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Court eyes election, appointment

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

A mid-term shakeup could be in store for the Caldwell County Commissioners” Court, and the topic dominated conversation during the body”s regular meeting on Monday, April 26.

High on the Court”s list of priorities is the appointment of an interim County Judge to fill the position left open by the passing of seated Caldw

ell County Judge H.T. Wright earlier this month.

According to a statement made by Judge Pro Tem Joe I. Roland, the Commissioners intend to announce a candidate for the Interim Judge to finish out the year. Wright”s term would have expired on Dec. 31, 2010, and his replacement was set to be decided during this year”s Primary Elections. In November, former Precinct One Commissioners Tom Bonn (R) and Morris Alexander (D) will square off for the voters” nod to fill the spot.

In the meantime, however, an Interim Judge must be appointed to complete Wright”s unexpired term.

To that end, the Court held a closed-door session with Assistant District Attorney Ron Heggemeier, who offered the commissioners legal advice with regard to the impending appointment. Public discussion regarding the outcome of the executive session was not available, but Roland said later the existing Court understands the responsibility they have in choosing an appointment for someone to helm the county for the rest of this year, and expect to make an announcement soon.

In other election news, the Commissioners approved an order holding a special election in November 2010 to fill the seat vacated by Bonn earlier this year, when he announced his bid for County Judge.

In January, Wright appointed John Cyrier to fill Bonn”s unexpired term. However, more than two years remain on the term, for which Bonn won re-election in 2008. Therefore, an election must be held to fill the remaining two years.

Caldwell County Democratic Party Chair Philip Ruiz and Republican Party Chair Arnold Alonzo notified the court that, instead of a primary election to determine nominees, the parties” executive committees would select the candidates to put on the ballot.

At that time, Ruiz announced the Democratic Party will begin conducting interviews of potential candidates to fill the term beginning in May. He suggested candidates interested in filing for a place on the ballot should submit a letter of intent, along with a resume, to the Caldwell County Democratic Party via U.S. Mail to 317 S. Main St., Lockhart, Texas, 78644, or contact him at (512) 398-7129 for additional information.

Alonzo said the executive committee of the Caldwell County Republican Party would meet on the second Thursday in May and would discuss the party selection at that time. He said information about submitting letters of interest would be available soon.

County election official Mary Vicky Gonzales was unable to provide information during the meeting as to the possibility of independent candidates appearing on the ballot. She suggested she would research the matter and provide additional information as it becomes available.

In brief news:
The Court read a proclamation declaring April 2010 as Fair Housing Month in Caldwell County.

They heard information from Texas Department of Transportation District Engineer Carlos Lopez regarding construction projects in Caldwell County, including the progress of construction on State Highway 130 and the construction on Highway 80. Lopez said the department is still discussing two requested change orders on SH130, one that will allow for a turnaround lane near the Plum Creek Bridge north of Lockhart, and the other which will preserve two ancient oak trees near Boggy Creek.

The Commissioners agreed to leave an outdoor burning ban off.

They heard information from Caldwell County Juvenile Probation Chief Officer Jay Monkerud, and pledged the county”s support in the department”s application for two grants for the benefit of Juvenile Probation.

The Commissioners approved a letter which will be sent to all vendors who participated in last month”s Rites of Spring event. An oversight during that event caused the sprinklers on the Courthouse Lawn to be activated overnight, dousing several vendor booths and causing damage both damage to certain wares and a rift between the Court and the sponsoring organizations.

The County paid bills in the amount of $87,631.02, which includes $785 in payments for indigent legal defense.

The Caldwell County Commissioners Court has regular meetings on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend.

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