135,000-square-foot, 36-bed hospital will house emergency and trauma services, 2 operating rooms, endoscopy/procedure rooms and sleep labs.
Read the full story at Georgetown View Magazine • January 2020
A MULTI-FACETED LOOK AT YOUTH LEADERSHIP
The Williamson County Livestock Association hosted the 74th Annual Livestock Association Show and Sale December 2-6 in Taylor.
Among the human participants at the livestock show were many members of local Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H Clubs, many of whom are GISD students. Walking around this event, the predominant thought is this; if there is any doubt in your mind about the integrity of Texans and even the future of our country, these are the kids you need to volunteer with or at least get to know.
James (14) is a Special Ed student at Taylor High School. He spent time with Treasure at the Livestock Show Special Event. Treasure is a frequent visitor for therapy and other special events.There is no greater responsibility than to provide primary care for a living thing. The missions of FFA and 4-H Clubs are about exactly that. Programs and learning focus on youth development and leadership specific to agriculture and experiential learning.
County Judge Bill Gravell was at the show every day and was impressed with the character and commitment of the youth who participated. “The thing that strikes me about these young people is that every one of them knows how to look you in the eye, shake your hand, and speak confidently about him or herself. They take on great responsibility and I cannot express enough the value they represent for the future, not just in agriculture and animal science, but in all manner of leadership.”
From Advocate News, Georgetown • December 2018
The more we do life together, the more we learn from each other
With more than 607,000 residents, 1,800 employees, five senior division chiefs and 28 elected officials, Williamson County is hardly a sleepy Texas hamlet any more. Having earned 103,740 votes on election day, Bill Gravell is already asking himself how he can inspire the remaining 400,000 next time.
On his transition from JP3 to County Judge, Gravell says he is looking forward to new challenges and is preparing now for the job; “We are a multi-million dollar corporation and the business of this County doesn’t stop. Additionally, the Texas Legislature goes into session January 8, and we can’t wait until the oaths are taken January 1 to start preparing. I am confident if we handle it well, the transitions will be flawless and no on will notice much more than one name drifting into the news and one name drifting out.”
Judge Gravell’s meetings to date have given him a sense that what most of his electeds and officials seek is leadership and a path to emerge from current conflicts and move forward. “My first priority is to remind all of our elected officials that we are here to serve and customer service should be everyone’s top priority. Internally, in 2019, we are beginning the ‘customer service matters’ campaign. What my staff accomplished at the JP3 level, in terms of kindness and service, is about to be a major initiative for the entire County. And we have a wall of awards to show that we know how to do that well.”
Judge Gravell has enlisted Tax Assessor Larry Gaddes to lead the way and is confident that he will do that job and set an exceptional example.
I want people to know we notice and appreciate all the people who keep the county running smoothly, and I will be visible about it. I went to a symposium for training our emergency communications staff recently. I wanted to say thank you to Adam Moulton. He has been up in the middle of the night for years, kindly and professionally calling me to report to death scenes. I wanted to thank him publicly but he wasn’t there. It turns out he has chosen to work the night shift because he wants to be home during the day as he is raising his 11-year-old nephew and that day he had taken the boy to a professional football game. Those are the people I want to celebrate, and the values I want to share. Fortunately, Adam is just one of 100 stories I can tell about our great County.
On a larger scale, Judge Gravell will implement a leadership program, “Wilco University”, which will be instrumental in preparing lower level management to be the next generation of leadership in the county. “We will use the amazing teachers, leaders and equippers who already work here to facilitate the 18-month programs so there will be no additional expense to the county. Our progress will mean more to the county in terms of succession planning so we are well prepared when senior jobs change hands.”
Outside County government, Judge Gravell also will have monthly breakfasts with the cities’ mayors. “Some of the brightest minds I know are in city government. Why shouldn’t we want the folks in Liberty Hill to learn from the Mayor of Round Rock, or the Mayor of Granger helping the Mayor of Taylor? I plan to discuss not just our challenges and struggles, but also about life and how we can all learn to live, work, play and fight together. Not among ourselves but together, and for all the people of the County.”
The Judge also plans to encourage elected officials to take a day off to “take off the robes and uniforms and put on their jeans” to volunteer at The Serving Center, Habitat for Humanity, or R.O.C.K. and see what people do for our citizens every day. “I want us to share ups and downs, work together and expect to be exceptional for the sake of the values of the people who live here.”
