Citing an urgent need to manage growth in east Kerr County, Judge Rob Kelly appointed Thomas Beck Gipson on Friday as Precinct 2 commissioner to fill the remaining term of Tom Moser.
Gipson is a long-time Kerr County resident who has owned a real estate company since 1979. Gipson served on Kerrville's planning and zoning commission and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority board of directors.
"We cannot wait for the next election. We need someone who can hit the ground running," Kelly said of Gipson's appointment. "There's a wave of new real estate developments coming and it's going to be here long before the election in November 2022."
Precinct 2 has roiled in controversy for months after a major housing development said it would go into Center Point. The county has minimal control over the new home developments other than subdivision rules and water availability.
Gipson's swearing-in is Monday.
"While it was a very difficult choice, I elected to go with Beck because of his vast experience and lifetime familiarity with real estate and development," Kelly said. " I consider the most significant challenge facing Kerr County over the coming months to be real estate development in Precinct 2, particularly in the Center Point area."
Eastern Kerr and western Kendall County are beneficiaries of a state-funded sewer line that could open Comfort and Center Point to more development. Since both areas are relatively flat for the Hills Country, developers have eyed both communities for potential growth.
Kelly chose four finalists, and his selection criteria focused on managing this growth. Kelly said the other finalists — Chris Childs, Kaela Hale and Mark Haufler — would consult on a revamp of the county's subdivision codes.
"With each finalist, I specifically discussed the need to review and finalize the most responsible subdivision rules and regulations and the need for real estate experience," Kelly said. "Each of the finalists committed to giving their best to this challenge and agreed only to serve the unexpired term and not run for election to the position. Their willingness to do this while the declared candidates battle it out on the campaign trail was a selfless gesture on their part. I greatly respect that and thank them."
Kelly said the finalists were the most equipped with experience and specialized knowledge of land development and dealing with subdivision rules and regulations, including water.
“Beck Gipson is the right man at the right time for the task of dealing with real estate development issues,” Kelly said. “I’m proud to tell you that Precinct 2 and Kerr County will be in good hands with Commissioner Gipson.”
VIDEO OF KELLY'S ANNOUNCEMENT