Montgomery County Hospital District
Director, At-large Position 1
TPP recommends Mark Cole
Incumbent member of the board Mark Cole is running for reelection against challenger John Nicks.
Mark Cole was first appointed to the Hospital District board in 2011. He is currently the general counsel for U.S. Development Group, LLC, an industrial real estate development company. Prior to this, he was an attorney and ran a non-profit, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Houston.
He has an extensive and diverse resume of accomplishments and activism. After graduating from Baylor University, he received his MAR from Yale Divinity School, a JD from Notre Dame Law School, an LL.M. from the University of Houston Law Center, and a Th.M. from Whitfield Theological Seminary. He currently serves on the board of Christian Youth Theater Houston and the Torch of Freedom Foundation. He served as a Republican Party precinct chair in Montgomery County for six years. He co-founded of the Montgomery County chapter of Friends of the NRA in 2006, and served as Chairman or Co-Chairman until recently. He has been very active with Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and previously served on the board and as chairman of the Houston Area Pastor’s Council. He has also contributed financially to conservative candidates such as Steve Toth and Ted Seago.
Mr. Cole says the three main reasons he is running for office are:
- To lower the tax rate of the Hospital District each year.
- To limit the revenue which goes in to the Hospital District from the taxpayer.
- To help the Hospital District continually improve the quality of its services.
Mr. Cole describes himself as a committed conservative with a strong philosophical basis for his beliefs. He vows to never vote for a tax increase and to continue to fight for the existing policy of MCHD to not allow illegal immigrants to receive health care coverage. He believes his experience on the board has given him an understanding of the Hospital District’s functions, as well as strengths and weaknesses, to continue to building upon the district’s success.
Mr. Cole believes that there is always room for improvement, but that the district is effectively fulfilling its role by continuing to lower the tax rate, limiting its revenue and budget to no more than (and often less than) the growth of population and inflation, and continually improving its services. He ranks the three biggest challenges facing the district as:
- Continued financial prudence with limiting revenue and reducing the tax rate.
- Continued improvement of the quality of services.
- Quality employee retention.
Mr. Cole believes that the appropriate level of taxation is “lower than last year.” He believes that taxes at every level of government are too high, and that he has fulfilled his promise to lower the tax rate each year he has been on the hospital district’s board.
We believe that Mr. Cole’s time on the board has proven that he not only holds values, but puts them into action. For this reason, we support him for reelection.
John Nicks can best be described as a community activist who is involved every election cycle of behalf of conservative candidates and issues. He has experience working in the health care industry scheduling nurses and marketers, as well as following up on hospitalizations. Outside of health care, he has three years ofoffice/clerical experience working in various industries including tax, legal, and oil and gas.
Mr. Nicks says the main reason he is running for the Hospital District board is to look out for the best interests of the taxpayers, and to listen to he concerns and needs of all MCHD employees without any form of retaliation from their supervisors. He says that the district’s help with his own health issues have inspired him to serve on the Montgomery County Hospital District board to continue the great service. He describes himself as a tea party conservative who will be dedicated to transparency and cutting waste from the budget.
While Mr. Nicks says that the board is currently fulfilling its role effectively by lowering taxes and providing excellent service, the three biggest challenges the district will have to face in the future are:
- The budget: He says he will make sure to scrutinize the budget in order to get rid of waste, and look for cheaper alternatives.
- The tax rate: He vows to never vote for a tax increase.
- Ending piecemeal approvals: He says that right now, too often the board rubber stamps whatever the department heads request.
Mr. Nicks is a fine young man, whose conservative values and desire to serve his community are commendable. However, we do not believe that he has given a compelling argument that voters should replace Mr. Cole.