Pct. 1 Harrison County Commissioner William Hatfield is running for a third term to continue to serve constituents and continue to build on the progress that’s been made.
“I enjoy serving my home county and all the communities in it,” said Hatfield.
The incumbent said he’s a full-time commissioner with a full-time commitment.
“This is what I do, the only job I have, the only job I want to do,” he said. “I absolutely love my work. I enjoy making things happen, working closely with city and state government and numerous outside agencies for quality for all of East Texas, especially Harrison County.”
And while he represents Precinct 1, the largest precinct in the county, Hatfield said he works with fellow commissioners to benefit the county, as a whole. He does this in his capacities as a board director for East Texas Council of Governments and Sabine-Neches Resource Conservation &Development Area Inc., where he serves as the representative for Harrison County.
“I plan to continue to work with these agencies to help secure grants and supplemental environmental projects,” said Hatfield.
The incumbent, who is running against challenger Robert Bryan, said he’s also looking forward to continuing to support pro-growth and the location of more industry here, if re-elected.
“It’s not just about me. I want to be reelected to this court,” Hatfield said. “We are a team that gets things accomplished. We have long-range goals that we all want to see become successful.”
Hatfield said one of his goals is to continue to raise the salary for law enforcement, jailers and juvenile detention officers. He’d also like to provide more needed equipment for the sheriff’s department and upgrade patrol cars on an annual basis.
Another priority of his is to help enhance road and bridge.
“I am actively pursuing better ways to build county roads, working with our road maintenance supervisor,” said Hatfield.
“This court has spent over $2 million dollars for equipment purchase, not including leasing dump truck, motor graders and pickup trucks,” said Hatfield. “We are still mixing oil, dirt and cement and only able to build roads when the outside temperature is above 90 (degrees).”
While a method the county has practiced for decades, it’s “time to change to a year-round road building program,” the incumbent believes.
Another concern he’s looking forward to addressing is outdated voting equipment.
“New electronic voting centers with a paper ballot receipt is very much needed and we plan to upgrade this after the 2020 Census and redistricting,” said Hatfield. “This should make it easier and not disenfranchise any voters.”
The accomplishment he’s most proud of during his tenure is providing communication upgrades for the sheriff’s department, new computer-aided dispatch technology for patrol vehicles, and the construction of a gun range and full training ground that was established with the help of private donors and Sheriff Tom McCool.
Hatfield said he feels like the court has made solid choices and decisions, relating to the county’s business. And although there’s nothing substantial he would change about his last two terms in office, he said he would like to see more economic development in communities.
“I’d love to see Harrison County known for prosperity instead of poverty,” said Hatfield. “I’d love to see education and entrepreneurship thrive here.
“The county is not able to fix all these problems; however, when asked to get involved or help our citizens, businesses and schools, I’ll be ready,” he vowed.
Hatfield said the role of commissioner, to him, means to be transparent, available, hands-on and taking an active part in supporting the growth of the county. It also means seeking ways to improve county government, providing the tools for all departments and trying to improve working conditions, insurance and salaries for employees.
Hatfield said a commissioner should also work closely with road and bridge with problems concerning roads.
“Although we are not road commissioners, I do ride my roads and follow up with work requests,” he said, noting Precinct 1 boasts 258 of the 740 miles of county roads.
Most of all, “county commissioners should concentrate on these five parts of county government — law enforcement, road and bridge infrastructure, job growth, court systems and elections,” said Hatfield. “If you do this and do it well, you have done your job and done it well.”
Hatfield said he is the best candidate for the job because of his record and passion.
“I have always put the county and its taxpayers first,” he said. “I will continue to stand for what is right regardless of how it may affect me, personally.”
Prior to being elected, Hatfield worked as owner of Copy-Rite for 28 years. His professional affiliations serving on the board of the Harrison County Historical Museum, the 4-H Advisory board, the county’s Leadership Advisory Board, the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge board, and the Marshall Rotary Club in which he is a Paul Harris Fellow and served as treasurer. Hatfield is also a member of the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce, and is a Distinguished Service Award recipient.
Hatfied is married to Debra Hatfield. Together, they have four children and three grandchildren.