Will Conley is a small business owner, husband and father, and is serving his third term as Hays County Commissioner. In business and elective office, his record testifies to the power of hardworking leadership that puts conservative principles into action.
In 2004, Will Conley was elected the youngest county commissioner in Hays County history at age 26 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Described as “an effective leader with a vision” by the Austin American-Statesman, Commissioner Conley has championed limited but effective government by cutting taxes, eliminating waste, and reforming his county’s regulatory culture to create a business-friendly climate. His pro-jobs policies spurred an historic wave of new business investment, leading CNN Money to feature Hays County as having the third highest rate of job growth in the nation.
In his three terms in office, Commissioner Conley has attracted major new employers to Hays County, including high-wage industry, a new medical center, and a large convention center. He also spearheaded the county’s first major roads and infrastructure upgrade in more than 50 years, led the development of new recreational parks, and oversaw critical renovations to an aging county jail, and did it all on time, under budget, and without ever voting to raise taxes.
An advocate for taxpayers, Commissioner Conley doubled the homestead exemption for senior citizens and created a homestead exemption for disabled citizens on fixed incomes. In their first year, the Conley homestead exemptions saved an average of 14% for seniors and 25% for disabled citizens on their county property tax bills. In eight years, his disciplined financial leadership has tripled Hays County’s savings account from $10 million to $30 million and improved the county’s bond rating from B-plus to AA-plus, placing the county on its strongest financial footing in recent history. He also authored one of the first-in-the-nation voluntary restrictions on the use of eminent domain powers by local governments to safeguard the sacred right of property ownership.
In recognition of Commissioner Conley’s energetic, conservative leadership, he received a gubernatorial appointment as Commissioner of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. His straightforward approach and problem-solving acumen also won the support of his peers in local government, who elected him to chair the Capitol Area Council of Governments and Capitol Area Regional Transportation Planning Organization during the 2012-2013 term. Commissioner Conley is also serving his second term as chairman of the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, immediate past chair of the Greater San Marcos Partnership – Economic Development Board, and serves on the Region L water planning group charged with meeting the long-term water needs of more than two million Texans.
Commissioner Conley is owner and president of Conley Enterprises, an auto services business that he opened in 2001, at age 23. In the years since, he has expanded the business and helped to raise more than $225,000 for local charitable causes. Commissioner Conley’s civic involvement includes service as a current or former board member of the Hays County Food Bank, Crime Stoppers, San Marcos Main Street Association, and the Texas State University River Center Master Planning Committee. He is a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, San Marcos and Wimberley Chambers of Commerce, Texas State University Alumni Association, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, Ducks Unlimited, and National Rifle Association.
Commissioner Conley and his wife, Erin, reside in Wimberley with their three children, Eve Abram and Forrest.