The members of the Commissioners Court could get a pay raise, but they will have to be re-elected first. The Court met Wednesday morning and acted on a motion made by Commissioner Robert Viator.
On August 27, Viator cast the only dissenting vote for recommending a two percent pay raise for all elected county officials including the members of the Commissioners Court in the upcoming fiscal year. He proposed a compromise of the pay raise being approved for the members of the Court, but not to go into effect until after the next election for each position. “No sitting Commissioner is eligible to take the two percent until their position goes through their next election,” Viator explained.
The motion was unanimously approved by the Court. The two percent cost of living allowance salary increase for all other elected county officials will go into effect with the start of the new fiscal year in October.
There was a closed-door session at the end of the meeting. The Commissioners Court met with Executive Director Jessica Hill of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Also invited to attend the closed meeting was Robbie Hood the city administrator for Pinehurst.
After returning to open session the Court unanimously approved a letter of intent to a business contemplating a move to Orange County. The potential business expansion was listed as “Project G” in the motion. Hill could not add much other than to say the EDC recommended the letter of intent and encouraged the county make every effort to get the business to move to Orange County.
The office hours of the Orange County Veterans’ Office were changed. Veterans’ Office Director Mark Hammer informed the Commissioners that very few citizens are coming to the office between 5 PM and 6 PM. Hammer’s recommendation of opening the office at 8:00 AM and staying open until 5:00 PM was approved by the Court.
The bid for repairs to the roof of the Juvenile Probation office on Market Street was awarded to Mike Barnett Construction at a cost of $11,618. Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry informed the Commissioners that the northside of the roof could have some hidden damage that will not be known until the contractor begins work on it.
The premium payment for Liability Insurance Policy renewal for the Orange County Airport was approved by the Court. The cost of the renewal coverage is $5,719 per year with a 3-year policy agreement.
The Commissioners Court authorized the County Judge to sign the interlocal contract with the Texas Department of Information Resources. This was done to obtain the required Election Security Assessment at no cost to the county.
Wednesday’s meeting was considered the regular monthly meeting for the Commissioners Court. County Judge John Gothia said the meeting will probably be the last one held on a Wednesday for the most part. The Court has approved holding the regular monthly meeting which must be established for the whole year on Tuesday afternoon like the other meetings during the month are held. This will go into effect starting in October.
September is Suicide Prevention Month and the Court issued a proclamation recognizing it as such. Lane Fortenberry with the Spindletop Center in Beaumont works with counselors who assist citizens who could be potential suicide victims. Fortenberry accepted the proclamation for the Spindletop Center.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-