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Court reassigns environmental control officer

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

During a brief meeting of the Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court on Monday, the Commissioners decided to restructure a department that has been giving county staff headaches for years.

After a brief executive session on Monday, the Commissioners decided that for the coming budget year, the Environmental Control Offi

cer would be assigned to, and as a consequence be accountable to, the County Judge and the Commissioners Court. Currently, the position is listed under the District Attorney’s office, and prior to that, it was a code enforcement position.

The change was driven in part by communication questions between the departments that made it unclear what the Environmental Control Officer’s position and job responsibilities should be. The change is hoped to settle those questions, and streamline both the complaint and enforcement process.

In a related item, the Commissioners hosted a brief public hearing to hear public comments on the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 budget and tax rate, which is expected to be passed later this month.

No one addressed the Court during the brief hearing.

They also heard requests from Juvenile Probation Director Jay Monkerud regarding the department’s request for local funding for juvenile probation in the coming budget.

According to Monkerud, funding from the State of Texas has been cut significantly, hampering his department’s ability to serve their clients the way they hope to.

Topping the list of cut funding is money for placement of juvenile probation clients in residential treatment facilities and other placements, rather than in the Texas Youth Commission. Because of the lack of funding, Monkerud said, his department often has to send young people to jail when there should be better options for them.

The Commissioners are expected to approve these and other budgetary measures in the coming Fiscal Year’s budget on Sept. 27, 2010.

At the request of Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker, the Commissioners opted to leave the outdoor burning ban off, for at least another week. Parker, who last month expressed growing concern about the dry weather, said last week’s rains came “just in time,” and brought the county back to a level of moderate safety on the Keetch-Byram Disaster Index.

On Parker’s recommendation, the Court gave a unanimous vote not to instate the ban.
The Caldwell County Commissioners meet 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 the public is encouraged to attend and participate.

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