Wichita Falls native Mark Beauchamp is one of three candidates running for the Wichita County Commissioner Precinct One race. Beauchamp currently works in Wichita Falls as the City Traffic Superintendent in charge of nearly 102 traffic signals, 50 school flashers, 8000 street lights and nearly 30,000 signs.
"Basically, if it lights up it is ours to take care of," said Beauchamp.
After being swayed by friends, family, and some of the Wichita County employees Beauchamp said that after a lot of prayer, he was finally ready to throw his hat in the ring. One of Beauchamp's biggest priorities is the problems facing the Wichita County Jail. Poor infrastructure and overcrowding are issues Beauchamp said needs to be addressed.
"The cold facts are if they close, it's going to cost us way more than we need to spend. If we start having to move our inmates to other counties that is just something that we cannot absorb," said Beauchamp.
In the past Beauchamp said he's found ways to help cut costs for Wichita Falls by making simple changes and smart long term investments.
"Changing our street lights over from high wattage high pressure sodium to low wattage LED we have been able to start seeing savings of about $20,000 a month from our electric bill," said Beauchamp.
Its cost cutting measures like those that Beauchamp said he could bring to Wichita County as a commissioner. As someone who's worked with nearly 30,000 city signs Beauchamp said that he would like to help the county address repair needs by entering shared services agreement with the city of Wichita Falls who manufacture signs in house.
"In fact, one of the county commissioners in their year end report in fact stated the need for the county to repair all their signs and bring them up to standards that was not my competitor. Being proactive and looking at long term that's what would separate me from me from what we have right now," said Beauchamp.