What is not going to change is his level of visibility. “You’re going to see more of your Judge; I will tweet and take selfies and you will hear a lot of stories about a lot of people doing good. We spend too much time talking about what people do that’s bad. I want to celebrate the good things and the people who do them.”
For now, Judge Gravell continues to manage his duties as JP3, which he says never stop. But he is confident that his JP3 and transition teams are managing both very well. “We are making deliberate choices, taking steps and doing it right. And, as always, at the end of the day, it is my job to ask everyone I meet, ‘What can I do to help you?’ The answer always leads me to what matters to people and that’s where the service, and kindness, begin.”
From Advocate News, Georgetown, TX • May 2018
Judge Bill Gravell, Republican nominee for County Judge, recently traveled to New York City to secure loan funding after purchasing 452 acres of land for economic development for Williamson County in Hutto. The combined current lending environment and Hutto’s A+ rating means funding is available at unprecedented levels for government entities.
Making the trip personally as President of the Hutto Economic Development Corporation, Judge Gravell was able to meet face to face with individuals who provide necessary bond funds for major projects in Williamson County.
“It is exciting that the story of Williamson County is not just one we’re telling at the capital in Austin. It’s being told in New York, Washington DC, and even in India. This is an amazing place to live, work and play and that is really resonating with business and industry. Many of the people I met in New York have actually been here and driven through Round Rock, Georgetown, and Jarrell so they know, first-hand, exactly what we’re talking about, and it is energizing to share that story with city folks who manage some of the largest municipal bond funds in the world. They are ready to partner with us to move forward.”
Among the platforms for his campaigns, Judge Gravell has consistently said the best way to offset higher property taxes for citizens is growth in economic development. “The number one complaint I hear from citizens is that our property taxes are too high. I believe the fuel that drives our economy is development and we have to continue expanding; bring in industry and commercial business to offset increases from the appraisal district.”
Gravell has long advocated that an increase in the County’s commercial and industrial base is not expansion for its own sake, but to take the pressure off residents so they can be personally successful.
His vision for the County also includes a balance and maintaining the quality of life that has become standard for Williamson County. “What we have now is pretty amazing, but what’s coming in the days ahead will be stunning, and residents will be in awe of the major businesses we are bringing to the area.”
From an East Coast perspective, Gravell says Williamson County is still a factor in the greater economy of Texas, which continues to have a larger GDP than the entire former Soviet Union. “We are positioned very well geographically for exponential growth, and while Texas is doing well, Williamson County is special, and doing even better. We are the best of the best here, as a superlative reflection of growth state-wide.”
Gravell expects that growth to be distributed across the county as well. “My goal as next County Judge is that we don’t just look at where we have business now. A rising tide lifts all boats and I see every community in Williamson County as a boat, and a tool in my belt. If an opportunity is not a good fit for Round Rock or Jarrell, I can look to Liberty Hill or Florence for optimum conditions. Anything we do in Georgetown or Cedar Park raises all areas, and I’m very passionate about that. I’m excited about the possibilities of elevating all of our cities. There is no one city that is a priority; Williamson County is the priority.”
From Advocate News, Georgetown, TX • January 5, 2018
(FROM THE GEORGETOWN ADVOCATE, JANUARY 5, 2018) Candidate for County Judge Bill Gravell held a public meet & greet at the Georgetown municipal airport January 9. Hosted by business leaders Jim and Patty Schwertner, Mayor Dale Ross and several others at the Schwertners’ private hangar, more than 350 guests attended, enjoyed signature Texas brisket barbecue, and engaged with Judge Gravell and many other elected officials.
Around the hangar, a popular topic of conversation was reminiscent of President Trump’s supporters who proudly took ownership of being “deplorable” after an insulting comment by Hillary Clinton. One campaign booster had items on hand for supporters to show they are part of team #Crony. A recent opposition press release indicated some who favor the Judge are “courthouse cronies”. Gravell’s many local supporters seemed happy to follow suit by wearing the branded hats and t-shirts.
Attendee Tadim Leasure, a senior leader at a community action agency in Georgetown, commented; “I just want Williamson County to stay Williamson County. I love the conservative values embraced by our leadership and I think Gravell is the person to do that as Judge.”
Politics aside, guests enjoyed the unusually warm weather after the recent cold snap, which also allowed for a dramatic reveal (above) when Schwertner opened the hangar door where his jet was parked as the backdrop for speakers.
