Ken has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a Software Engineer by trade. He started his career working in Flight Design for NASA on the Shuttle contract. He has since gone on to work in commercial software development and now works for the University of Texas Medical Branch. Ken lives in New Territory with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Kacy.
Elected to office in December 2018, Commissioner DeMerchant traveled around the precinct listening to how he could best serve the community. Because of the proximity of precinct 4 to the Brazos River, flood mitigation efforts topped the list of worries for constituents. In response, he not only founded the Project Brazos Committee, but also approved five flood mitigation projects, proposed the unanimously-approved Project Brazos Solution, and led the way to the first drainage bond since Hurricane Harvey. Thanks to Commissioner DeMerchant, improved and expanded drainage solutions now keep many more families’ homes dry.
Commissioner DeMerchant is always looking for innovative solutions to lower taxes while also improving the precinct’s infrastructure. He introduced LID 14 to a new, more efficient way to collect taxes through a pilot program resulting in savings of 98% in tax collection fees for residents of LID 14. After he found this solution, he went on to find similar savings for other LID and MUD residents. In the same year, he was able to procure body cameras for all Precinct 4 constables without the use of property taxes or general fund dollars. This led to even more transparency of government officials.
As the pandemic took hold of the world, Commissioner DeMerchant collaborated with various organizations to get food distributed to more than 2,500 families, established the Food Chain Project to get donated meals from local restaurants to healthcare workers, and coordinated efforts to get PPE to local nursing homes. He helped extend early voting for easier social distancing practices. He took the pandemic seriously, approving four new positions to the county Health and Human Services department and coordinating the instillation of new Covid testing and vaccination sites. Because of reduced traffic during the pandemic, Commissioner DeMerchant decided to take the opportunity to push up various mobility constructions. Thanks to his quick action, the Fieldstone contract was completed four months ahead of schedule and $1.5 million under budget.
Commissioner DeMerchant created the DeMerchant Spotlight as a way to appreciate those who stand up to the injustices of the world and help build a better future. Our community is full of heroes and individuals who bring it upon themselves to help their neighbors and their neighbor’s neighbors. In past few years, he has recognized many unsung heroes in our community. Commissioner DeMerchant loves putting a spotlight on the amazing work done behind the scenes every day. He hopes that by doing so, more people will give a voice to what matters to them, too.