Keene businessman Tim Sinclair this week announced his intentions to run for Johnson County Precinct 4 commissioner. Incumbent Don Beeson said last month that he does not intend to run for re-election.
Joshua City Councilman and IT business owner A.J. Mathieu and Larry Woolley, a former teacher and school administrator who owns an auction and real estate business in Grandview, both announced two weeks ago that they would be running for the Precinct 4 office. Sinclair said Friday that he has never met either of the other two candidates, something Mathieu and Woolley confirmed.
“I don’t know them personally, and I have nothing disparaging to say about either one,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair expressed his admiration for Beeson and said that he would not have entered the race if Beeson had chosen to run for re-election. Sinclair also said that some of the causes that Beeson has championed as commissioner are top priority for him, too — especially those issues related to law enforcement in the county.
Beeson has long advocated for higher pay for Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and he has been a leading voice in calling for improving the county’s jail or building a new jail facility.
Johnson County’s population is expected to at least double over the next 10 to 12 years after Texas 121 opens. While that growth will have many advantages for the county, Sinclair said, it is likely to have some disadvantages, too.
“With all that growth, we are going to see an increase in the need for law enforcement,” Sinclair said. “Good things are coming, but with the good things, bad things will come, too. The jail situation is something we are going to have to address, along with things like infrastructure and more. But we need to address these things in an orderly fashion, so that we can grow in an orderly fashion.”
Sinclair said that he is not privy to the information necessary to decide whether he is in favor of remodeling and expanding current jail facilities or if the county should build a new jail. Either way, he said, “we are at a tipping point when it comes to the jail. ... We’re going to have to do something.”
Sinclair is more decisive on the topic of pay for sheriff’s deputies.
“Our deputies are underpaid, and I would like to continue the effort to increase their pay scale,” he said.
Sinclair also said the county has to measure costs against benefits against long-term growth when it comes to things like new computer systems and software for county offices.
But, he said, “I don’t think our county employees should have to work in an archaic environment.
“As a business owner, I know that if you are going to give someone a task, you also have to give them the tools they need to accomplish that task. We have to implement changes, but we have to do it in the most cost-effective way, without having to raise taxes beyond belief. Nobody wants that. And therein lies the challenge.”
Sinclair has lived in Johnson County since 1972. He graduated from Chisholm Trail Academy in 1975 and obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Southwestern Adventist University. He has worked in several different fields from construction to marketing to environmental industries. For the last 14 years he has owned and operated Power Klean, a parking lot striping company.
Sinclair and his family are members of Alvarado Seventh-day Adventist Church, where he has served as a deacon and an elder. He was also a youth Pathfinder director for more than 10 years and has coached summer league baseball for more than 10 years.
His community involvement began nearly 20 years ago when he organized and founded the annual Keene Christmas Light Parade, something he has continued to organize in the years since. He also developed the installation of a disc golf course in the city’s Elisa Carver Park, shepherding the project through the city approval process, as well as orchestrating fundraising to get it built.
Most recently, Sinclair organized the Johnson County Soapbox Classic adult soapbox derby racing event over Labor Day weekend.
Sinclair has won the Keene Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, the Southwestern Adventist University Alumni Volunteer Award and the Phillip Sparks Helping Hands Award.
He and his wife, Tracy, have been married 29 years and have lived in Keene since 1984. Tracy Sinclair is a registered nurse working in the neonatal intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Sinclair said he decided to run for county commissioner because “I want to make my corner of the world a better place to live.
“I believe my experience in the community and as a business owner has uniquely prepared me to serve. The extensive network I have in the community will allow me to work with and engage all aspects of the community as we go through this future growth period. Serving as a county commissioner is yet another way I am seeking to give back to the community that I love and have raised my family in.
“With growth comes a wide variety of challenges. By working together we can effectively meet these challenges head on.”