Jim Schwertner spoke first and strongly in favor of the change effected in Williamson County since the development of Sun City, which “helped bring the cowboys back!” He introduced Sun City resident Major General Robert Halverson who talked about Gravell’s passion for service and how willing he is to listen to others’ perspectives. He wrapped up with a rousing “The leader is in the house!”
District Attorney Shawn Dick received an ovation in his own right and talked about restoring professionalism and integrity within the entire criminal justice system. “[Judge Gravell] has always solicited feedback, not for himself but simply to improve the justice system here. Every day he deals with difficulty and death, but, every day, has a smile on his face and a kind word or prayer.”
On prayer, Jim Schwertner shared “a story about Bill that you don’t know. Many people don’t know the hundreds of thousands he has affected in Texas. I had strong urge to bring prayer to a State school, and succeeded only with Bill’s guidance and prayer. With his help, there is prayer before every sporting event at every game that Texas A&M has all over the state of Texas. Bill has a big heart, wisdom, and he’s fair.”
Schwertner also entreated attendees to contribute more and bring friends to the polls because the race will be a lot harder than people think and, more so, “We need to be aware of [liberal] creep;” i.e., maintain conservative values that are at work in the county.
Judge Gravell followed and spoke of his humility in the level of support and his admiration for others who also serve. He highlighted several platform issues; the “best of Williamson County who are protecting us every night while we sleep” and assured guests that law enforcement and first responders will be a priority for his administration. He also addressed taxes and drawing down the county’s $1.3 billion debt, which equals $1800 for every resident. “No child born into this county should come with a tab.”
As he often has, Gravell wrapped the evening with his “Why”. Every day I ask myself: What am I going to do to make my Williamson County better, so when my grandkids and great-grandkids lay me to rest they will say, ‘There lies my Paw-paw. A good man who loved his Williamson County, Texas, and gave it everything he had.’
FROM ADVOCATE NEWS , GEORGETOWN, TX – Conservative Republican Judge Bill Gravell officially launched his campaign for Williamson County Judge today when he filed the appropriate paperwork to be placed on the March 6th primary ballot. Gravell said Saturday, in front of hundreds of supporters, that Williamson County must have strong conservative leadership to manage growth and keep our county safe.
“I strongly believe government officials should operate their offices with a conservative business minded approach. When I took office in 2013, I made it my mission to transform my court into the most efficient and fiscally conservative office in Texas,” Gravell said. “Saying you are a conservative is one thing. Actually governing like one is another. We need a true conservative business-minded leader who does not have a record of raising taxes year after year. It’s time we focus on needs, not wants, and actually cut wasteful spending. That is exactly what I will do as your next County Judge.”
Since taking office in 2013, Gravell and his staff have won several state and national awards for their conservative efforts. In 2013, his office received the award for "Collection Improvement Program of the Year in Texas". In 2015, they were chosen for Tyler Technologies' national “Public Sector Excellence Award”. In 2015, the JP3 office was the first court in Texas to receive the national "Innovation in Business Process in America" award for contributions to the judiciary in technology and court business processes.
In 2015, Gravell was appointed to the Texas Judicial Council by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht and later that year was selected “Judge of the Year” in Central Texas. In 2016, Gravell was chosen to be one of 24 county elected officials to attend the Texas Association of Counties leadership school in Texas. From 2016-2017, Gravell served on the teaching faculty for Judges in Texas. In 2017, he was one of 15 Judges chosen in America to attend the National Judicial College for specialty training in the area of Judicial Coaching and Mentoring. Gravell also serves as chairman of the Data Committee for the Office of Court Administration and the Criminal Justice Committee.
In 2017, Gravell was nominated by the Chief Justice of Texas and voted “2017 Judge of the Year in Texas”.
Gravell concluded, “I am a lifelong conservative Republican and resident of Williamson County. We are one of the fastest growing counties in America and I know the importance of keeping our county safe and strong. We must lower our taxes to offset skyrocketing property appraisals and get a handle on our spiraling $1.3 billion debt. Williamson County has a reputation for keeping our families safe and we must make our public safety professionals a priority. And finally, we must improve our infrastructure and mobility to keep Williamson County moving. I look forward to continue serving you and ask for your support and vote in the Republican Primary on March 6, 2018.”
Gravell is a graduate of University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton. He and his wife, Jill live in the Jarrell Community and they are active members of River Rock Bible Church in Georgetown. They have two adult children and are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren.