be re-elected.

Amy Holsworth

Peden thinks there were 600 hired and fired? Can she not do math? She’s totally unqualified and ill-informed. Every other position she takes can be boiled down to Peden’s own admissions of “I don’t know” and “I don’t have the facts on that.” Probably the only two things she’s being truthful about.

Michelle Aycoth

I was one of those that got the letter demanding I attest to the fact I still live in Galveston County or be removed from the voters rolls and not allowed to vote.

I have lived at the same residence for 27 years.

I think they must be getting their information from the Post Office and base that information on where you live.

I also work in Galveston county for the last 28 years so not sure why they sent me a letter and with little effort could have figured it out.

Andy Aycoth

Don Johnson

Andy and Michelle Aycoth - Cheryl Johnson here. If your voter certificate, recently mailed during the every-other-year mass mailout, was returned by the USPS, we are required by State law to place you in suspense status pending receipt of an address confirmation sent with the letter you received. The question then is, why did USPS return your certificate to us? If you call the Voter Registration Department at 409-766-2280, they can pull your returned certificate and let you know what sticker USPS put on it.

Bailey Jones

Let us know how this turns out, specifically if your address is correct on what they mailed out.

Ron Binkley

There is something wrong at the post office. I send out 800 pieces of marketing each month for my business and about 75-80 are returned undeliverable. On a slow day I cross checked the returned addresses with the tax records and found approx 95% of the recipients still lived in their home and should have received my mailing. This has been going on for years.

Bailey Jones

So, what does that say about disenfranchisement of voters in Galveston?

Don Johnson

See below response to Mr. Aycoth.

Cheryl E. Johnson

Don Johnson

Good afternoon, Mr. Aycoth. I have no way to reach you other than this post. We researched your records and your son, Andrew Aycock, was reported to us by the District Clerk as moving out of state. We sent you a letter because your names were similar but the dates of birth were the same (we have the documents in the Voter Registration Department if you would like to review them). We have received your address confirmation so you are good to go.

Carol Dean

jmoore, your concerns are the things you need to address your Commissioners and County Judge with. Who works 3 days a week? Cheryl Johnson works 5 days a week, many times on the weekends on her own time and dollar. The County has nothing to do with paying her for her numerous trips she makes to Austin on our behalf. Do you think "Wackie Jackie" is going to be willing to do that for you?

Carol Dean

Disenfranchisement of voters? Everyone who is alive and legally qualified should be allowed to vote! If you don't meet the requirements...Ta Ta!

Bailey Jones

It sounds as if the right to vote is being predicated on whether the post office can do its job. That has nothing to do with whether a voter is legally qualified. Andy was disenfranchised. He attested that he lived at that address when he originally registered to vote. He did what was legally required of him. The last time he voted, the poll worker asked him if he still lived at his address, and presumably, he attested that he did. He did what was legally required of him. Now, for reasons he has no control over, his registration is suspended. So, given the level of complaint that I hear in various forums about the USPS on the island, I question how many more voters have been disenfranchised - without just cause. Not just 'cause.

Don Johnson

Bailey Jones the Galveston Island USPS has been unpredictable since Ike but a change most are not aware of is that mail is no longer local - it all apparently is delivered to the North Houston Distribution Center (recall recent roof collapse that impacted all of us). In Andy's case, his name and date of birth were reported on a District Clerk listing reporting moved out of state. We receive lists regularly from that office of non-citizen, deceased, etc as a result of jury summons. We respond according to law and often resolve (,as we did with him) the facts. Being in suspense means info is needed to confirm address status but does not prevent voting. The every other year mass mail out of certificates is a form of audit that ensures addresses have not changed. We are a very mobile community and folks do not understand changing their address at the post office does not change where they are registered to vote.

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