JUSTICE OF THE PEACE – PRECINCT 3
Judge Edie Connelly, who has managed this court since 1986, chose not to seek re-election this year. There are two major issues confronting the court that the successful candidate will need to address. JP3 is the busiest JP court in Montgomery County, and far outpaces the other JP courts in the amount and the efficiency of revenue collection. Judge Connelly, unlike the other four JPs in Montgomery County is using Odyssey (the same automated system used by the District Courts), while the other JP courts are using an outside law firm and their proprietary software to manage their collections. It is clear that the use of Odyssey should be continued. The other issue deals with the high number of cause of death determinations this court is called on to render. Having the County’s only trauma center located in the Precinct primarily drives the reason that JP3 has more of these cases than the other four JP courts combined. Judge Connelly has tried unsuccessfully to convince Commissioners Court to appoint a Medical Examiner for the County. Although Montgomery County population is below the mandatory state threshold to have a Medical Examiner, the workload is sufficient to justify its creation. Last year alone, JP3 dealt with over 700 death determinations. These cases, due to their unpredictable nature, are extremely disruptive to the normal judiciary docket of the JP Court.
Matt Beasley – Matt is the recommended choice for the JP3 position. Matt has the most diverse combination of work experience of the candidates in this race. Beginning his career as a Woodlands Fire Department dispatcher, he became a Precinct 3 Constable, was promoted to Detective, and he is currently working in the Precinct 3 Commissioners office as the Manager of Capital Projects for Commissioner Noack. Matt has excelled at every position he has held, and it is clear no other candidate in this race will work harder to earn this election. He has the most well developed ground game of the three candidates and has raised sufficient funds to see him through the primary and the runoff that could follow. Matt was the only candidate to state clearly that he would continue the use of the Odyssey automation system. He will also advocate for the appointment of a County Medical Examiner.
Dan Zientek – Dan is a highly trained and capable Captain in the Precinct 3 Constable’s office, and is respected as one of the foremost investigators in Montgomery County. He is seeking election to the JP3 position as the culmination of his law enforcement career and has the skills and ability to be an effective JP. However, he has raised very little money, which is an essential element of a successful campaign. On the two key issues, Dan felt the cause of death determinations could be handled by sharing the load with the other JP courts through the use of a rotation system and he was unwilling to commit to the continued use of the Odyssey automation system.
Ronnie Yeates – Another capable candidate that is currently working as the Assistant District Attorney in Grimes County. Ronnie is an attorney and is well versed in the workings of the county judiciary system. His lack of experience in Montgomery County works to his disadvantage and there is little evidence that he has the ground game necessary to overcome the name recognition of his two opponents. On the two key issues in this race, Mr. Yeates also proposes an on-call rotation system with the other County JPs, and would not commit on his choice of court automation system.