County budget meetings continue

By Becky Brewster

Culberson County Commissioners met in special session on July 28, 2021 to continue the 2021-2022 Budget process. The main focus was salary proposals for both full-time and part-time employees. The Court discussed the need to be more competitive with its wages, and to develop a plan to pay an incentive for certain certifications. The initial consensus of the Court was to consider a $1.00/hour raise for part-time employees since a percentage increase for lower salaries was such a small amount.

Commissioners Adrian Norman and Javier Mendoza reported that they had met with the CCAISD Trustees at a recent school board meeting to learn the CCAISD’s intent to take over the operation of the Day Care Center and the Youth Club. Judge Urias admonished the commissioners to let the Court know when they are attending other meetings since it gives the appearance that they are representing the Court. County Attorney Steve Mitchell noted that “no person sitting at this table has authority to act for the County unless all persons sitting at this table act for the County,” noting that this was “Commissioners Court 101.” Norman and Mendoza assured the Court that they were attending the meeting for informational purposes only and did not represent themselves as speaking for the County as a whole.

Commissioners also held a lengthy executive session to discuss personnel matters in the Sheriff’s Office and security measures at the courthouse. No action was taken.

County Clerk Linda McDonald reported that redistricting is underway based on the 2020 census figures, noting that the map should be ready in mid-September.

The Court discussed the “exorbitant” toll being charged by a landowner in the northern part of the county to solar plant employees to use a certain road. County Atty. Mitchell stated that the first order of business is to determine if the road in question is a “county road.” It was noted that some 1400-1600 employees use this roadway.

In other County business, the Court also:

Approved an Interlocal Agreement for the Far West Texas Regional Public Defender’s Office between Culberson and Hudspeth Counties.

Tabled consideration of a subdivision plat proposal pending additional information.

Approved an invoice for the upgrade of network hardware for compatibility of VOIP services for JP #1.

Heard reports on various county projects.